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RealTime IT News

HP: 'Taking Care of Business' to Get More

NEW YORK -- HP  today fortified its Total Care portfolio for the lifecycle of computers, unveiling new desktops, enhanced notebooks, a workstation and software to manage them at a media event here.

Officials from the computer maker's Personal Systems Group outlined a "Taking Care of Business" promise to make personal computing personal again, and return some of the luster lost in a highly commoditized PC market.

The pledge is part of the company's plan to attack a PC and computer peripheral market that IDC says could top $1.4 trillion between 2007 and 2010.

HP hopes to garner more market share at top PC maker Dell's  expense.

"We're in a better position today than we've ever been to deliver those products that are important to our customers," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president of the Personal Systems Group (PSG) at HP.

Bradley, the first man CEO Mark Hurd hired to return the company to computing glory more than a year ago, joined the proceedings via a recorded presentation.

"We're all about making the experience the best it can be for a consumer, a small business owner and an IT professional," Bradley said.

"An experience that's secure, that's safe, that has great service, and that provides you the ability to connect to that information that's important to you in a way that's best for you or your business."

To underscore that degree of connectivity, security and personalization, John Schnaider, vice president of desktop PCs in the PSG at HP, unveiled three new desktops for business users.

The new, high-end HP Compaq dc7700, dc5700 and dc5750 come with HP ProtectTools, a software package to offer more security and manageability than most PCs.

They are also available with Intel vPro, a new technology to allow business users to remotely manage and secure desktops that are powered down or where the OS is inoperable.

Intel is expected to announce more details about vPro here in New York at an event tomorrow.

Powered by the Intel Core 2 Duo processors, the dc7700 will allow Voice over IP (VoIP)  calls to be made while the user is running other applications on the PC.

Available immediately, the HP Compaq dc7700 systems are expected to start at $643 and also be priced for business users with Intel vPro technology as an option.

HP dc7700 Desktop
The HP dc7700.
Source: HP

The HP Compaq dc5700 is available on the Intel Core 2 Duo or Pentium D Dual Core processors and the Intel Q963 chipset, offering higher speeds and room to add more technological components.

The dc5700 will be available later this fall, with pricing announced at that time.

The HP Compaq dc5750 comes with the AMD64 processors with Cool 'n' Quiet technology, which allows the machine to consume less power and stay cooler.

It is expected to be available later this fall, with pricing announced then.

On the mobile computing front, Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager of notebook PCs for PSG, was also there in the flesh to discuss new enhancements to the company's business notebooks.

Clark said the company's HP Compaq 9400, 8400, nx7400, nc6400, 6300 and 4400 notebook PCs now include Intel's latest Core 2 Duo chips, which are equipped with 64-bit dual-core processing power to allow business users to run more concurrent applications on their laptops.

The machines, starting from the low-end nc6400 at $849 to the light but powerful 4400 at $1,479, are also Vista-enabled for when Microsoft's next operating system comes out (early next year?).

Jeff Wood, director of workstations for HP's PSG, also unveiled the xw9400 workstation, a high-end machine with strong visualization and graphics performance features.

This machine, employing the AMD Opteron 2000 chips, starts below $2,000, and is geared for scientific research, digital content creation and film production.

All of these computers need software to manage them.

For that, HP today unveiled OpenView Client Configuration Manager 2.0.

The new, Premium Edition version of the client software boasts more features and configuration coverage for managing devices in medium-sized companies or departments within larger enterprises.

Taken as a whole, the event was a strong statement from HP, signaling the company's return to its roots as a leader in the PC market behind Dell.

HP's position as a leading PC maker tends to get left in the rearview mirror by such happenings as the company's introduction of dual-core servers and forays into such big software purchases as Mercury Interactive.

The timing of the event is also a preemptive strike versus Dell, which will host its own technology event here next Tuesday.