HP, or Hewlett-Packard, is an American company located in Palo Alto, CA. They provide a variety of products and services to their customers including computers, printers, software, and other electronics. They have services for individual consumers as well as businesses of all sizes.
A Small Start Leads to Big Things
As with many other companies, HP started out quite small, and was actually originally operating in a garage in Palo Alto. In 1987, California actually gave this garage historic site status. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, who had degrees in electrical engineering, started the company in 1939. The reason it is HP rather than PH is simple. They tossed a coin to decide whose name would come first for the company. The company incorporated in 1947 and they went public in 1957.
They created a number of different products in the early days, but the one that took off the fastest was their Model HP200A precision audio oscillator. They were able to create their product using a different technique than their competitors, which let them sell if for a quarter of the cost. This brought them a substantial amount of business, naturally. One of their biggest early customers was Walt Disney Productions.
When the company first started, they did not have a focus and worked on quite a few different types of electronics products for various industries. They even worked on products for agriculture. Slowly, they started to find their focus though, and they began to work on computers. They first got into the computer field in 1966 when they created minicomputers. These early computers, while they are primitive by today's standards, were the first hint of what would come in the realm of desktop computers decades later.
The early computers cost around $5,000 in the late 1960s, and that meant that they were firmly in the realm of businesses. They did have a chance to get into the home computer market just a few years later, but they didn't take it. Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple, brought his design for a personal computer to them. At the time, HP said that they wanted to stay working with large industries and businesses instead.
Even though they did not enter the personal computing market at that time, they continued to make quality products for a number of different industries. They were also the company that introduced the first handheld scientific calculator. This was in 1972. Only two years later, they created the first handheld calculator that the user was able to program. They also created the first scientific and graphic calculator.
Calculators became a huge focus for the company for a number of years, and in the 1960s, they even called that initial desktop a calculator to make it more appealing and less intimidating to businesses. They also wanted to make sure they separated it from what IBM was doing with computers at the time.
In the 1980s, they were still focusing on businesses, and they started to create inkjet and laser printers for businesses to use with their desktops. Later, they worked on lines of scanners as well. Still, these were mainly for business, science, industry, and educational facilities. When the 90s rolled around, HP saw just what potential there really was in the consumer market for affordable computers. They entered the market at that time, and they grew very quickly. They bought Convex Computer and Apollo Computer, which helped them to grow even faster.
What Products Do They Offer?
The company today makes a wide range of different types of electronic products for consumers, including desktop and laptop computers, as well as tablets. They make inkjet and laser printers, as well as ink and powder for those machines, and even paper for the machines. They make scanners, faxes, all-in-one machines, various types of software, and digital connected entertainment devices. They also make mice and keyboards, as well as many different computer accessories.
One of the Top Computer Brands in the World
While they are still very much a top brand when it comes to business, science, and industry, they are also one of the top brands when it comes to consumers. They have a great reputation in the business, and they tend to make high quality, durable machines and devices that last.