HP Readies Major Rollout Of Consumer Products

The vendor will debut more than 100 printing, imaging, and home-computing products by year's end.

Two months after formally launching its Adaptive Enterprise strategy to help business customers combine hardware, software, and services into an IT utility that delivers computing resources cheaper and more efficiently, Hewlett-Packard introduced its largest-ever consumer-product launch. At a consumer strategy event in New York on Monday, HP chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina walked the stage in front of some of the more than 100 imaging, printing, and home-computing products the company will begin selling by year's end.

"We are announcing almost as many products as there are gubernatorial candidates in the state of California," Fiorina joked during her presentation.

The new lineup of digital cameras, iPaq Pocket PC accessories, photo printers, scanners, wide-screen notebook PCs, and DVD movie writers will be accompanied by a $300 million advertising campaign--just to make sure the word gets out.

Although large businesses won't have more than a passing interest in HP's new digital photography and home-entertainment technology, HP corporate customers can take Monday's launch as a step forward in terms of the company exploiting what it does best--imaging and printing, says Peter Grant, Gartner's principal analyst for digital document and imaging technology.

"HP had to make a decision about its personal systems group about five years ago," Grant says. "If they were going to stay in the PC business, they had to find synergies between their PCs and their digital-imaging business." Now HP can rely on its digital-imaging products as a way to stimulate the sales of its computers.

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