HP files lawsuit against Microsoft, and considers abandoning Windows all together !

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Rybold, Nov 22, 2008.


Do you think the disappointment of the world with Vista has ruined Microsoft?

  1. Yes, every empire falls. Vista was the beginning.

    37 vote(s)
  2. No, Microsoft will release products next year that will blow us away!

    14 vote(s)
  3. I love Vista! I'm a Ballmer Fanboy!

    1 vote(s)
  1. Rybold macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2008
    California, USA
    Hewlett Packard (HP) has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and is considering abandoning Windows all together. HP would develop their own software for their PCs. I'm sure Steve Jobs just loves seeing Microsoft in the begger's position. :D


    Try the above link first. Only if the link does not work for some reason, then I posted the text of the article below.
    FORBES -
    Microsoft: Don't Mess With HP
    Brian Caulfield, 11.21.08, 06:00 PM EST
    Angry e-mails from HP to Microsoft could explain HP's skunk works project to build its own consumer interface.

    Watch your back, Monkey Boy. You may have messed with the wrong bunch of PC builders.

    A court filing unsealed Thursday as part of a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) revealed that Hewlett-Packard (nyse: HPQ - news - people ) Chief Executive Mark Hurd e-mailed Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer to complain about HP's "call lines being overrun," with customers struggling to upgrade to Vista. "I'm sure you're aware of this," Hurd added. The full text of the e-mail has not yet been released, but Hurd's complaints to Ballmer are the latest signs of escalating tensions between HP and Microsoft caused by the launch of Windows Vista in 2007.

    The lawsuit accuses Microsoft of slapping labels on PCs that said the machines were Vista-capable when they didn't have the processing power needed to run some of the operating system's most touted features.

    E-mails released Nov. 14 as part of the case show Richard Walker, the head of HP's PC business, hinting at the customer trouble to come in a Feb, 1, 2006, e-mail to Ballmer and other members of Microsoft's management team. "I hope this incident isn't a foretaste of the relationship I will have with Microsoft going forward, but I can tell you that it's left a very bad taste," Walker wrote. "The decision you have made has taken away an investment we made consciously for competitive advantage knowing that some players would choose not to."

    That e-mail triggered panic at Microsoft. Jim Allchin, then co-president of Microsoft's platforms and services division, quickly sent a follow-up note to Ballmer. "I am beyond being upset here," he wrote. Ballmer pointed the finger at Will Poole, then corporate vice president for client business, which is responsible for the Windows operating system. "I had nothing to do with this," Ballmer wrote. "Will [Poole] handled everything. ... You better get Will under control." Poole scrambled to repair the damage. "Jim [Allchin] is rightly upset that hp went non-linear after having intel break explicit agreement with me and tell them of the new plan b4 we could explain and mitigate," Poole wrote in a note to Ballmer and other Microsoft executives on Feb. 3, 2006. "I have that under control with hp, for now, but was very painful. Some vp at intel is to blame, we don't know who yet."

    Ballmer's e-mail response: "Great by me but Jim [Alchin] is apoplectic. I know nothing of the details, please advise." Allchin retired from Microsoft in January 2007. Poole later moved to Microsoft's Unlimited Potential group, dedicated to closing the "digital divide," before leaving Microsoft earlier this year.

    And while practically everyone associated with Vista at Microsoft is now gone, Walker remains at HP. And in in a twist worthy of The Sopranos, Walker has assembled a group dedicated to putting its own stamp on the Vista operating system.

    HP's Customer Experience group, led by Susie Wee, has quietly put it ahead of Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ), by some measures, at incorporating new elements such as touch sensitivity into computer interfaces (see "Fixing Vista").

    The $1,149 HP TouchSmart tx2 Notebook PC, launched this week, is the latest result of that effort. It puts the touch-screen interface HP developed for its TouchSmart line of PCs onto a notebook computer. Many had expected that Apple would release a notebook with a touch-sensitive screen first. Instead, Apple incorporated the multitouch gestures used on the iPhone into its notebooks' track pads.

    The moves hint that HP could bring some of its research muscle to bear on PC software. The company has plenty of operating-system expertise, selling machines running Linux, Windows and a number of its own operating systems, including HP-UX, OpenVMS and NonStop.

