One area that helped Dell gain more marketshare the past few years was their increased receptiveness to the performance crowd. People who maybe wanted high-end machines but didn't want or couldn't build them on their own – hence their eventual purchase of Alienware.
HP might be heading down the same road, seeking to take their newly-earned number one spot and extend it even further. French computer company Bull is on the table, with HP potentially purchasing the company for $1 Billion. Not intended as desktop solutions, though, Bull's computers are aimed at much higher end projects like servers.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, the company is backing the “Itanium” processor – it is probable that HP may seek to scoop up this company in an attempts to squash out the Itanium, in favor of more easily moveable processors. Of course, this isn't confirmed yet, so things may change.