as HP learned they had to compete on price, which they weren't that good at.

HP used Canon engines with an agreement that Canon would not make an HP compatible printer. HP developed an almost total monopoly on laser printers. All others were avoided by buyers because of need for special drivers, etc. for Canon printers in paticular.

Canon came out with a new high resolution engine and demonstrated it to HP. They said, "We will supply this engine to you provided you release us from the no compatible clause - otherwise, you can't have it at all".

The "HP Only" aura started to fade, and by the LJ 5 the playing field was almost level.