In what is clearly a sign that Microsoft’s new strategy as a devices and services company is making industry stalwarts nervous, HP CEO, Meg Whitman declared that the company was now an “outright competitor” in the computing space.
The comments came just months after HP, once the top PC maker, announced that revenues for its personal computing business dipped 20%. According to Business Insider, Whitman’s indictment of Microsoft came during discussions about why HP’s PC business wouldn’t see growth during 2014.
“HP’s traditional highly profitable markets face significant disruption. Wintel devices are being challenged by ARM-based devices. … We are seeing profound changes in the competitive landscape. … Current partners like Intel and Microsoft are turning from partners to outright competitors.”
It’s interesting that HP believes that Microsoft’s efforts are negatively affecting its PC business’s bottom-line. While Microsoft’s Surface RT and Surface Pro are well known to technology enthusiasts, neither are showing signs that they’re catching on with every day consumers in a meaningful way. If anything, Microsoft’s $900 million Surface write down proves this.
Regardless, it seems like HP has decided to partner up with other companies to compete against its new rivals. Just this week the company announced a new HP notebook running Google’s Chrome operating system. It’s partnered with Google to release a modest stable of tablets running Google’s Android operating system too.
One thing is for sure, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be backing down from its new devices and services strategy. The company is gearing up to refresh the Surface line with the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 later this month, and it has already announced an outright buyout of Nokia’s devices and services business.
With Microsoft manufacturing its own tablets and smartphones, there’s not really a market left for HP and Microsoft to partner up for.