MediaFile

What’s an IPad? HP tries to drum up buzz for its “slate”

hpblahWith iPad hysteria perhaps starting to fade — or at least come back down from the stratosphere — Hewlett-Packard chimed in Monday to remind everybody in the media that, hey, we’ve also got a tablet on the way.

HP is the world’s largest PC maker and is not used to playing second fiddle to anyone in that space. So it will be interesting to see what kind of excitement the company can generate for its still unnamed touchscreen “slate device,” which is headed to consumers later this year.

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HP’s tablet, which runs on Windows, seems to be emphasizing what the iPad lacks, namely flash compatibility and the ability to expand storage.

Dot-Com: ‘Three Letters and a Punctuation Mark’ That Changed the World

DellTwenty five years ago, on March 15, 1985, the first commercial dot-com domain name – Symbolics.com – was born. It was one of only six dot-com domain names registered that year (Among the 15 oldest are Northrop.com, Xerox.com, HP.com, IBM.com, Sun.com, Intel.com, TI.com and ATT.com.)

A lot has happened between then and now: the fall of the Berlin wall, the dot com boom and bust, two Gulf wars, Sept. 11, at least one major global economic crisis and the creations of YouTube and Facebook. To give you an impression of the passage of time, REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling” had just succeeded “Careless Whisper” by Wham! on the U.S. pop charts.

Today there are more than 80 million websites and the Internet, for many, is nearly as omnipresent as air.

HP refreshes touch PCs

Hewlett-Packard took the wraps off its latest line of touchscreen PCs, a category that seems to be edging its way into the consumer consciousness.

The growing popularity of smartphones means people are much more comfortable computing via touch — rather than typing — and new devices are crowding into the market. Touchscreen computers also allow companies like HP to innovate on the traditional PC paradigm, offering fresh applications and stretching the limits of what a traditional PC can do.

“This is not just a gimmick, you have to make it something that’s would be useful for people,” said John Cook, vice president of marketing in HP’s consumer PC unit.

Apple reveals new data in green effort

Apple on Thursday unveiled an overhauled environmental Web page and green strategy, complete with some interesting new data. Most notably, the Mac and iPhone maker is now calculating what it calls its entire carbon footprint–including emissions generated by its products. As the company puts it, “what happens when we design them, what happens when we make them, and what happens when you take them home and use them.”

The approach is different from that used by PC rivals HP and Dell. Apple puts its greenhouse gas emissions at 10.2 million metric tons–a total that includes energy used by folks typing away on on their Macs.

In fact, by Apple’s calculations a majority of the company’s environmental footprint — 53 percent — comes from users plugging in Apple devices and using them. An additional 38 percent comes from manufacturing, with 5 percent from transportation.

HP lets you print from a BlackBerry

We’ve been hearing for years about the so-called “paperless office” but it seems as mythical as ever. This is of course not such a bad thing for printer giant Hewlett-Packard, which is aiming to provide businesses with new avenues to print stuff.

HP announced on Monday, along with Research in Motion, that it will extend its Web-based CloudPrint service to the BlackBerry, allowing users to print directly from the ubiquitous email devices.

“For the first time you are truly mobile on everything,” said Patrick Scaglia, chief technology officer of HP’s imaging and printing group, in a interview.

Nokia retains top spot on Greenpeace list

Nokia has retained the top spot in Greenpeace’s latest ranking of 17 consumer electronics companies over their environmental practices, while Philips and Apple made strides up the list.

Philips leaped to 4th place from 11th and Apple moved up to 10th place from 14th — best among the top 5 PC makers — in Greenpeace’s latest “Guide to Greener Electronics” report. Companies are ranked based on a number of criteria related to chemicals, e-waste and energy, and Greenpeace uses the report to help pressure companies to change.

Samsung moved up to second place from fourth, while Sony Ericcson dropped a spot to third. Sony rounded out the top five.

PC giants weigh in on Windows 7

Hewlett-Packard and Dell, the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 PC makers, weighed in Thursday on Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system, which is expected early next year.******Michael Dell, on a conference call following the company’s quarterly earnings report, was asked whether Dell is seeing any changes from enterprise customers related to Windows 7. He said:***

We’re starting to get pretty excited about Windows 7 and believe it’s going to be an important catalyst for growth. Having said that, it will also push purchases until Windows 7 comes out.

******Microsoft sounded a similar note at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. CFO Christopher Liddell said Windows 7 could help PC sales bounce back next year. He also expects some users to delay buying a new computer to wait for Windows 7:***

We might see a bump (in PC sales) next year, just as a result of lower demand this year. It will be helpful, but it will not outweigh the general macro-economics.

******Earlier in the day at the Goldman conference, HP CFO Cathie Lesjak was also asked about the impact of Windows 7 on consumer and corporate demand:***

We didn’t think there was going to be a Vista moment. We don’t think there’s going to be a Windows 7 moment either… We are not expecting that there’s going to be this huge hockey stick effect when Windows 7 comes out. The good news is we’re hearing positive things about Windows 7.

HP sees positive netbook effect

Stripped down, low-cost netbooks may be the hottest thing going in personal computers these days, but there continues to be debate about their ultimate impact on the income statement. Almost all of the world’s major PC companies have by now dived into the netbook market, including Hewlett-Packard, the world’s No. 1 PC maker.

HP CFO Cathie Lesjak was asked at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference whether the company expects to see a netbook impact on average selling prices (ASPs) and margins.

“I think you really need to separate ASP pressures from margins. Because first off we actually believe that netbooks in the long term are going to… generate incremental revenue and ultimately incremental profits … The netbook also has a lower bill of materials… If you’ve got good cost structure … long term we actually think this is positive for PC revenue and profit.”

CES: Vivienne Tam netbook off to strong start

The PC emerged as fashion statement in 2008, with a number of companies rolling out models that attempted to appeal to consumers’ sense of style. And few PC offerings generated more buzz than Hewlett-Packard’s Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam edition, designed by the fashionista herself. The slim red netbook, which is meant to evoke a clutch purse, is decorated with peony flowers.

The device, which began shipping this week, is off to a strong start, according to Phil McKinney, chief technology officer of HP’s personal systems group. In an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, McKinney called the Vivienne Tam netbook the “first gender specific PC.”

“It’s still hard to get… I’ve gotten more emails on this product from people outside of HP wanting me to pull strings to get them the product than any other product we’ve ever shipped in the years I’ve been at HP.”