Will HP’s Attempt to Sell PC Division Impact Windows 8?
The news that HP is set to sell or spin-off its consumer electronics division has rocked the industry, fueling an onslaught of speculation and commentary. But for The VAR Guy, here’s one question comes to mind: Will Microsoft be able to work as closely with Hewlett-Packard’s PC division as the HP seeks to either spin-off the PC business or sell it to a third-party?
The VAR Guy sees it like this: Anytime a new version of Windows comes out, consumer PC manufacturers are the go-to channel to ensure early adoption and proliferation of the operating system. HP has been one of those key players, but with HP trying to sell off its PC division, it means Microsoft will need to work hard to keep HP’s R&D efforts focused on tight integration and new developments for Windows 8.
Yes, The VAR Guy knows there is Dell/Alienware, Acer, Lenovo, Asus and a handful of other computer manufacturers, but HP has long been synonymous with the PC, and an incredibly close partner for previous Windows releases.
So here are two scenarios The VAR Guy sees playing out:
- Apple gains larger market share: If HP’s PC business is spun off or sold, the transition stage for the HP PC operation could slow down HP’s PC sales — as Apple sales continue to accelerate.
- A new company fills the void: Lenovo is a company The VAR Guy has come to know and love for a few reasons. R&D is one of them. Lenovo has consistently shown it cares about creating a portfolio of devices that are as close as you can get to a vertically integrated Microsoft Windows PC solution. With stylish laptop designs in addition to a Microsoft partnerships in building the Lenovo Enhanced Experience for faster drivers and boot times, Lenovo could see the opportunity to take on the PC space bigger, faster and harder. Lenovo could be the perfect launch partner for Microsoft’s Windows 8, especially with its plethora of touch-related consumer products and upcoming tablets that would fit perfectly with Windows 8’s touch-centric design.
The VAR Guy thinks Microsoft was already thinking about deep partnerships with PC manufacturers on Windows 8 (especially with the promise of ARM-based Windows machines). But with HP’s PC business up for sale, the old Microsoft-HP relationship may not move as quick as it did in the 1990s — opening the door for Microsoft to potentially get even cozier with other PC makers.
It may be too early to say, but our resident blogger will keep track of Windows 8’s development as the year rolls.