HP continues its astonishing transformation under CEO Mark Hurd, from an underperforming printer-reliant giant into the world’s largest tech company (almost $130 billion a year in revenue), thriving in multiple markets. Last year, it surpassed Dell as the top PC seller and in the process showed Apple-worthy design chops with its sleek TouchSmart computers featuring touch-screen functionality. HP’s $2.7 billion acquisition of 3Com–a year after the $13 billion deal for EDS made it an instant IBM (#18) rival–signals that it’s ready to take on Cisco (#17).
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