Top HP exec slams the high tech press

Todd Bradley, worldwide lead for HP’s PSG group, took what I believe were some unnecessary shots at the high tech media.

Bradley said that six years ago the IT press suggested HP take IBM’s lead and dump the PC business to a foreign company. I think its unfair to paint the entire IT press with the same brush. Was that story out there? Sure, but I can tell you it wasn’t my viewpoint. I did not think, from a channel perspective, it was a wise move on the part of IBM since it had built a loyal base of channel partners who wanted to continue servicing customers with IBM technology. Selling to Lenovo created a variable that IBM channel partners had to deal with and it challenged them greatly.

I would never tell an executive how to run its business. That’s just my style as a reporter. I know that other press professionals do that and I think its all fine.

If Bradley had a problem with those statements then he should have singled out those reporters or pundits who made those statements six years ago and not generalize that every high tech reporter had that viewpoint.

Bradley, who was being interviewed by a channel partner on the main stage at HP’s Americas Partner Conference in Las Vegas, continued to criticized the high tech press for claiming that Apple has won the tablet war. I too have seen those clips and they come from fans of Apple or independent bloggers who don’t attend conferences like this one and get their information mostly from Apple directly.

To his point there are 46 tablets in the market today and at CES 93 were announced. That’s a lot of competition for Apple and HP. Only a fool would say that the tablet battle is over and Apple has won. I think Apple has a serious pricing issues with the iPad and vendors such as HP, RIM, Samsung and many others know that and will exploit it.

Bradley said the tablet market is not a sprint, but a marathon and he’s right.

I’ve interviewed Bradley a couple of times as part of media briefings and in my opinion he’s crusty with the press and that’s OK. He doesn’t have to mirror the style of a John Chambers of Cisco or Steve Ballmer of Microsoft. But as a leader of one of biggest, more high profile technology vendors in the industry he should be fair.

One quick hit before I go. Robert Franner, a colleague and friend of mine for more than 20 years, lost his battle with cancer last week. Franner was the editor of MarketNews and he was one of the funniest, most engaging characters I have ever met. He called me PocketWOP and while some may view that as offensive towards short people and Italian-Canadians I looked at it as a term of endearment. The thing that I remember most about him is that he looked at his job as having fun. I was lucky to have known him.

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