HP CEO Whitman: Microsoft, Intel Are 'Outright Competitors'
Meg Whitman’s comments highlight a partner landscape that is changing due to pressure from mobile devices, the cloud and other trends.Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman is putting a harsh light on the rapidly changing competitive landscape fueled by such trends as cloud computing, mobility and hyperscale computing. Speaking to financial analysts Oct. 9, Whitman said she was confident in the progress her company was making in its five-year turnaround effort, adding that she expects greater stabilization for the company to occur in 2014 with “pockets of growth,” followed by the business gaining steam in 2015 and becoming “in fiscal 2016, an industry-leading company.” Her optimistic comments cheered analysts and investors alike. However, Whitman also pointed to longtime partners Microsoft and Intel as leading causes for HP’s recent growth problems, a comment that is highlighting the impact market forces are having on increasingly fraying vendor relationships. "HP's traditional highly profitable markets face significant disruption,” she said. “Wintel devices are being challenged by ARM-based devices. The disruptive forces are very tough and very real, and they are accelerating. We are seeing profound changes in the competitive landscape. Our competitors are expanding across the IT stack. Current partners like Intel and Microsoft are turning from partners to outright competitors."
Microsoft officials angered many OEM partners last year when they began rolling out their own Windows 8-based Surface tablets, a key part of the software giant’s efforts to become a larger player in hardware and a move that brought Microsoft into direct competition with other PC makers. Many OEM officials publicly dismissed the move, saying that Microsoft was trying to help create a market.