Saturday, September 13, 2008
Given that HP ships 50M pcs worldwide annually. They might just give Microsoft a very hard time. Market is changing dramatically and its just about as devious around the detours. Why is all this happening:
- Middle-class rising/New consumers are joining
- Fat PC/Desktops are dying
- Thin, smaller units are emerging
- Cloud computing will go and grow massively as demand increases, money spreads across billions of wallets and as big enterprises freeze and consolidate, newer ones open. This is what I call the Great Jar'ing! Policy makers will have to ensure that this is regulated for fair trade.
- Generational shift is happening
WEANING FROM WINDOWS?
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 (AAPL), which has gained market share in recent years by offering easy-to-use computers with its own operating system.
HP's moves come as several of Microsoft's closest partners are stepping up their support for Windows alternatives. Chipmaker Intel (INTC) is promoting Linux for a new class of mini-laptops that use its Atom microprocessor. Dell (DELL) just introduced a mini-laptop that can run Linux and may use the operating system for digital music players, according to one person familiar with the company's plans. "It's an endrun around Windows," says Rob Enderle, president of tech consultant Enderle Group.
Software maker Intuit (INTU) recently scrapped a marketing campaign for its QuickBooks accounting program built around Vista. Intuit originally planned to promote the program's compatibility with Microsoft's operating system but changed course to emphasize the product's low prices. "We had to shift our marketing this year from 'Buy the new version of QuickBooks because it's Vista-compatible,' which did nothing for us," says Intuit CEO Brad Smith. "It wasn't working for Microsoft, and it wasn't working for us." That followed investments in engineering to get the QuickBooks software that ran on the previous version of Windows ready for Vista.
At HP, there are competitive issues driving its software effort. 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.