Can HP Build the Computer of the Future?

To cheers and jeers, the company unveils its vision for The Machine
Photonics research at HP Labs Courtesy HP Labs

On June 11, Hewlett-Packard revealed plans to make a new kind of computer that it’s playfully calling The Machine. If HP can pull it off, it will mark a major rethinking of how computers are built. The design aims to combine huge advances in operating systems, memory, and data transfer technology to create a refrigerator-size computer able to store and analyze much of what an entire data center does today. Still years from the market, The Machine has become the talk of the industry, with rivals such as Dell mocking HP’s effort as “laughable” and other experts cheering on HP for trying something big and daring. “I think this is terrific,” says Greg Papadopoulos, a partner at venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates and a former computer architect at HP and Sun Microsystems. “This is new territory where people could get real benefits, and I hope they’re successful.”

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