HP said to dump Microsoft over Surface; to cozy up to Google Android for tablet efforts

“Remember when we said that Microsoft management was essentially incompetent and destroyed their partner relationships with a single WARTy Surface? We were being too kind, their largest OEM, HP, just bailed,” Charlie Demerjian reports for SemiAccurate.

“Yes, if rumors SemiAccurate hears are true, a whole flock of formerly close Microsoft partners just decided that their new best friend is now Google, Microsoft is no longer relevant to computing’s future,” Demerjian reports. “Most were debating whether or not to bother with WART (Windows on Arm RT) devices, and struggling to find a reason to do so.”

Demerjian reports, “Then Microsoft just unveiled one of the largest and most unethical industrial espionage campaigns of the last few decades, so it is no surprise that everyone is jumping ship… HP may be the first, but SemiAccurate is hearing just about every OEM out there is scrapping one or more WART designs, with most renewing Android efforts with every resource at their disposal. Microsoft’s incompetent management and Apple envy earned the enmity of their largest partner, and others are following closely.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, Karma, you bitch. You beyoooootiful bitch!

[Attribution: AppleInsider. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

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    1. From what I’ve seen, Microsoft Surface will easily wipe the floor with Android. It won’t be that difficult.

      iPad 75%, Surface 18%, Android 7%.

      If Windows wants extra cash, Excel for iOS $9.95, Word for iOS $4.95, Outlook for iOS $2.95, Power Point for iOS Free.

      1. You’re being far too generous with your Surface prediction. Unless Surface can substantially undercut iPad on price, it’s dead in the water. If Apple unleashes the iPad Mini it’s game over for everyone.

          1. The tablet market is Apple’s to lose, and I don’t think they will. I can very definitely see Apple offering a smaller tablet version to keep Android from getting any type of foothold.

            iOS, based on web use statistics, has the lead, and the smaller tablet will definitely be an internet communication device, and I believe Apple want’s to make it exceedingly difficult for any competitor to flourish in any market segment where internet connectivity and interaction is a key fundamental use.

      2. I don’t see the Surface wiping the floor with anything.

        Tablet/laptop hybrids are fail.
        Windows tablets are fail.
        Metro is fail.

        What I do see is the iPad epically wiping the floor with Android tablets, which in turn epically wipe the floor with Surface. 1% marketshare if Microsoft is miraculously lucky.

          1. they are between a rock and a hard place with office, the lock-in is failing, to not bring it out at a competitive price on the iPad (or to bring a “wounded” office al la the mac) in an effort to bolster it half ass win8 tablet efforts is likely to force the tipping point away from office. Once office fails (to maintain its “it” package stance) the entire low end windows franchise is in trouble.
            That is the problem with being in a really weak place on so many fronts, they can’t afford to use office as a crutch to bolster the tablets for fear of breaking it in half.
            Though I must admit, I kinda hope they try it 😉

          2. As long as iWork for iPad still takes MS Office docs, converts them, then converts back…. who needs office???

            Yea its a double convert but Office does not do Pages and Numbers, its a one way street. Apple can talk to Windows but not the other way around. Like Mac running Windows 7 and OSX.

            Just a thought.

      3. Surface doesn’t need to undercut the iPad on price. It’s more feature and spec-packed than any android tablet, and the worshipers of feature lists and android “does this and that” will want a full desktop OS on their tablets.

        Most people will still buy the iPad. The ones who were going to get a droid will just get surface.

          1. Loved it when they had The Social going on their Zunes and you could “Squirt” things to the other person. I think those were Ballmer’s catch words for it back then. Too damn funny.

    1. I have a Windows CE stylus keyboard stylus iPad i bought 12 or so years ago from “ONSALE.com”. Never was a software update. Only use was playing blackjack. Believe it was a Sharp brand. Passive LCD.

      If Hp were smart, they would partner with Apple as a reseller to place iPads with their enterprise clients. No one will want an Android with multiple iterations of the operating system and uncertain longevity once the lawsuits get sorted out. Make money on the integration while buying iPads at bulk rate.

      No use to manufacture another failed product. With the Android competition and Apple’s production/cost advantages, HP will loe more money on each sale than even Amazon. They might be luck to sell 2 or 3 million a year, which would lose them $30 to $40 million a year.

      Meg, think outside the box.

    1. I don’t see how Google is any more “ethical”!?! They’re doing the exact same thing with Nexus. Point is HP, Dell, Microsoft, and yes, even Google, are all desperately playing catchup.

