deadeyefred writes: HP's new CEO, Meg Whitman, has a number of issues to deal with to right the ship and put the company on a growth track again. Instead of massive changes to its organization and product line, could $4.5 billion in open source investments do the trick? An argument might be made that HP could boost its competitiveness by putting half of its R&D budget ($1.5 billion a year) into projects like Xen.org, Android and OpenStack. It would still be less than half what HP is paying for Autonomy and allow it to focus on solving problems rather than protecting proprietary product lines and fiefdoms. Certainly, they couldn't do worse than they've been doing at HP.