What’s the Difference Between a Partner and a Customer?

The Motley Fool reports:

Hewlett-Packard (HP) now sees Microsoft as a competitor. For years, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft had a strong partnership — but evidently, those days are over. The widespread backlash to Windows 8, combined with Microsoft’s decision to release its own, competing hardware, has alienated Hewlett-Packard.

And while Microsoft looks to be on the verge of losing one of its longtime partners, Google is gaining one — Hewlett-Packard has eagerly embraced both of Google’s operating systems.

Contrary to what the Motley Fool claims, HP is not a partner of Google or Microsoft. They would be a partner only if they owned a large portion of Google or Microsoft. HP owns little or no stock in Microsoft or Google; HP is a customer that makes hardware and buys software from others. In other words, they are a customer of Microsoft and Google. In addition, Google and Samsung are not partners, either. Instead, Samsung is a Google customer.

Customers can easily find other suppliers but it costs much more to find a new partner. Use language precisely if you want to appear intelligent. You gain nothing by prematurely revealing your stupidity.

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