It had to happen.
Microsoft has spent a lot of time over the past year or so alienating partners and IT Pros. Or, so it seems, even if it hasn't been Microsoft's intent. But, when someone acts a certain way for a long period of time, the actions will always overshadow the intentions. IT Pros have already been voicing their concerns and anger publicly about the perception that Microsoft doesn't need them anymore. Partners have been heard complaining and questioning what Microsoft's true intent might be for them with the software company actively attempting to fundamentally change the business through devices and services. In a world where Microsoft, once just a software company, now starts providing their own hardware, is there any room for partnerships?
The world has changed. Microsoft who was once considered a great partner to both OEMs and IT Pros, is now, from every angle, seen as competitors. In In the New World Order, Microsoft's Biggest Competition is IT, I talked about how Microsoft is in competition with IT Pros. Up until now, partner angst has been uttered in hushed tones, but on Wednesday, Meg Whitman, CEO of HP, finally said publicly what many have been thinking.
Current partners like Intel and Microsoft are turning from partners to outright competitors.
HP's earnings have definitely taken a dip, showing a 20% loss in PC sales revenues in May 2013, and another 11% drop in August 2013, and Meg puts the blame squarely on Microsoft and Intel. Poor Windows 8 adoption, ARM-based devices growing in popularity, Microsoft loaning HP competitor Dell $2 billion and shelling out another $7 billion for Nokia's devices business, and then building their own competing PC product, the Microsoft Surface, has HP cozying up closer to Google. HP just released another round of lower-priced Chromebooks running Google's Android operating system.
To turn HP around, Whitman believes that a world without a strong Microsoft partnership is now the way forward. It'll be interesting to see over the coming days how many other partners take strength from the CEO's bold words and start making public statements of their own.