Agilent came from HP, really

-March 18, 2009

The headline of this posting may sound absurd to anyone who has used test equipment for more than just the last few years. If you read Test & Measurement World, you probably have some test equipment with an HP logo and you use that equipment every day. But, Agilent split from HP ten years ago, and there’s a crop of young engineers who’ve grown up with Agilent equipment but not necessarily with HP equipment. To them, HP has always been a computer company.

This revelation came to me yesterday while working with several graduate students for our May cover story. I mentioned an HP meter to one of the students by saying "It was manufactured by HP prior to the formation of Agilent."

This caught a 24-year-old grad student by surprise. "You mean Agilent used to be HP?" he said wide-eyed. I explained to him that HP actually started as a test equipment company and split off the business into Agilent in 1999. The student replied "That explains why we have a box in the lab that says HP on it. Now I get it."

He really needs to read Bill & Dave.

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