Shattered Windows: HP tries putting lipstick on Windows Vista pig; working on own Linux-based OS

“The ecosystem that Microsoft has built up around its Windows operating system is showing signs of strain. In one of several recent moves by partners that sell or support the company’s software, Hewlett-Packard, the world’s No. 1 PC maker, has quietly assembled a group of engineers to develop software that will let customers bypass certain features of Vista, the latest version of Windows. Employees on a separate skunk works team are even angling to replace Windows with an HP-assembled operating system, say three sources close to the company,” Aaron Ricadela reports for BusinessWeek.

“‘Our customers are looking for insanely simple technology where they don’t have to fight with the technology to get the task done,’ says Phil McKinney, chief technology officer in HP’s PC division,” Ricadela reports. “McKinney says any discussions about building an operating system to rival Windows are happening below senior-management levels. He doesn’t deny some employees may have had such conversations, but he says HP isn’t devoting substantial resources to such projects. ‘Is HP funding a huge R&D team to go off and create an operating system? [That] makes no sense,’ he says. ‘For us it’s about innovating on top of Vista.'”

“Still, the sources say employees in HP’s PC division are exploring the possibility of building a mass-market operating system. HP’s software would be based on Linux, the open-source operating system that is already widely available, but it would be simpler and easier for mainstream users, the sources say. The goal may be to make HP less dependent on Windows and to strengthen HP’s hand against Apple, which has gained market share in recent years by offering easy-to-use computers with its own operating system,” Ricadela reports.

“One person who has advised HP executives on strategy says they are concerned that Apple could develop a notebook computer that would sell for less than $1,000. That’s a fast-growing market HP depends on for sales where Apple has yet to compete. “Apple is a huge motivating factor,” says the source,” Ricadela reports.

Full article here.

Rigid churros, indeed.


  1. “The goal may be to make HP less dependent on Windows . . .”

    That’s just silly. The next groundbreaking and more funner version of Windows is only 3 to 5 to 10 to 15 years away. And then another and then . . .

  2. I could do well, but if people move away from Windows, they tend to go to the Mac, but that may be because the Mac is easier to use than Linux. If HP make a Linux based OS for their hardware, things could get interesting.

    I say go for it HP, as I can’t see Windows getting better anytime soon. It is good a business strategy preparing the company for a world with out Windows.

  3. New MacBooks starting at 929.99- sounds good and is below the 1000.00 mark. Yea, can dream.

    Just improve in small amounts and look what happens. The market starts to strain as a market moves. Then large almost unchangable starts to change. Good sign, more innovation and perhaps even cheaper prices.

    Microsoft, get ready to photocopy- Apple makes things simple, elegant, and steadly….. Whoooooooooa, copy is broken now?!

  4. Windows COULD get better, but it won’t. What they need to do to Windows is a ground-up complete rewrite that breaks backward compatibility. They’re convinced that no one will buy Windows if it won’t run a 12 year old character-based version of Zork III, and that’s not true.

    But it really doesn’t matter, does it?

  5. “Hewlett-Packard, the world’s No. 1 PC maker, has quietly assembled a group of engineers to develop software that will let customers bypass certain features of Vista…”

    Too bad ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

    Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  6. Seems to me the perfect storm is brewing for Microsoft to start to die. iPhones and Macs are working their way into the enterprise. I work for a NASDAQ traded company with a global reach, 2000+ employees and iPhones are popping up everywhere. And, shocker, Macs are starting too as well. Google releases Chrome. Windows box assemblers (HP, Dell, etc.) are getting tired of waiting on Microsoft and are starting to put in place little ways to work around/independent of Windows. How long before they do what HP is talking about in this article? Vista uptake continues to lag, MS is putting out ads with old white guys that make no sense. Applications are moving to the cloud, whether it be through Google or something else. If functionality can all be there, without the headaches, what is my compelling reason for ever buying Windows? The fat lady is polishing the horns on her Viking helmet…

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