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HP Shrugs Off Microsoft Surface: Report

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - HP's (HPQ) PC boss Todd Bradley doesn't see a big threat from Microsoft's (MSFT) new Surface tablet.

Bradley, the vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group, has told IDG's CITE World (a Web site for IT professionals) that he believes Surface, Microsoft's new line of tablets, isn't real competition to his company's first Windows 8 offerings.

He thinks that, so far, Surface has limited distribution, is expensive, tends to be slow and a bit "kludgey", according to the report. Bradley also notes that "the press has made a bigger deal (of it) than what the world has chosen to believe." That's a reference to Steve Ballmer's recent statement concerning the Surface's "modest" debut.

Still, you might expect the boss at one company to criticize another company's competitive offerings. But, Bradley doesn't have great things to say about the new Microsoft software either.

He doesn't like the new Windows RT which runs on ARM (ARMH)-based processors. His company has passed on producing them at least for the time being. It is making new Windows 8 computers running on Intel (INTC) processors - not only tablets but laptops with and without touchscreens.

"It's a question of pricing, how do you get a broad set of touch products with prices that are relevant? Microsoft has clearly tried to dictate to customers what they need. If you look at retail orders, what we built with touch related to Windows 8, touch is a small percentage of that. It's a price point issue, it's a go to market issue, it's an orientation issue."

Bradley says Windows 8 may not be the right choice for all customers. But, he believes touchscreens could be a good choice for some - especially in the enterprise. A number of HP's first Win 8 devices are aimed at business customers.

TheStreet currently has a brand new HP Envy 4 "ultrabook" on our test bench. We'll let you know, soon, what we think of this early touchscreen computer.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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