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Friday, September 29, 2006

Hewlett Packard Courts Video Gamers With VoodooPC Acquisition

H-P (HPQ) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Canadian-based VoodooPC, a leader in high-performance and personalized gaming computer systems.

Before getting too far into the acquisition, this at least shows the company can still operate on developments while it is in the midst of a corporate PR crisis.

HP will form a separate business unit within its Personal Systems Group focused on the gaming industry. VoodooPC co-owner Rahul Sood will become chief technologist for the unit and co-owner Ravi Sood will become the unit's director of strategy. Both will report to Phil McKinney, who will become general manager of the gaming business unit while maintaining his current role as chief technology officer of HP's Personal Systems Group. HP plans to maintain VoodooPC's current distribution model and brand name along with its marketing, sales, support and development operations.

"HP is already a market leader in two of the three major segments in the gaming market by providing industry-leading workstation solutions for game development and powering the largest online game services," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. "We're absolutely thrilled to welcome VoodooPC, gaming industry pioneers and the premier name in gaming, to the HP team. Together with VoodooPC's leadership and influence, HP will have the expertise to become the leader in the gaming customer segment."

The acquisition is expected to close by November 2006. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

HP obviously isn't too worried about this pre-texting and spying ruining their future, and it is obvious that VoodooPC isn't too worried about it either. This is the exact strategy that Dell (DELL) employed when it announced it was acquiring Alienware in March of this year.

This should at least put some of the cool-ness factor into H-P for the gaming crowd.

Jon C. Ogg

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