Hewlett-Packard (HP) has voiced its support for Microsoft as other partner original equipment manufacturers have signified their dislike for Redmond making its own tablet.
In a recent interview, a high ranking HP official has said that Microsoft was essentially showing what can be done in the tablet market so that partner OEMs follow their lead.
He added that HP’s relationship with Microsoft was in no way changed because of the Surface tablets the software giant unveiled.
In an interview with CRN, HP’s John Solomon said that he believes “Microsoft was basically making a leadership statement and showing what’s possible in the tablet space.”
“Our relationship has not changed at all due to Microsoft’s announcement. In fact, I applaud it — I think it’s great that they are getting out in front and [showing] what’s possible,” the senior vice president of Americas sales for HP’s printing and personal systems unit added.
The comment from HP comes after Acer’s CEO JT Wang essentially told that it was very unhappy with Microsoft because of the Surface tablets.
During the first week of this month, Wang said that Acer told Microsoft to “think it over.”
“Think twice. It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem, and other brands may take a negative reaction. It is not something you are good at so please think twice,” Acer told Microsoft, Wang told the Financial Times.
Microsoft unveiled the Surface tablets – the Microsoft Surface for Windows RT and the Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 Pro – last June.
Microsoft has admitted that the Microsoft Surface tablets will likely strain its relationships with OEMs.
The Redmond, Washington-based software giant told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about this possibility in its Form 10-K annual report saying:
“We derive substantial revenue from licenses of Windows operating systems on personal computers. The proliferation of alternative devices and form factors, in particular mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, creates challenges from competing software platforms. These devices compete on multiple bases including price and the perceived utility of the device and its platform. Users may increasingly turn to these devices to perform functions that would have been performed by personal computers in the past. Even if many users view these devices as complementary to a personal computer, the prevalence of these devices may make it more difficult to attract applications developers to our platforms. In addition, our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform.” [Emphasis ours]
Meanwhile, HP’s Solomon said that the rival to the Surface tablets the company will make will essentially be targeted for the enterprise market.
“We will be very focused on the commercial tablet opportunity, which is completely under penetrated,” he said.
Explaining more about focus, Solomon said that this will be what differentiates their tablet from tablets made by their rival OEMs.
“Other OEMs will be doing tablets, but the HP tablet is going to be different: It’s going to have a specific area of focus, or multiple areas of focus, which will require a high degree of channel engagement to take full advantage of the opportunity,” he said.
However, HP may have an ace up its sleeves as the Microsoft Windows 8 tablet they will make will feature exclusive technology.
“We have some unique intellectual property that we’re going to apply [to our Windows 8 tablet],” the executive told CRN.
The CRN interview hinted at security as one main concern of the HP tablet.
A leak in April showed what was named the HP Slate 8 and listed “HP ProtectTools,” “TPM embedded security,” and “Support for Computrace” as features for security.
Image 1 from donjd2 on Flickr (CC). All other images from Microsoft