Summary: Mark Hurd, who navigated closer to Linux and had Microsoft name HP as a competitive threat for this (in its SEC filings even), was not really ejected for his publicly-exaggerated situation with Fisher; MSI turns to Linux for slates and Microsoft starts turning to more Vista 8 vapourware
Our suspicions are beginning to seem more likely now that a news article reveals that “HP decided Hurd exit ‘before’ actress settlement” (quoting the headline in full). From the article:
HP had decided to force this month’s resignation of chief executive Mark Hurd before he settled a sexual harassment claim from a former actress, according to sources close to the matter.
Hurd was forced out of the company because the board concluded he had broken HP’s code of conduct. While the directors found Hurd had not harassed Fisher, they found improper expense filing that allegedly deliberately failed to reveal the actress’ name on a number of occasions.
Hurd said he was not involved in filing the expenses and was not attempting to conceal any relationship. Fisher has also said that she and Hurd “never had an affair or intimate sexual relationship”.
“This kind of hypocrite sexual puritanism and „political correctness” in American companies is imbecile at best,” told me Răzvan Sandu from Bucureşti, România (Bucharest, Romania).
As we pointed out before, HP officially brought Vista 7 back to tablets just days after Hurd got canned (yes, they made his departure look friendly and all). We are now learning from Mary Jo Microsoft that “Another Windows 7 slate dropped from this year’s Christmas list” (again, just quoting the headline):
Another week, another Windows 7 slate is cut from the list of those slated (pun intended) to ship in time for this holiday season.
This time, as Engadget’s PC reviewer extraordinaire Joanna Stern noted on August 23, the vendor didn’t decide to dump Windows 7 for Android. Instead, MSI has decided to delay its Windows 7-based WindPad so it can incorporate Intel’s Oak Trail processors that are expected to offer better power management and battery life. (MSI is also developing an Android WindPad slate, which is still on tap to ship before the end of this year, by the way.)
Here comes Linux (Android) again, this time to a slate from MSI. Will anyone toss management people at MSI? After choosing Linux (WebOS) over Vista 7 for slate at HP a Vice President from Microsoft was appointed to become software head at HP and then Hurd got ejected. One of our readers believes that Microsoft is ‘pulling a Belluzzo’.
On a separate note, since Vista 7 fails to sell much (don’t believe the hype), Microsoft keeps pushing the Vista 8 envelope. Microsoft booster Marius Oiaga produces more vapourware and there is also shameless fawning from an Indian site upon a certain anniversary.
Windows 95 marks 15th birthday in uncertain Microsoft future
The company is also now facing long-term threats to its success. Apple and now Google both have much larger presences in the smartphone space where Microsoft has had to scrap Windows Mobile and start fresh with Windows Phone 7 to stay current. Attempts by co-founder Bill Gates and later Steve Ballmer to force acceptance of pen-based Windows tablet PCs have also been undermined almost overnight as the iPad has crushed tablet PC records; Apple sold more than twice as many tablets in three months than Microsoft was expected to manage all year.
“When I want to do something mindless to relax, I install windows 95,” Jean-Louis Gassée once said. He had history at Apple, which challenges Microsoft at the consumer’s high end, whereas GNU/Linux challenges Microsoft at the business high end and the consumer’s low end. It’s not surprising that Microsoft's stock is approaching a minimum right now. Shareholders are not too happy.
It’s time for Microsoft to drastically raise its dividend, says Eric Jackson, the founder of hedge fund Ironfire Capital, which owns 12,000 shares of Microsoft.
“In January of 1994, Waggener Edstrom began recruiting 100 key editors, 32 analysts, and 150 third-party vendors for the Windows 95 bandwagon. Lining up the national media and the business press was easy. Edstrom had been massaging those relationships for over a decade, sending flowers and cartoons and reminding editors of their spouses’ birthdays and wedding anniversaries, earning her “Gates’s keeper” reputation. Not only would these people tout Windows 95, they would also be more inclined to show sympathy for Microsoft when competitors started ragging them. [...] In an unusual move, Edstrom’s minions had New York’s Empire State Building lit in the Windows 95 colors. [...] Waggener Edstrom claimed that Microsoft received more media attention than even the O.J. Simpson trial, which was going on at the same time.”
–Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s Pam Edstrom