    If HP wanted to, it could easily slap its whizzy touch-sensitive interface onto Linux or even a proprietary operating system. And with its lion's share of the worldwide PC market, such an offering would be an instant threat to Microsoft. It would also protect HP from having to compete with anyone who managed to cram Vista onto his machine, a thought that we know has occurred to more than a few of the big brains in HP's engineering department.

    "It's not very often you get pulled out of a meeting by a group of engineers who feel that they have had the rug pulled out from underneath them so that any competitive advantage we may have had in the marketplace is taken away, enabling any Tom, Dick or Harry with a PC containing a non-compliant processor/chip set to play at the same table," one e-mail from an HP employee read.

    So will HP try to take out Windows? HP's Walker has the means, and the Vista debacle gives him a motive. Ballmer better make damn sure that when Microsoft launches Windows 7 he doesn't give him the opportunity.
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    i hope so. i really hope linux gets a backing by a big company in a sense
  3. JG271 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 17, 2007
    Nice. I've always favored HP as a windows-based PC manufacturer - compared to dell and such. I'd be really interested to see what they come up with, the computer industry needs a bit more competition on the OS front.

    And I think the poll could do with more options :) . I think Microsoft's downfall was being too eager to wildly chase large sections of the market that they never could capture or influence too much.
  4. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Some of this may be bravado. Kind of like a bargaining tool for later dealings with Redmond.

    On one hand they (HP) may look at how hard building an OS actually is (at lot of R&D outlay in difficult conditions) and settle for Windows 7, which by all accounts is shaping up like the best version of Windows version since 2000.

    On the other hand HP have been experimenting recently with making UIs with their touch smart technology. Also HP already has expertise in building a UNIX like operating system with HP UX.

    It would be the biggest threat Apple has had to their business model in years. They've rarely had to compete with a company who craft their own hardware and software and a tightly integrated product which caters for consumer needs.
  5. andreab35 macrumors 6502a


    May 29, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5G77 Safari/525.20)

    Hmmmm... abandoning Windows... seems like a good move their making. lol
    Bring in the Linux! :p
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Wrong. The exact opposite is much more likely. For HP to abandon Windows would represent an overnight loss in Microsoft marketshare and leverage over the personal and server computer markets. There are numerous cases of similar falls. The Big 3 automobile manufacturers and the Big 3 broadcast television networks are two obvious examples. The story that follows is the same. With the big players less dominant, the smaller players proliferate and prosper.

    HP is either No. 1 or No. 2 among Microsoft OEMs. With it no longer in the Microsoft fold, all other players will be in a much stronger position. Apple is already doing extremely well. It is best situated to take advantage of a smaller, weaker Microsoft.
  7. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    I work a lot with corporate IT departments. There isn't a person amongst them happy with Microsoft right now. Internal applications are being migrated more and more towards open standards, which will allow migrations away from Microsoft solutions. The server rooms will go first. In the meantime they are planning to pursue open source software alternatives to pressure Microsoft into price reductions on Office and Windows desktop licenses.

    It's finally happening. Microsoft are definitely now in the wane.
  8. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    Do you gentlemen think Apple should licence Mac OS X to HP after they are done with Windows?
  9. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    So far Apple has steadfastly denied any possibility of ever licensing OS-X to other hardware oem's but...

    Steve Jobs repeatedly bold face lied every time he stated Apple will never use Intel processors. This was evident when Apple revealed a road map detailing the use of Intel processors. The finale of Steve's elaborate deception came when he stated Apple has been testing every version of OS-X on intel since 10.0.

    What I am trying to say is, unless you have lunch the company officers do not trust much of what they tell you. They are officers because they are good at what they do and that includes grand deceptions.
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Now that we've all had our little fantasy, let's get real. HP is not going to abandon Windows and produce their own OS. Can you imagine the costs involved with that? Development and testing costs, huge marketing costs, developing software to run on it, retraining. The infrastructure that HP would need is staggering.

