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Despite Oracle mud-slinging, Autonomy shareholder cold feet, and a change of personnel at the top of HP, Leo Apotheker’s planned takeover of Cambridge-based Autonomy finally went through yesterday. With Oracle (a software company, and one-time partner) embracing the appliance model to wrap hardware and software, Apotheker’s bold plan to move HP (a hardware company) in the direction of software and services will come under ever-closer scrutiny. A broadly similar approach worked for IBM and sees Big Blue once more ascendant, but that is no guarantee that HP can share that success.