What HP’s Android play tells Microsoft

HP-slate-7

HP’s Slate 7 tablet is an Android device

After years of positioning itself as Microsoft’s close partner, HP has climbed into bed with Google. First it delivers a Chromebook, then it announces an Android tablet.

Ray Shaw, writing at iTWire says there’s a message from HP to Microsoft, but that Microsoft doesn’t care about the company’s dalliance with Android.

You could read the company’s move into Google products as telling the world Microsoft no longer sits at the centre of HP’s thinking. That may be a smart given the software giant’s declining influence and cachet.

I read it differently. HP has floundered with consumer products for years. Remember the aborted tablet, the bewildering array of products covering each market niche, often with multiple overlaps?

While the company’s thinking isn’t any clearer today, HP is now making products that at least look interesting. The message to Microsoft and anyone else watching HP is that the hardware giant is still stumbling without a clear, overarching strategy, but the execution is getting better.

The message isn’t so much “get lost Microsoft”, it is more “we’re lost”.