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  1. ray1b's Avatar
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    How could Steve Ballmer screw up Microsoft's HP partnership? | Companies News - Betanews

    Somewhere, in an alternate universe, Microsoft did the right thing: Bought Palm instead of cut a deal with Nokia. But in this reality, Microsoft screwed up, not just by letting Palm go but clearing way for HP to make the acquisition. Now HP, Microsoft's strongest OEM partner, is turncoat, planning to put WebOS on every HP PC by 2012. It's simply unthinkable.

    Just 11 months ago, HP revealed plans to buy Palm for $1.2 billion -- a pittance if just to get WebOS. Four months earlier I gave "10 reasons why Microsoft should buy Palm now." But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his top executives let Palm get away. (Hey, I gave good advice -- for free!) Ballmer was willing to spend $44 billion for Yahoo just a few years ago, and Nokia will reportedly receive $1 billion from Microsoft as part of the Windows Phone OS distribution deal. Palm was a garage sale, by comparison.

    Palm didn't feel like a good fit for HP in April 2010, and I'm not seeing the love even today. While HP has a thriving consumer business, it's much more an enterprise company. Palm had become consumer, led by a creative management team (Microsoft culture is more analytical). There's something not right in the merged DNA. But it was a shotgun wedding, with HP desperately needing something to jumpstart its sagging mobile strategy. That HP would sell WebOS smartphones or tablets is a no-brainer. But this move into PCs is something else.

    HP isn't replacing Windows -- yet -- but will offer WebOS, too. The plan is for Windows to still be primary operating system. But for how long? There would be many HP business, customer and developer benefits to offering a single platform on multiple devices. Then there is the question "To whom?" Given HP's legacy, the enterprise is a more compelling target market than consumers. Microsoft shouldn't want any customer, enterprises in particular, to buy a PC with competing operating system from a company with as reliable brand as HP.

    Competitively, Microsoft must exercise caution. The company is still under extended government oversight stemming from its 2001-02 antitrust settlement. Among the complaints in the original lawsuit: Microsoft cutting different deals with OEM partners that rewarded some for their loyalty and punished others for not abiding by Microsoft's rules. In an earlier antitrust case, settled in 1995, Microsoft got into heaps of trouble for charging OEMs for Windows even if they shipped a competing operating system instead. Under terms of the newer settlement, Microsoft must offer all PC partners the same basic licensing deals; there's not much room for charging HP less as incentive to just do Windows or to add on fees for disloyalty. Microsoft's options are limited, if it wants to ever escape from government oversight.

    Microsoft has made some colossal mistakes under Steve Ballmer's 11-year tenure as CEO. I predict HP will rank up there with:

    Screwing up the smartphone OS strategy
    Losing Microsoft's tablet lead to Apple (soon Android, too)
    Running aground Cairo and Windows Longhorn development
    Botching Windows Vista development and launch (there was no "wow")

    HP is the world's No. 1 PC manufacturer, based on shipments, according to Gartner and IDC. If HP's WebOS strategy plays out -- and surely that means someday shipping only its OS rather than paying Windows license fees -- Microsoft will lose revenues and its most important strategic partner. Stated differently: An important partner will become a competitor.

    Steve Ballmer, how did you let it come to this?
  2. #2  
    Windows would have spent $1.2B (or more, maybe HP was willing to spend more if Microsoft was more aggressive) to do what with it? Sit on it? By the time Palm was up for sale WP7 was clearly under way at a large expense to Microsoft. I would imagine building their OS from the ground up in house made a lot more sense considering their services like Zune and XBOX. HP had no real mobile strategy, and was not heavily invested to it like Microsoft.

    If Microsoft had bought Palm, they still do not manufacture hardware, and it is at least conceivable the Nokia/Microsoft wedding would have happened anyway.

    Losing Microsoft's tablet lead to Apple? What are you talking about? What successful or quasi successful product did Microsoft release that everyone is catching up to?

    Also, it is a fallacy to always pin failure on the CEO. Do they have responsibility? YES. But does Steve Jobs deserve ALL of the credit for the iPhone? No. There are many many many talented people working on all of those products.
  3. #3  
    I agree that MS should not like this WebOS deal with HP. HP is their largest and best parter and to loose them could spell trouble for MS. Not good.
  4. cgk
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    #4  
    Let come back to reality a bit:

    Let's take a nice deep breath, boil a cup of soothing tea, and remember that Microsoft's position in the operating-system market is deeply entrenched. The latest Net Applications data pegs Windows' market-share at 89.69 percent. By comparison, and despite its position as America's arguably most white-hot company (aside from Facebook), Apple's hold on that market totals 5.19 percent (its iOS franchise holds 1.81 percent of that same market, if you aggregate PC operating systems in with mobile ones).

