Tech wrap: Blame game at HP

What is responsible for Hewlett-Packard’s bleak profit outlook? Ask CEO Leo Apotheker and he’ll blame it on “missed opportunities” in a troubled division under his predecessor Mark Hurd.

Apotheker, who took over in September, plans to spend heavily to revamp the beleaguered unit to focus on consulting, cloud computing and higher-margin businesses.

Dell reported profits that blew past Wall Street estimates and raised its fiscal 2012 outlook for operating income for fiscal 2012, sending shares in the No.2 PC maker up in after-hours trading.

Social networking site LinkedIn boosted its IPO price range by 30 percent, a jump that could value the company at more than $4 billion. That’s 17 times the nine-year old company’s 2010 revenue. While the jump in value is a sign of the strength of investor appetite for social networking companies, some investors said they felt it had climbed too high.

Tablets have sparked much discussion at the Reuters Global Technology Summit this week. Nvidia’s co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang thinks tablets using Google’s Android platform – and powered by his firm’s processors – could overtake Apple’s iPad in under three years as better versions and more applications hit the market.

No napping on deck for France Telecom this year

Former state-owned telecoms incumbents with their reliable cash streams from millions of customers have an enviable position in these turbulent economic times. But don’t think that means they can kick back and catch up on their sunbathing, says France Telecom‘s finance chief Gervais Pellissier. Nor do they have time to explore unlikely mergers and acquisitions, like last year’s $40 billion hostile and ultimately failed bid for Nordic telco group TeliaSonera. This year at France Telecom, owner of the Orange brand, it’s all hands on deck for management to steer the great ship through the crisis.  “Even on an aircraft carrier, when the sea is very big, I think everybody works,” Pellissier told the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Paris.  ”When the sea is calm in the Mediterranean in the middle of summer, half of the team can tan on the sun deck,” he said. I don’t say this is what we did in 2008… but let’s say we could dedicate some time to such an operation last year that we cannot dedicate this year — it’s impossible.”