Scary news for Microsoft in HP's earnings call

Microsoft has a problem on its hands. The world no longer needs it.

HP never saw a "Vista moment at any time over the past year" declared HP CEO Mark Hurd in yesterday's earnings call. Think about what that means for HP, and what it means for Microsoft. As it turns out, it means essentially the same thing:

Microsoft's dominance of the PC industry may well be fading.

For Microsoft, this is a Very Bad Thing. For everyone else on the planet, it is a Very Good Thing.

Including HP. As reports, HP's growth is increasingly coming from developing nations:

HP was happily announcing that revenue for its personal systems group has spiked to $10.1 billion; that's up 30 percent compared to fourth quarter a year ago. But that success sure isn't because businesses planned a Vista upgrade and refreshed systems at the same time.

On the contrary, Vista did not play into HP's sales uptick, Hurd declared. That uptick is all about sales in emerging markets including China, he says. In fact, HP says that revenue from Brazil, Russia, India and China increased 37 percent; it's now nearing 10 percent of HP's $104.3 billion in sales.

Think about that. These are markets that don't need Vista, that have no institutional memory of Windows (over the Mac or Linux). These are markets that are wide open for real competition (and real innovation).

Again, this is great news for every person on the planet...except Microsoft shareholders.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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