    Even if HP manages to execute on its plan to bring webOS to all its PCs, and even if it persuades developers to design a massive portfolio of useful and fun applications for the platform, and even if consumers and IT pros overcome any natural hesitation in embracing new and relatively unknown, and even if webOS manages to integrate a whole host of legacy applications without requiring users to switch over to Windows, it's unlikely that it'll erode Microsoft's market-share in any appreciable way, especially considering that HP is keeping the Windows option as a dual-boot.
    Microsoft Watch - Windows 7 - HP webOS Decision Not Exactly Doom for Microsoft
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    I realize it won't nec hurt their market share, but that doesn't mean Microsoft should feel all snug and warm when they might loose their largest OEM partner.
  6. cgk
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by astraith View Post
    I realize it won't nec hurt their market share, but that doesn't mean Microsoft should feel all snug and warm when they might loose their largest OEM partner.
    Sorry, that wasn't a dig at you or anyone on this thread but reading some of the commentary in this forum you'd think Windows was about to disappear in two years.
  7. #7  
    Microsoft won't touch anything Linux-based with a ten foot pole.

    I won't call the HP-MS relationship in jeopardy until HP starts shipping PCs that only boot webOS, and that won't happen for a very long time. All of HP's PC customers run Windows, and it's notoriously difficult to get Windows users to switch. HP's push for cloud storage might make it easier for Windows users to transition, but people still have a lot of money invested in Windows-exclusive programs.

    When HP starts shipping just one webOS-exclusive PC, that is when Microsoft should worry. For now, it sounds like HP is one of Microsoft's biggest partners on Windows 8.

    -- Sent from my Palm Pre using Forums
  8. #8  
    oh?
    Xenix
  9. #10  
    There is more going on here than it seems readily apparent, I believe.

    MS should have bought Palm, IMO - because, if they did, they would have been able to integrate WebOS with WIndows and ventured clearly into the tablet market, which COULD wind up being a new computing formfactor that they werent really prepared for - by now, you'd have seen an MS-WebOS tablet in the market, undeniably - they need to keep thier OS software leadership in tact for any/all desktop systems, and the tablets have fallen squarely into that.

    The whole Linux/MS thing is BS - its all about money and control of your desktop, and this new sector has Apples footprints all over it, but, its still young, so, leadership, in the long term, is still undecided, technically.

    I believe, strongly, that HP will try to establish WebOS as its OS for tablets and "mid size portable" computing devices, which all interconnect and work together seamlessly with thier printers, smartphones, plotters, and, yes, darn it, toasters and refrigerators (sorry, I just HAD to..)

    Does this hurt MS? Perhaps, to a small degree, but, remember, clearly, 90% of the worlds real workstations, cheap and expensive, are Windows based - that wont change with a tablet sector - thats a new market, and people, much less enterprises, wont be dumping realy desktop workstations for a low powered tablet, with less functionality.

    Tablets will work in conjunction with desktop workstations in business and consumer's homes, and that's HP's bet. MS would like to have been a huge part of that party, and are trying now with their tablet version of Windows 7, but, could likely have streamlined that with a Palm buyout a year ago.. but didnt.

    They are just one of a long list of companies that could have benefitted greatly by buying Palm.. HP got a bargain, IMO - now, they have to show just how much they are willing to put those savings to work to get market share - they need to get out of their own way, think outside the box, and let WebOS become what it needs to be.

    IMO, of course.
    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how little I really do know!" -Albert Einstein

  10. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by LCGuy View Post
    There is more going on here than it seems readily apparent, I believe.

    MS should have bought Palm, IMO - because, if they did, they would have been able to integrate WebOS with WIndows and ventured clearly into the tablet market, which COULD wind up being a new computing formfactor that they werent really prepared for - by now, you'd have seen an MS-WebOS tablet in the market, undeniably - they need to keep thier OS software leadership in tact for any/all desktop systems, and the tablets have fallen squarely into that.

    The whole Linux/MS thing is BS - its all about money and control of your desktop, and this new sector has Apples footprints all over it, but, its still young, so, leadership, in the long term, is still undecided, technically.

    I believe, strongly, that HP will try to establish WebOS as its OS for tablets and "mid size portable" computing devices, which all interconnect and work together seamlessly with thier printers, smartphones, plotters, and, yes, darn it, toasters and refrigerators (sorry, I just HAD to..)

