Feeds

HP exec to MS: we'd dump Windows if we could

An everyday tale of love among the OEM contracts...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft's efforts to control the desktop via the "Windows Experience" prompted Hewlett-Packard's R&D manager to tell the company: "If we had the choice of another supplier, based on your actions in this area, I assure you would not be our supplier of choice." John Romano was writing to Microsoft business manager Dave Wright in 1997, and was seriously ballistic on the subject of Microsoft's "edicts", which he claimed had had the net effect of seriously damaging HP's PC business, forcing up returns and tech support calls. "As was clearly stated on many occasions to you and other members of the [Microsoft] OEM team, Microsoft's mandated removal of all OEM boot sequence and autostart programs for OEM licensed systems has resulted in significant and costly problems for the HP-Pavilion line of retail PCs." Microsoft had in this period been progressively forcing OEMs to remove tailored software from their systems so that all PC users had a standard, "consistent Windows Experience". Romano goes on: "Our data (as of 3/10/97) shows a ten per cent increase in W95 calls as a percentage of our total customer support calls (increase from 23.72 per cent to 33.51 per cent). This data is measured against a base of 109k calls for the pre-OSR2 'Microsoft-mandated changes'. The base for the post measure is 28k. This is enough to ensure a high degree of significance to the data. "Our registration rate has dropped from the mid-80 per cent range to the low 60 per cent range. "There is also subjective data from several channel partners that our system return rate has increased from the lowest of any OEM (even lower than Apple) to a level comparable to the other Microsoft OEM PC vendors." Hewlett-Packard had basically been attempting to differentiate its PCs by adding software which made them easier to set up and use, but as this interfered with the "Windows Experience", it had been forced to dump all of this under the contract for the OSR2 version of Windows 95. Romano is therefore saying that Microsoft's demands for control of the desktop were making his PCs less usable, and produced the data to back this up. "This situation must change. We find Microsoft control over our Customer's Out of Box experience totally unacceptable." Register historical factoid: In early 1995, Microsoft was flexing its muscles over OEM requirements for the then forthcoming Windows 95 product. Jacques Clay, wily French boss of HP's PC operation, really did threaten to ship OS/2 instead, and secured some easing of terms from Microsoft. ® Complete Register trial coverage

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?