Conflict with HP?
The nature of proposals submitted to apply for an IEEE Milestone has evolved along the years become more relaxed over time.
Very remarkable technical achievements have been awarded, such as Volta’s Electric Battery, just to quote one out of many of them available. But also a book (1751 Franklin’s one), a set of equations (Maxwell’s one), or even some kind of software package (SPICE) have also been passed in order to win such a meritorious distinction.
In addition, it has become a common place for this Committee to recognize some historic sites where something extraordinary has been probed to happen. That is the case of Menlo Park Labs, West Orange Labs, Marconi’s House at Pontecchio, Bletchley Park, MIT Radio Lab, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, etc. Without any doubt, all of them are very focused sites where outstanding contributions were carried out.
The question now is whether going one step forward and takes into account not only a site but also a region is the most convenient move. It is not, for sure, a trivial thing. What kind of consequences can such a decision has? Does it mean that absolutely everything (companies, labs, people, etc.) that stood and still stands on that region has been or still is extraordinary in terms of technical progress and advance for the humanity? Does it mean that HP, Google, Apple, Oracle, and so many other well and not so well known companies, which have not still applied for any Milestone, would be also awarded? Or, more formally, shouldn’t all companies and people inside such a region have agreed on the application for the Milestone? I am not sure about the answers.
Anyway, what I might see very reasonable is to award the very first company established in a valley of California that later became such a renowned worldwide brand as “Silicon Valley”. But not award the valley itself.