HP folds Voodoo PC business unit

HP folded the Voodoo PC business unit, opting to sell the high-end PCs as part of its expanded consumer offerings.

Hewlett-Packard has merged its Voodoo PC business unit with its consumer business, the company said Wednesday.

Voodoo's laptops and desktops will now be sold alongside HP's consumer Compaq Presario and Pavilion PC lines, said Ann Finnie, an HP spokeswoman. "It is just the next step of integration into the business units that deliver Compaq Presario and [HP] Pavilion," she said.

HP in 2006 paid an undisclosed amount to acquire Voodoo, which was then known for its cutting-edge gaming PCs. Voodoo was a stand-alone unit in HP and continued to sell its products independently. But HP always had plans to integrate Voodoo into its main PC business, Finnie said.

The Voodoo desktops and notebooks bring style and the latest technology to HP's consumer PC lineup, Finnie said. Voodoo's products sold by HP include the Envy ultraportable laptop and the Omen gaming desktop.

HP will likely retain Voodoo as a brand name, but hasn't reached a decision about that yet, Finnie said.

However, the convergence of the brand in HP's consumer catalog could mean larger worldwide availability for the high-end PCs.

"Ultimately it means that Voodoo and Voodoo-influenced products will be easier to buy, faster to get, they will feature local service, and they will have the full power of HP's marketing and sales channel behind them," said Rahul Sood, HP's CTO, in a blog entry. Sood was founder of VoodooPC, as the company was called before HP acquired it.

Traditionally, HP's global business unit designs PCs and regional units decide what PCs to sell in the region, and that may apply to Voodoo PCs, Finnie said.

For existing Voodoo customers, support and service won't change.

"Don't expect customers to see a difference," Finnie said.

HP declined comment on potential layoffs resulting from the integration.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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