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As it looks to rebound after years of slumping performance, old-guard Silicon Valley firm Hewlett-Packard reportedly held talks with relative newcomers Apple and Google in recent months to create a new type of "Enterprise Siri" system that would allow its corporate customers to search their document and data troves using their voice.
While talks with Google continue to plod along, Apple is said to have broken off discussions — Â which were to include a "broader partnership" — following the consummation of its landmark enterprise agreement with HP archrival IBM. Word of the negotiations was reported by Amir Efrati and Jessica Lessin of The Information.
Google is looking to expand the reach of Google Now, its own voice-activated search system. The company has faced unsure footing as it pitches enterprise clients thanks to Google Now's lack of integration with third-party systems, something HP might be able to help with.
HP, meanwhile, has also sought Google's help in building enterprise-friendly mobile phones based on Android. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company is said to have pitched an enterprise-focused "Nexus" handset and new, military-specification encryption hardware but was rebuffed by former Android boss Andy Rubin.
With no agreement in place with either Apple or Google, HP is believed to have turned to longtime partner Microsoft for help in building its new voice search product. The companies will likely look to integrate voice recognition technology from Nuance, which also powers Siri, and data warehousing and management solutions from HP units Vertica and Autonomy.
HP and Apple share a long history together. Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs was given a summer internship as a teenager by legendary HP cofounder Bill Hewlett, and Apple's new "spaceship" headquarters will sit on land that previously served as HP's corporate campus.