HP targets IBM in quest for mobile computing top spot

HP’s General Manager of Mobile Computing, Ted Clark, was in bullish mood as he presented his keynote speech at HP’s Mobility Conference in San Jose, California. He declared 2005 to be ‘The Year For Mobility’ and boldly stated HP’s goal to reclaim number one position worldwide in notebooks this year.

‘We have a very strong retail presence worldwide, an equally strong corporate channel presence, and we’re also building on our direct business. This presence, combined with our great new products, is the winning formula. Becoming number one for notebooks is a difficult goal, but I believe that IBM’s shift in strategy and the CIOs’ nervousness about IBM being bought means that we have a great opportunity.’

The new products include ten notebooks, with a series of thin and light laptops built upon Intel’s updated Centrino technology. Not all the notebooks will be on general sale in the UK, with the most notable absentee being the Tablet PC: this will only be available to

enterprise-level customers.

Despite this, Clark had a positive spin on the Tablet PC. ‘We’ve been committed to the Tablet PC market for over two years. The product has met our expectations in terms of what we designed that product for. Our new product is based at $1,599, which will help to drive the Tablet PC into the mainstream. We’re still very positive on the market, we think it will continue to grow, and we think we can help to make it grow faster.’

But the device that stole most attention was one that attendees only caught the slightest glimpse of: the iPAQ Mobile Messenger. Although not explicitly stated by Clark, he implied that a Windows-based operating system would be powering the new device. What’s certain is that it will have a built-in keyboard and GPS, plus a plethora of wireless technologies including EDGE and Bluetooth.

To find out whether HP’s new notebooks will help the company regain number one spot, see the next issue of PC Pro when it will exclusively preview its new mainstream business laptop, the HP Compaq nc6220.

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