HP Chief Now Views Intel and Microsoft as Competitors, Not Partners

There's something to be said for being blunt, and HP CEO Meg Whitman certainly didn't pull any punches when talking about her company's relationship with Intel and Microsoft. She said they went from being HP's partners to "outright competitors," which is commentary on the fact that they're both now competing with OEMs in hardware.

Let's back up a moment and trace where things flipped around. In January of this year, Whitman stood firmly in Microsoft's corner by backing Windows 8. At the time, she said, "We have to stick with this. I am a believer." But then in May, HP posted a 20 percent drop in revenues for its PC business, and that's when Whitman began distancing HP from Windows, Business Insider reports.

HP Pavillion 14 Chromebook

It was around that same time that Whitman began heaping praise on non-Windows devices, such as Android tablets and Chromebooks. It was part of a new strategy to focus on multiple operating systems, architectures, and form factors, noting that her company was "moving quickly to produce the devices that customers want." It's not difficult to read between the lines and see that Whitman was throwing a jab at Windows 8.

Fast forward to today and Whitman and you'll find Whitman placing some of the blame for HP's financial woes on Intel and Microsoft.

"HP's traditional highly profitable markets face significant disruption. Wintel devices are being challenged by ARM-based devices... We are seeing profound changes in the competitive landscape... Current partners like Intel and Microsoft are turning from partners to outright competitors," Whitman stated this week.

This is the reason why HP is looking beyond its two longtime partners and is testing the waters with products like Chromebooks. Where the relationships go from here, we'll have to wait and see.