Nothing more than the comments on thenextweb need to be looked at. It shows just how polarised people are, especially after the Samsung trial. People are willing to let companies like HP slide because “Apple stole from Xerox”.
I think the Xerox story is completely different. First, the landscape of computing was very different then – homes didn’t have personal computers in them yet. Second, Steve Jobs & his engineers saw prototyped hardware (e.g. the mouse) and software (a proper OS) at Xerox. He then went back to Apple with these ideas and got engineers to work hard on solving problems around these and building a box for the masses. This wasn’t what Xerox was doing. They were basically doing R&D for business – not product development. An even better argument against the “Apple copied Xerox” claim is that Xerox sued Apple and lost.
If HP had designed an all-in-one PC (which they have done in the past) that was nice, slick and well thought out design then no one would care. The difference here is that it’s so blatantly obvious that they did everything they could to make an “iMac for the PC world”, with very similar designs across the board (the way the rear mount works, the way the display is designed and positioning of the logo, the aluminium with white chicklet keys keyboard, the trackpad, etc.). HP is a company I always admired. They had slick designs, good ethos and didn’t load PC’s with crap. Now it appears they’re in the copycat game for the sake of it. This turns them from a premium brand into the Aldi of computing. They’re fine, but not as good as the original article.
Even more obvious here is the fact that their Envy series of laptops is also a carbon copy of the Mac laptop range. Their designers will claim originality and say the design is too obvious to be a copyright infringement, but jesus, their devices didn’t look a thing like Macs until Apple did what they did, and now the HP line is slowly starting to ape that.
Even more worrisome is that the HP clones aren’t even attractive. If you’re going to rip someone off, at least improve your iteration.