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BLOG: HP keeps making PCs: Now what?

Ian Paul | Oct. 31, 2011
Hewlett-Packard's reversal of its plan to drop its consumer division means we'll soon see new HP tablets and ultrabooks, and WebOS may find a home on additional devices.

Ultrabooks Expected

Bradley and Whitman did not spend much time discussing HP's traditional PC business of desktop and laptop PCs. But HP may have something to announce in the coming weeks about its first foray into ultrabooks, the new ultramobile laptop class created by Intel. "We're very focused on having a compelling suite in the the ultramobile space and you'll see that very soon," Bradley said.

To qualify as an ultrabook the device must be less than 0.8-inches thick, have longer battery life, and use a Core 'i' Sandy Bridge processor (until Ivy Bridge chips arrive in 2012). Ultrabooks are also supposed to be priced under $1000, but not all ultrabooks meet that requirement.

Although HP originally wanted to spin off its PC division, the company was still moving ahead with new product plans so it's no surprise to hear Bradley discuss an HP ultrabook. Speculation about a new HP ultramobile PC surfaced as recently as late September when an ad for HP ultrabooks started appearing in Google searches.

Cloud Role is Cloudy

In March, former HP CEO Leo Apotheker laid out the company's cloud services strategy that focused largely on enterprise users and integrating personal online services such as social networking with work devices. Apotheker also wanted to create a new consumer app store for WebOS devices, and to tightly integrate WebOS devices such as printers and PCs so they could easily communicate with each other and share data.

It's not clear how much of that vision Whitman & Co. will keep. Whatever HP does, a consumer level cloud strategy may be involved as Whitman made references to a strategy about the "public cloud." But HP is not ready to discuss specifics just yet. "You will hear more about our cloud strategy as we get into the future vision of HP," Whitman said.


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