This is what we’ve been waiting for, like Stanley Cup final, a Manchester football derby or a long-anticipated heavyweight prize fight: Hewlett-Packard Co. is drawing a consumerization line in the sand with an all-out Windows 8 assault on Apple Inc.’s territory.
HP’s Matt Smith says it will “be disruptive” to the balance between Microsoft and Apple. And Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer has chimed in, saying Apple will have to defend its territory on all fronts.
It’s a showdown that’s long overdue. Microsoft may be late to the table with a credible offering across all three screens, but the company has a history of being a slow learning, then dominating the space it had ignored (just ask Netscape).
HP now has an OEM OS that can credibly take on Apple in Windows 8. But the company had that two years ago in webOS, acquired through its now pointless purchase of Palm Inc. WebOS had similar (if not better) functionality to Microsoft’s mobile offerings at the time. Given years of development instead of vacillation and marketing neglect, HP could have had a tablet to rival the iPad a year ago. The mobile landscape would look very different right now.
The conspiracy-mongers among us might see the killing of webOS as a sop or favour to Microsoft. I’ll settle for “fortunate coincidence.” Read the full article.