Apple MacBooks show up at HP analyst meeting

“I was at the Hewlett-Packard analyst’s meeting today and a funny Mac-related thing happened. I happened to sit right behind a four people folks from Soleil-Cross Research, three of whom were typing notes on MacBook Pros,” Arik Hesseldahl reports for BusinessWeek.

Hesseldahl reports, “Now if you’ve never been to a meeting full of Wall Street financial analysts, let me tell you this: Seeing a Mac in the room is a rare thing. It’s a PC fest, full of Windows-running Dells and Thinkpads and so on. But as you probably know, MacBook Pros stand out, prominently showing their lit Apple logo right on the lid for all to see.”

“Later during a Q-and-A session with CEO Mark Hurd, Shannon Cross asked Hurd a few questions, her MacBook Pro caught his eye. ‘That notebook you’ve got there is a challenge to us,’ he said, adding that he’d be sure to send someone down to see her later to talk about HP notebooks,” Hesseldahl reports.

Hesseldahl asked Cross about her notebook of choice, “‘My problem isn’t with HP notebooks,’ she said. ‘It’s with Microsoft.’ Concern about viruses, spyware and the many hours of lost productivity that derives from them was the reason for her choice.”

Full article, including the “arrogant comment” to Cross from the sales guy that Hurd promised to send, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Macaday” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: If HP notebooks had any style, we wouldn’t have much of a problem with them, either. The problem is the operating system. Microsoft inflicted garbage on the world and years later still does little to try to improve the situation. The operating system is not supposed to be worked on constantly by users. The operating system is supposed to serve its users invisibly. The operating system is not supposed to feel like it’s designed by some dyslexic engineer with a nasty habit of poorly copying Apple. The operating system shouldn’t require a manual for its users to accomplish the basics. The operating system is not supposed to exist in order to support a vast economy of technicians, anti-malware software houses, support staff, etc. The operating system is not supposed to waste time and energy, it’s supposed to aid its users to be as productive as they can be. It’s so nice to have an elegant, intuitive, powerful, secure, and fun – yes, fun – operating system. We want to use our computers, not fight them. With Apple’s Mac OS X, we’re lovers, not fighters.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
‘Fantastic quarter’ helps Apple double share of U.S. retail notebook market to 12% – July 19, 2006
AP: Apple’s MacBook should give makers of Windows-only notebooks nightmares – July 07, 2006
Time Magazine on Apple’s 13-inch MacBook: ‘Dell and HP should be very worried’ – June 07, 2006
InformationWeek: Apple Mac run Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux; Dell and HP should be concerned – May 01, 2006
Why buy a Dell when Apple’s Intel-based computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows? – June 08, 2005
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006

52 Comments

  1. Later on Todd Bradley, head of HP’s personal systems group, which is the group responsible for HP’s PC and notebook sales, needled Cross and her colleagues a little more, saying he “hoped to visit with you and convince you of the error of your ways.”

    Great sales pitch. I’m sure they’ll get most switchers to switch back with comments like that.

  2. ‘That notebook you’ve got there is a challenge to us,’ he said, adding that he’d be sure to send someone down to see her later to talk about HP notebooks,”

    Point 1: It’s nice to see that Apple, who for years has been classed as an also-ran by PC providers and hasn’t even been on their radar, is now classed as a ‘challenge’. How times have changed, the mighty have fallen and Apple is in the ascendence.

    Point 2: Anybody else a little perturbed by the statement, “he’d be sure to send someone down to see her”, implying that her viewpoint needed ‘correcting’ in some way. Rather Orwellian I thought.

  3. I’ve gladly just spent £2.5k on a new iMac (and various bits and bobs), I have an existing powerbook which other than being lower spec, is perfectly fine. I’m not selling the powerbook, I’m keeping it as a spare, portable, backup, whatever. There is no way in hell I would ever do that with a windows based machine. If I were forced to use one for some reason (even more unlikely with boot camp etc) I would squeeze every last second of use out of it and only buy an upgrade when it fell apart and even the I would spend as little as I could because I would view it as a waste of money for such a chore-like experience. With my Mac I am happy to pay a premium for a great experience.

  4. How about the analysts sporting Dells, Toshibas etc? Are they in for some attitude adjustment too??

    Oh, and with Macs, it’s not just what you don’t get (viruses, spyware) but what you do get (elegant OS, intuitive and integrated apps).

  5. ‘My problem isn’t with HP notebooks,’ she said. ‘It’s with Microsoft.’ Concern about viruses, spyware and the many hours of lost productivity that derives from them was the reason for her choice.”

    wake up call fallen on deaf ears

  6. Hypocritical and stupid for the HP exec. I’d guess there were other manufacturers Windows notebooks there as well. I’d venture to guess that no one approached the users of a Dell, Sony or Toshiba notebook.

  7. what i want to know is why HP execs talk like they’re in a kung-fu movie: ‘That notebook you’ve got there is a challenge to us.’ What did he say next? ‘Surely you will perish at my hands for your insolence’? Was the dubbing any good?

    and was this article written by borat? ‘I happened to sit right behind a four people folks from Soleil-Cross Research’. Four people folks? I like! High-five!

  8. Competition is good for the world. If Microsoft had a half-decent OS, I’d bet Apple woud be more attentive to user feedback, and OS X would be even better than it is now. Frankly, only external factors could influence a reverse-switch (from our perspective); Mac users are unlikely to find a compelling reason to move from Mactel to Wintel.

    What’s interesting is the behaviour of the HP execs in the meeting. I doubt if they were feeling arrogant. “Beleaguered” comes to mind; or defensive.

  9. Wonder who taught that HP talking head his “sales techniques”.

    Note to HP: Shake up your HR, Sales and Marketing departments if you want to embrace the market. And while you’re at it, get in line behind Michael Dell sucking up to The Steve just in case his Steveness decides to license even a limited version of MAC OS X .

    Rock on Steve!
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  10. gagravaar,

    “Point 2: Anybody else a little perturbed by the statement, ‘he’d be sure to send someone down to see her’, implying that her viewpoint needed ‘correcting’ in some way. Rather Orwellian I thought.”

    Besides the evident, always demonstrable reality that Windows is a very heavy business expense for all businesses, your Point Number 2 is always the straw that breaks my camel’s back. Its a very serious, and seriously handicapping attitude for businesses to continue to propagate, and I can hardly hold my tongue when it pokes it’s ugly head up.

    So yes, in the most kindest terms the statement made by the blind and stupid arrogant salesman is, as you say, a little perturbing to me.

  11. I’m confused…

    How can Apple with its allegedly miniscule market share be such a “challenge” to HP, which – depending on what your measuring and how you’re measuring – is broadly considered to be either the number 1 or number 2 manufacturer of so-called industry-standard computers globally, whilst Apple is probably at number 6 or 7.

    And here’s a potential answer: Apple’s 5% of the market is actually the 5% that makes money. Moreover, it’s the 5% of the market that’s largely comprised of free thinking, decision making quality-first types as opposed to people who bought something because it was cheap.

    Maybe it’s more worrying for HP’s (or Dell’s or Toshiba’s) senior management to see a customer lost to Macintosh because (unless or until people start performing triple toe-loops in Hell) there is no way that customer is ever coming back, whilst – if they’re merely with another Windows “partner” – you might be able to win them back with some cashback promotion or (and forgive me for thinking outside the box) being slightly more innovative than your competitor.

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