Backstab? It was coming all along! As far as PC hardware, HP has been at the very top of the mountain for decades now. In fact, the company was one of Microsoft’s biggest partners since Windows became the dominant operating system.

But recently there had been enough hints that the hardware maker was moving away from Redmond. HP CEO Meg Whitman even called Microsoft a direct competitor, late last year.

And now at her annual customer conference this week, Whitman confirmed that HP was working on a brand new device called “The Machine”, and not only would this new device bring around some new technologies like a new type of memory, but will also be powered by a brand new operating system.

A brand new operating system!

No, we are not talking about Windows 9 here — HP is now building a completely new OS, based entirely on Linux. And it is to be installed on the majority of devices that the company sells in the future.

It is becoming clear that HP is moving away from the Wintel ecosystem. This is what Whitman had to say about partnerships with Microsoft and Intel:

“Our partnership, the three companies, it was the defining partnership of the last industry of the last 30 years, but sometimes 30-year marriages, they need a little rejuvenation. HP’s traditional highly profitable markets face significant disruption.”

Significant disruption, alright.

Sure, it still remains to be seen whether the new operating system that HP is creating has what it takes to put up a concrete challenge to Windows, but I guess we will find out soon enough.

In the meantime, keep the comments flowing.

What do you guys and girls think about this noteworthy move?

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  • pirate78

    Wow, good luck HP. I wish them the best, but I fear they are making a mistake. They do not have my confidence with the new OS. Getting into such a crowded market with seasoned competition can be very is difficult. Going up against industry giants such as Apple, Microsoft and Google (Mac OS/iOS, Windows/RT/WP, and now even Android/Chrome OS) with their legions of followers dedicated to those ecosystems is even worse. On the Linux side you have smaller developers with their iteration of the OS with RedHat, Suse, Ubuntu and the like to compete with.

    Haven’t HP tried “their own” OS approach on the tablets with the Web OS (which was very promising)? As soon as the competition hotted up they quit and went with Android and Win8 on their tablets.

    Again, I wish them luck, they just do not have my confidence…yet.

    • Fahad Ali

      Exactly, doesn’t inspire much confidence. Luckily, HP have the server market to fall back on, unlike some other hardware makers, so even if they fail here, it might not affect them as much.

      Let’s see. This is a pretty big step, all said and done.

    • Jason Deveau

      It’s gonna be another BlackBerry playbook adventure of suck.

      • Fahad Ali

        Yeah, sure seems like this, unless HP does some real magic in terms of both hardware and software.

  • colea

    First of all, not brand new OS, but a Linux fork. Then after what they did with WebOS, I will not hold my breath.

    • Fahad Ali

      Nothing brand new under the sun these days, colea! But yeah, true, Linux fork, it is. And also true, the WebOS adventure.

  • Ray C

    HP needs to die a slow death

    • Fahad Ali

      Well they are bleeding, what with the layoffs and all.

  • Misterbear Fapp

    All hail os/2 Warp 5. New hotness!

    • Fahad Ali

      Throwback to the classic age, Fapp!

  • Rumin8

    HP Says Goodbye…

    “I am just going outside and may be some time.”

    • Fahad Ali

      One way to put it. 😀 But then, what about the customers? Still, should be interesting, whichever way this pans out.

  • Ray C

    Amazon is going to do better with Kindle than they’re going to do with this

    • Fahad Ali

      Well HP’s record with custom software is nothing special. Borderline abysmal, really, but somehow they think they can get away with it.

  • Robert Miller

    I have an HP Chromebook that has become my favorite notebook PC. If their Linux based OS is anything close to as good as the Chromebook approach, they will do quite well!

  • Mike Greenway

    “And it is to be installed on the majority of devices that the company sells in the future.” This begets a question, which OS will be on those none majority devices, it not windows, as they have said goodbye to it? AND dose devices mean PCs here or just what?

  • Chris Birkbeck

    About time too! HP computers are biggest piece of crap ever. Sorry to hear that Linux users will be saddled with them from now on, but at least it gets HP out of the hair of the rest of us. Good riddance!

  • Ralph Ellis

    The most logical Linux project for HP would be a RHEL clone along the lines of Centos or Scientific Linux. That would serve their home and corporate customers well and keep them away from bleeding edge support issues.

  • Collectivepitch

    You know, it’s really quite easy to kill Microsoft with Linux:

    1) A better office suite than Open Office
    2) Easy app development kit just as good or better than Visual Studio/.NET Framework
    3) Online storage like One Drive
    4) Has to look good (fonts, etc.; XP looks better than the best FREE Linux distros currently out there)

    Meet those 4 requirements and I don’t see why anyone would want to stick with M$ and their bloated Windows ecosystem….

    Sometimes M$ just needs a little competition to make them get their crap together and produce a good, FAST OS! XP was their golden era…

  • Wings_42

    It’s about time. I absolutely hate how Microsoft tries to control its customers and Windows users. I wish Meg and HP the best of luck and look forward to getting out from under the 30+ year Microsoft screw.

  • Sparten1

    Why not just use one of the available Linux distros? We don’t need yet another operating system.