Hewlett-Packard’s traditional partners such Microsoft Corp. and Intel Inc. are turning into its competitors according to Meg Whitman, chief executive officer of HP.
In a presentation to Wall Street analysts, Whitman said HP’s high profitable markets are facing “significant disruptions.”
“Current longtime partners like Intel and Microsoft, are increasingly becoming outright competitors,” she said.
Her statements make HP one of the largest Microsoft partner to publicly fault the software company’s decision to refocus its business and begin selling hardware and directly compete with its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners. Earlier other manufacturers such as Dell, Lenovo and Acer had publicly opposed Microsoft’s move into the hardware space.
Last year, Microsoft introduced its own tablet device the Surface RT. It was designed for consumer. However, in February this year the company also unpacked the Surface Pro which is targeted at business users.
Microsoft also began signing up authorized distributors and resellers.
Both devices have not enjoyed huge sales but Microsoft last week released the second generation of the tablets which feature many improvements.
When Microsoft introduced its Surface tablets, it initially targeted consumers, but quickly moved on to the enterprise market and started signing up authorized distributors and resellers.
The company’s tablets — the Surface RT, launched a year ago, and the Surface Pro, introduced in February — haven’t broken any sales records, but the company remains bullish. It’s set to start selling second-generation models this week.
Microsoft also signed a $7.2 billion deal to acquire Finnish phone maker Nokia to drive the sales of Microsoft’s own smart phone and possibly expand its tablet line.
While Microsoft’s consumer strategy might have been fine with HP, the “commercial piece” software company’s strategy took HP “to a point where it had to say something,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst for Moorhead Insights & Strategy.
But he said it didn’t look like Whitman was “scapegoating” Microsoft.
Microsoft has declined to comment on Whitman’s remarks.