In an interview with IDG, HP PC Business chief Todd Bradley dismissed Microsoft's first foray into the tablet market. Surface, he said, is "slow" and "kludgey". Bradley added that he hardly considers Surface competition for HP, although it's worth pointing out that HP doesn't actually have a consumer tablet offering anyway -- not yet, at least.
Bradley should know a thing or two about portable devices; after all, he was the CEO of PalmOne before he joined HP in 2005. But HP, a company who shared with the world its own tablet-shaped failure, doesn't seem like a company who's in a position to talk poorly about Surface.
Since last year's HP TouchPad disaster, the company has continued to avoid the consumer tablet market like a cat does a bathtub. According to Bradley, HP will continue to do so until possibly next year. "We're not entering the consumer tablet fray any time soon. We'll be doing something next year, but you won't see a consumer tablet from HP before Christmas." he assured IDG.
HP though, does offer its own enterprise tablet: the ElitePad 900. Although the ElitePad entertains a different market segment than Surface, it would seem that Surface is more likely to encroach on HP's territory than vice-versa. Perhaps this thought nudged Bradley into his outspoken negativity regarding Surface.
Surface itself was greeted with mixed reviews. Most looks at the tablet I've seen praise its solid construction, innovative keyboard cover and inclusion of Office RT, but pull out the red pen for overall value, app selection and quirky behavior.
HP hasn't been the only company to speak negatively about Surface though. A few months ago, Acer's CEO said Surface would have a negative impact on the industry. Acer's global operations president Campbell Kan even suggested, "It is not something you are good at so please think twice", warning Microsoft about selling its own tablet..
Ballmer recently stated that Surface sales were modest, attributing the number to limited supply and sales channels.