It took HP less than two hours to launch its fear uncertainty and doubt campaign on Dell, which announced plans to go private on Tuesday.
In a statement, HP commented on Dell's leveraged buyout plan:
Dell has a very tough road ahead. The company faces an extended period of uncertainty and transition that will not be good for its customers. And with a significant debt load, Dell's ability to invest in new products and services will be extremely limited. Leveraged buyouts tend to leave existing customers and innovation at the curb. We believe Dell's customers will now be eager to explore alternatives, and HP plans to take full advantage of that opportunity.
Now Dell would obviously disagree, but HP has to relish not being on the receiving end of these campaigns. IBM has taken advantage of both HP's corporate turmoil and Oracle's acquisition of Sun.
As noted earlier, Dell will face statements like this on the PC, server and storage fronts. How Dell responds in the market place will be worth watching.
Carter Lusher, an analyst at Ovum, noted that Dell will face a lot of uncertainty from customers and rivals will look to pounce.
Dell is in the midst of a wrenching transition from a supplier of commodity hardware, mainly traditional PCs, to being a supplier of enterprise-grade IT infrastructure. Dell’s ambition is nothing less than offering the entire IT stack with supporting services. A significant risk likely to face Dell during this transition is that enterprises and public sector organizations cut back on their purchases "until the dust settles."