HP Trying To Ditch Vista? No Way!

There was a report in BusinessWeek this week that HP was working on it’s own LINUX based operating system as an option for customers who don’t like Vista:

“In one of several recent moves by partners that sell or support the company’s software, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), the world’s No. 1 PC maker, has quietly assembled a group of engineers to develop software that will let customers bypass certain features of Vista, the latest version of Windows. Employees on a separate skunk works team are even angling to replace Windows with an HP-assembled operating system, say three sources close to the company”

HP when asked about it directly, they gave a denial that was likely meant to not piss off Microsoft:

“”Is HP funding a huge R&D team to go off and create an operating system? [That] makes no sense,” he [Phil McKinney, chief technology officer in HP’s PC division] says. “For us it’s about innovating on top of Vista.”

By that, they mean that they are working on creating software that sits on top of Vista that allows users to do stuff easier than the tools and functions that Vista comes with.

The article then goes on to talk about the fact all sorts of hardware and software vendors are looking for ways to avoid Vista as it hasn’t helped them sell more stuff. Intuit for one is very outspoken about this:

“Software maker Intuit (INTU) recently scrapped a marketing campaign for its QuickBooks accounting program built around Vista. Intuit originally planned to promote the program’s compatibility with Microsoft’s operating system but changed course to emphasize the product’s low prices. “We had to shift our marketing this year from ‘Buy the new version of QuickBooks because it’s Vista-compatible,’ which did nothing for us,” says Intuit CEO Brad Smith. “It wasn’t working for Microsoft, and it wasn’t working for us.” That followed investments in engineering to get the QuickBooks software that ran on the previous version of Windows ready for Vista.”

Another motivating factor is Apple. Seeing as people are heading in droves to The Temple Of Steve Jobs Apple Stores, that puts companies like HP at a disadvantage:

“At HP, there are competitive issues driving its software effort. One person who has advised HP executives on strategy says they are concerned that Apple could develop a notebook computer that would sell for less than $1,000. That’s a fast-growing market HP depends on for sales where Apple has yet to compete. “Apple is a huge motivating factor,” says the source.”

All of this highlights the fact that Vista has been a major flop for Microsoft and it’s partners who depend on Microsoft software to make money. The fact that this is even being discussed is bad news for Microsoft as it means that Microsoft’s place at the top of the food chain is threatened.

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