At Hp These Days, Old Software Never Dies

As a $13 billion-a-year maker of computers, laser printers, calculators, medical systems, and electronic test gear, Hewlett-Packard Co. produces gobs of software every year. About 60% of its research and development funds and personnel are devoted to programming and improving the software-creation process. Several years ago, HP's top engineers realized that they could get a tremendous productivity boost if they could somehow reuse old chunks of software in new products--thus reducing the need to write new software from scratch for every new computer or heart monitor. Since then, a software revolution has been quietly brewing at the Silicon Valley giant.

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