    The fact is, MS is so entrenched on the desktop and in corporate networks that they would have to do something so egregious as to lose that edge. No matter how much people hate MS, moving away is a huge undertaking that most will never be willing to do.
  11. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    The IT departments I'm working with would disagree there. The fact they are even considering it is a major change from five years ago, never mind that they are moving their in-house apps off Microsoft technology dependencies. It takes years to move a major enterprise from one computer platform to another, but all the pre-work for the post Microsoft era is already being put in place. All it will take is for Windows 7 to be as badly received as Vista and major companies are going to start defecting. HP want to be ready for that, hence their very public hedging of bets.
  12. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    Unless HP becomes an Linux PC company. That saves the trouble of making a new OS. ;)
  13. Rybold thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2008
    California, USA
    I'm wondering why people even switched from XP to Vista in the first place. I'm still running XP on the computer I'm using right now and it works great. Why did companies run out and spend money on Vista, when XP worked just fine? :confused:

    It would be a great opportunity for Apple to step into the Big Picture and say to the world "You don't like Vista but you need a standard across the corporate IT world, and we are here and ready to deliver that to you." The could create and begin marketing a whole new division, called "Apple Business Solutions" or something like that.
  14. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    By the way, that TouchSmart PC they reference is really neat. I could easily see something like that being your "kitchen" PC of the future. HP did a good job on their proprietary interface too.
  15. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003

    Businesses have not switched to Vista by and large. In fact,many will likely skip it all together.

    Apple is in no way ready to try and enter the corporate market. They lack the infrastructure to do so.
  16. mknawabi macrumors 6502


    Feb 5, 2006
    Irvine, CA
    Heh, Apple isn't doing too great compared to past times. "Every empire has to fail", right?
  17. millar876 macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2004
    Kilmarnock, Scotland UK
    I think it may be possible that if HP were serious about ditching m$, they could hammer out a deal with apple to get OSX for their hardware, remember there were some HP branded iPods on the go a few years back. Also, a vendor like HP, could implement the kind of hardware controll apple might request and could implement the same processes/hardware that enables osx to be installed onto macs, allowing osx only on HP machines after the switch.
  18. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    No, I think, like many have said, that HP should grab a hold of Linux and give it the backing that it needs to be a real OSX/Windows competitor.

    I agree. HP making it's own OS from scratch or from the small bits of software that they do have would be a catastrophe. HP needs to get a hold of Linux and give it the financial and corporate backing that Apple gives Mac OS X.

    The HP workstations are a thing of beauty, and the Blackbird 002 is still the best designed desktop internally and externally and would take the biggest hit since you don't find too many big name games for it, but that could be fixed with time.

    Other than that, I could see many software titles moving over to Linux with the backing of HP, as well as a bigger surge in the awareness of the many open source titles.

    I don't think Apple lacks the infrastructure to enter the enterprise market, but I do think they lack the desire to make products and offer services that will vary from business to business and depart to department. I also don't think Apple will EVER have on-site service for anything but their servers with the super-duper Apple Care support.
  19. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    The whole set of published pdfs of the emails makes interesting reading (seeing Intel's, Microsoft's, Sony's, Dell's, and HP's position in the whole PC labelling suit.

    HP took a decent position for the customers - they worked on giving the customer a decent computer that could actually give Aero etc, and be a decent spec.
    A lot of the relevant emails and such seem still to be redacted, but the quotes from the OP show part of the initial reaction. Caving to Intel kinda pissed off HP enough I guess. (HP got something back out it, as Microsoft gave them more publicity I think).
  20. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    No, Apple is healthier than they have ever been.
  21. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    This is true to the point and someday United States will fall like the Roman Empire as well.
    Someday Apple will become the new Microsoft and Linux will become the new Apple.
  22. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    I don't see Microsoft suffering too terribly much. The most likely result is that HP will get the right to sell XP with its desktops, a legal decision that will come right about the time that the current low-end desktops will have the power to run Vista comfortably.

    Having said that, Apple has lots of cash in the bank. Overnight it could build the infrastructure to support corporate America.

    A deal with HP would ultimately mean Apple has to get out of the hardware business or get out of the OS business. Unless you control both, you can only control one (the IBM lesson).

    Speaking of IBM, its OS/2 is still kicking around under another name. I'd bet that's a more likely Windows replacement candidate than OS X

  23. Beric macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2008
    Bay Area
    That would be a dream come true (I like HP hardware). But HP would kill Apple due to its prices actually being competitive.
  24. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    What do you think about this?:
    Apple= iPods, iPhones and AppleTV company
    HP = Macs and Linux PC company
    Apple gives it's computer business to HP.
  25. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    While I'm all for HP abandoning Windows, I think it's a bit unfair to place all the blame of the "Vista Ready" fiasco on Microsoft. They were HP's computers, they could have said NO to the whole program.

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