Hewlett Packard chief executive Meg Whitman tossed out a big bomb today when she was talking to Wall Street analysts about HP’s multi-year outlook and its attempts to turn itself around.
HP has seen big dips in quarterly performance in both May and August, and now Whitman is starting to blame HP’s growth problems on Microsoft and Intel. That’s a tectonic shift in the PC ecosystem, as HP, Microsoft, and Intel have historically been joined at the hip. But as the center of the gravity in the industry shifts to new devices (tablets and smartphones) and new operating systems, such as Android, the alliance is getting weaker.
“HP’s traditional highly profitable markets face significant disruption,” she said at the analyst meeting on Wednesday. “Wintel devices are being challenged by ARM-based devices. We are seeing profound changes in the competitive landscape. Current partners like Intel and Microsoft are turning from partners to outright competitors.”
HP, in turn, is tying itself close to rivals such as Google. That’s why HP is creating a new Chromebook based on Google’s ChromeOS.
Microsoft has angered partners like HP by creating its Surface family of tablets that compete with HP’s products. Microsoft also loaned HP’s rival Dell $2 billion as part of its bid to go private, and now it has bought Nokia’s phone business for $7 billion. Intel is launching its own efforts in cloud computing, computer security, and a rumored set-top box as well.
“Whitman didn’t mince words when she called out Intel and Microsoft as competitors,” said Patrick Moorhead, analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “Intel is arming server original device manufacturers (ODMs) like Quanta with technology to compete with HP’s servers. Microsoft is competing head to head with HP with their Surface line and with Azure-based cloud services. As a result, HP is embracing Android, Chrome OS, OpenStack, and system-on-a-chip solutions (SOCs) from Nvidia, Rockchip, Applied Micro, Calxeda, TI, and SRC.”