    Does this hurt MS? Perhaps, to a small degree, but, remember, clearly, 90% of the worlds real workstations, cheap and expensive, are Windows based - that wont change with a tablet sector - thats a new market, and people, much less enterprises, wont be dumping realy desktop workstations for a low powered tablet, with less functionality.

    Tablets will work in conjunction with desktop workstations in business and consumer's homes, and that's HP's bet. MS would like to have been a huge part of that party, and are trying now with their tablet version of Windows 7, but, could likely have streamlined that with a Palm buyout a year ago.. but didnt.

    They are just one of a long list of companies that could have benefitted greatly by buying Palm.. HP got a bargain, IMO - now, they have to show just how much they are willing to put those savings to work to get market share - they need to get out of their own way, think outside the box, and let WebOS become what it needs to be.

    IMO, of course.
    Mac's enterprise sales are growing a lot because of the iOS success. Doesn't seems crazy something similar happening in the webOS world.

    -- Sent from my Palm Pre using Forums
    Newness Developments apps:

  11. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by LCGuy View Post
    There is more going on here than it seems readily apparent, I believe.

    MS should have bought Palm, IMO - because, if they did, they would have been able to integrate WebOS with WIndows and ventured clearly into the tablet market, which COULD wind up being a new computing formfactor that they werent really prepared for - by now, you'd have seen an MS-WebOS tablet in the market, undeniably - they need to keep thier OS software leadership in tact for any/all desktop systems, and the tablets have fallen squarely into that.

    The whole Linux/MS thing is BS - its all about money and control of your desktop, and this new sector has Apples footprints all over it, but, its still young, so, leadership, in the long term, is still undecided, technically.

    I believe, strongly, that HP will try to establish WebOS as its OS for tablets and "mid size portable" computing devices, which all interconnect and work together seamlessly with thier printers, smartphones, plotters, and, yes, darn it, toasters and refrigerators (sorry, I just HAD to..)

    Does this hurt MS? Perhaps, to a small degree, but, remember, clearly, 90% of the worlds real workstations, cheap and expensive, are Windows based - that wont change with a tablet sector - thats a new market, and people, much less enterprises, wont be dumping realy desktop workstations for a low powered tablet, with less functionality.

    Tablets will work in conjunction with desktop workstations in business and consumer's homes, and that's HP's bet. MS would like to have been a huge part of that party, and are trying now with their tablet version of Windows 7, but, could likely have streamlined that with a Palm buyout a year ago.. but didnt.

    They are just one of a long list of companies that could have benefitted greatly by buying Palm.. HP got a bargain, IMO - now, they have to show just how much they are willing to put those savings to work to get market share - they need to get out of their own way, think outside the box, and let WebOS become what it needs to be.

    IMO, of course.
    I think RIM should have bought Palm, and busted out all these keyboard webOS with BBM on them....

    BBos is dead, QNX is ok, but webOS would have been great for RIM IMO....
  12. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    Sorry, that wasn't a dig at you or anyone on this thread but reading some of the commentary in this forum you'd think Windows was about to disappear in two years.
    No need to apologize. I did not take offense.


    Quote Originally Posted by rsanchez1 View Post
    Microsoft won't touch anything Linux-based with a ten foot pole.

    I won't call the HP-MS relationship in jeopardy until HP starts shipping PCs that only boot webOS, and that won't happen for a very long time. All of HP's PC customers run Windows, and it's notoriously difficult to get Windows users to switch. HP's push for cloud storage might make it easier for Windows users to transition, but people still have a lot of money invested in Windows-exclusive programs.

    When HP starts shipping just one webOS-exclusive PC, that is when Microsoft should worry. For now, it sounds like HP is one of Microsoft's biggest partners on Windows 8.

    -- Sent from my Palm Pre using Forums
    HP doesn't want to put all their egg's in one basket. But if they are planning dual booting, the logical next step is to release WebOS only PC's. But if WebOS would be some sort of overlay over Windows, then MS has nothing to worry about. It just depends on what HP is planning on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    oh?
    Xenix
    That is Unix. Although Linux is based off of Unix, it is not exactly the same thing. And considering that Xenix is not open source and open source is the life blood of the Linux community, Xenix is not Linux.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vyruz Reaper View Post
    I think RIM should have bought Palm, and busted out all these keyboard webOS with BBM on them....

    BBos is dead, QNX is ok, but webOS would have been great for RIM IMO....
    I agree.

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