Tim O’Reilly had a great line in his 2002 WWDC keynote address:
Microsoft gets a lot of heat for not leaving enough on the table for others. My mother, who’s English, and quite a character, once said of Bill Gates, “He sounds like someone who would come to your house for dinner and say, ‘Thank you. I think I’ll have all the mashed potatoes.’”
Microsoft has taken nearly all the mashed potatoes on the PC desktop platform. HP is a company with a proud history and thousands of very smart employees. But it’s nearly impossible for them to stand out in the Windows PC market; the commodity nature of Windows has made a no-name Brand X PC nearly equivalent to a PC from HP.
The HP-Apple deal is not exclusive — Apple reserves the right to license the iPod to others. But HP can rest assured that Apple is not going to license the iPod willy-nilly. The iPod will remain a premium brand; ergo HP’s iPod will be clearly superior to no-name music players.
Also, there's already a user site for GarageBand. Now all I need a computer fast enough to run it !