Tech news and analyst channels are a-twitter after the news that HP Chairman Ray Lane is stepping down, along with two other directors. Meanwhile, Dell’s efforts to take itself private have spawned a series of “he-said/they-said” exchanges via news outlets regarding company value, strategy and direction. And Microsoft is, once again, being considered irrelevant by media outlets because of the decline in sales growth for traditional PCs and its perceived lack of significant growth with Win8, Windows Phone and the Surface hardware line.

It’s gotten to the point where, over coffee this morning, one otherwise-sane CIO asked me if his firm should stop buying anything from any of these Master Brands. He doesn’t want to commit significant money to firms that, as he understands it, “could be out of business in a few years.”

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