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HP, Dell, Microsoft, and Intel have traditionally been the inseperable bastions of the consumer computing world. Things aren’t quite as sunny anymore. On Wednesday, HP Chief Executive Meg Whitman called out Microsoft and Intel as its “outright competitors.”
This has been a long time coming. Microsoft has started to develop and manufacture its own machines in a bid to grab some of the growing hardware market. Products like the Surface Pro may not be runaway successes, but they’re a step towards a future of Microsoft software on Microsoft hardware. Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s Devices and Services division coupled with a $2 billion loan to Dell probably haven’t helped either.
HP’s firing back with some initiatives that will move them away from total dependence on Windows. An increased focus on Android tablets and the recently announced HP Chromebook 11 are just two examples. Meanwhile Microsoft is clearly cozying up with Dell—an array of Venue Tablets and XPS Laptops running Windows 8.1 were introduced just last week.
Trouble has been brewing in the PC industry for a while with declining sales and the rapid consumer uptake of tablets. Add in the fact that Android, Chrome OS, and even Steam OS are encroaching on territory that has predominantly been Microsoft and Apple’s and it’s little wonder that Microsoft and its partners-turned-competitors aren’t happy with the current state of things.
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