  1. I dont see this as good for Apple. I’d rather have manufacturers limp along and struggle with windows sure-fire failure than jump on board the android bandwagon.

      1. First things last. Why doesn’t Apple fight fire with fire. Announce they are going into search and advertising. With Siri. Big time. Google’s stock would plummet. Btw I advertise with Google and Facebook. Google works. Facebook is the worst. Point is I’d love to advertise within the Apple family if that makes since. Fight back Apple! Sweep the leg.

    1. Really? Watch the lobby machine in Washington start to crank up. I am sure a strong lobby effort is already underway to force Apple to treat much of their IP on a FRAND basis.

      Yes, Yes, I know, much of what Apple has patented is not really in the arena for FRAND, but believe me, our broken system of governance outsized influence of the palm greasers is going to take over in a big big way, and Apple will be challenged through other means (anti-trust, FCPA, etc investigations) because they didn’t “play ball”.

  2. Gadfrey I don’t think I could be any more delighted and happier than I am right now! I LOVE it when Microsoft gets its ass kicked HARD and deservedly so. Especialy for doing soe incredibly stupid things. I know we don’t want this but how stupid is Bill Gates and the MS Board to let Uncle Fester continue on this destructive course for the company. The incompetence is staggering. And then the vertical/horizontal corner they’ve backed themselves into and no place to go without dire consequences is hilarious to watch.

  3. Can someone explain to me why’d they jump ship to android? Didn’t google just do the exact same thing by making their own tablet? (and now owning Motorola?) and isn’t the future of android probably a lot more unstable than windows due to patent infringements?

    Help me understand!

    1. No mention of the fact that, until quite recently, HP was already going to do their own thing in the tablet space? Remember webOS? Remember Palm? Helloooooooo?

      If HP’s shareholders aren’t screaming bloody murder over these constant flip-flops in tablet strategy, they sure oughta be.

        1. The problem with the HP tablets is that webOS is kinda weak (was an unfinished work in progress at best (and I am being kind) and is now likely a dead end) and with android loaded on them they seem to suck the batteries dry in 1/2 the time.
          Not horrible, for an around the house book/magazine reader or TV/video viewer but not really a capable mobile tablet either.
          For the $100 clearance price they were an ok deal.

          1. Managed to get out and snag two before they all told out. Played with one for a few days and then flipped it them for $230 and $250. I probably wouldn’t have made out so well but the RIM playbooks hadn’t fire sale’d yet at the time.

            Overall WebOS wasn’t bad. Much better than Android at the time- they even had more dedicated tablet format apps than android… I guess a few poor devs got duped and didn’t know to jump ship yet.

      1. Maybe so… but it just seems like Android’s future is so much riskier and it hasn’t played well in the market for tablets already, so why would an HP tablet do any different?

        I think OEM’s are screwed either way, but if I had to put my money on one OS it seems like a no brainer to me to pick Microsoft.

      2. MS is going to milk the OS & Office royalties until the free alternatives kill them simply because MS has a one track mind.

        Warren Buffett a decade back noted he wouldn’t invest in MS, because he couldn’t figure out a long term strategy for MS’s software business. I think Warren knew the essential truth.

        1. Exactly right, Microsoft CAN’T survive long term. I think even even Apple twitter-pated Ballmer knows that. Their current strategy will peter out eventually and they’re no good at figuring out anything else and are burning out bridges to partners and customers with about zero trust left or any belief they can do the job. They are really fish in a barrel, what made them strong will now also kill them. (And even Nietzsche cannot save them.)

          1. Actually I think they would have had a good chance with Windows 8, but the latest moves are doing nothing but alienating their support structure.
            MS has built it’s company on the support of the OEM’s and until now I don’t think they understood who had the real advantage in that relationship. They are also scaring the crap out of IT and business users which is the one place they have a solid foothold.
            I think you are going to see a slow consolidation of businesses go to Windows 7 as the last holdovers move from XP, but It will stall there unless MS either goes back to a more traditional desktop model or someone sneaks up on them with a viable Linux alternative.
            Unfortunately I don’t think we will ever see Apple make the big move to business or embedded systems.

            1. They won’t allow it.. According to a friend deep in the MS world, they won’t be offering Windows 7 as an enterprise option.. They want to actually ONLY offer Windows 8 and cut out XP completely… They want to avoid the XP holdover issue by killing off 7 totally and FORCING enterprise to W8..

