“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.