              I line that strategy even more.. Apple is just waitin for the right moment to pull the trigger on enterprise. The business centers are prepping and even pushing a bit to enterprise ever do subtly.. The strategy is 10 years in the making and I personally see 2012/2013 as Apple’s knife to the jugular of Microsoft.. You can make quick fast moves, or let it happen naturally… A natural
              Pattern equals long term success… Look at the macro, not the micro.. Windows 8 is not a “oh crap, we should use this to our advantage kind of thing. The pieces are in place.. Microsoft just put the perfect final piece in place to execute on 10 years of planning..

            2. The only issue with Apple moving into enterprise is:
              1. Their history. They have never been able to show that they can support or satisfy IT.
              2. IT infrastructure itself. The priesthood will never let Apple in. They would quickly be out of jobs unless they intentionally put up walls to success in enterprise so that Apple products look as bad or worse then MS.

            3. I don’t think Apple has to make a big enterprise move. Business is moving to the web in a big and complete way. I’m guessing in 5 -7 years, most everything will be done through web browsers and apps.

              Will not need windows, and office will be in the cloud, which will be large installations of the “trucks” Job’s referred to. Microsoft will own the hardware / software that runs the clouds data center.
              Apple will rule the front end of the internet.

  4. Ten years ago, HP might have had a fighting chance if they’d looked to turn HP-UX into a desktop operating system, and continued to back it in the server room instead of capitulating to Windows, which they knew full well was never, and will never be up to the task of delivering on HP’s former reliability for critical infrastructure.

    HP still owns what’s left of Tandem, DEC, and Apollo. They have in the past, delivered far better products than their customers have to settle for today. Can they resurrect their capabilities and regain their reputation? Probably not, but it sure would be good to see them try.


  5. One – HP is losing a lot of money in the PC hardware business. Just months ago they were ready to spinot off or close it down. No HP made tablet is going to change that.

    Two – We know the new Google tablet is being sold at cost, althought we do not know yet about pricing, it is safe to guess there is not a lot of profit in the Surface for Microsoft. Outside of Apple the only people who can pay in the tablet game are those with deep enough pockets to see it through. Only Micrsoft and Google fit that description right now.

    Three – Sure Android is free, but almost every Android phone maker is either paying Microsoft a royalty or in court. How will this be any different for tablets? Besides as long as Microsoft is making the whole enchilada the relative cost of Android vs Windows is irrelevant.

    Bottom line – HP is more likely thrilled that Microsft is making a tablet. HP will make a mark up profit on every Surface tablet it resells to its enterprise customer base plus make money on the consulting services it provides to integrate these tablets into the enterprises that buy them. Sure HP has announced that it will not pursue an “RT” tablet, why should they? Their customers want “real Windows” and that is what HP and MS are going to give them. Everyone is happy.

    The same scenario is true for IBM, except that they had the sense to get out of the PC hardware business sometime back.

    The only companies affected by the Surface announcement are those Microsoft partners who are hardware only players. And given the health of that industry Microsoft is not worried about upsetting them (hey, Dell’s response to Microsoft’s Surface announcement was to spend $2.4 billion on an enterprise software company, expect to see Dell in line to be a major reseller of Surface tablets right next to HP and IBM).

    It is a post PC world, people writing articles like the one cited here have got to stop thinking in terms of PC era market dynamics.

    1. Wrong. HP won’t make any money on selling Surface tablets because it won’t sell enough to cover development costs. Businesses, including HP’s customers, are already buying and integrating iPads, and since Microsoft has no apps yet for its no-release-date Surface tablets or Windows RT (remember, normal Windows 8 apps won’t work on Windows RT), why would a business buy an HP tablet?

  6. Bad move for HP. This is just more evidence that they are generally incompetent and have no connection to the future of computers beyond the desktop and printers, and even that is up for debate. Unless your name is Samsung, no one yet has come close to making a compelling Android tablet, and Apple is doing their damnedest to litigate it out of existence. HP Android tablets will sell as well as their previous tablet experiment, pre fire sale that is. That is not to say that Win RT will fare much better, but to throw yourself behind a product that has proven it cannot compete in the current iPad market just because you are miffed that MS is making a tablet doesn’t show much forethought on the side of HP. I believe that Win Rt represents the last credible contender to the iPad, and there will be a viable reasons for someone to choose an RT tablet over a Win8 Pro tablet. Size, price, and battery life are just a few of those reasons that spring to mind. Windows Surface will be restricted enough in the sales channel that it would not be an overwhelming competitor to any of MS’s channel partners. HP and others need to take a chill and just concentrate on delivering consumers the best tablet experience out there. The only problem with that is, the last time I checked, Apple doesn’t license their OS any more.

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