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HP Launches 'Print 2.0' Campaign

What's the latest P word at HP these days? Hint: It's no longer "pretexting."

Print 2.0 is what the company is calling its print strategy, a collection of print services, online and off, as well as the availability of a slew of new printers for consumers and businesses.

For small to medium-size businesses, the Print 2.0 marketing campaign features tools to build their brands and also free customizable templates to print business cards, letterhead and brochures. "For a small and medium sized business, unless we show them the whole picture, they would see a new printer and say 'Yeah. And?' What the really needed was to understand how to create their logo or document to go with their new printer," HP senior vice president NoRae Spohn told internetnews.com.

The company's portfolio of office printers for small and medium-size businesses includes the HP Designjet T1100 MFP for graphic arts technical professionals.

HP Designjet T1100
Designjet T1100 for graphics.
Source: HP

The enterprise news is more nuts and bolts and includes the company's first piezoelectric printhead.

Called the Scitex X2, the printhead technology is for commercial and industrial printers and is supposed to increase print speeds and lower costs for high-volume commercial markets. It will first debut on the HP Scitex XL2200 Industrial Wide-Format Printer.

Not to leave out the consumer set, the HP Photosmart A826 Home Photo Center features a seven-inch touch screen, which allows users to edit, design and personalize photos with borders, text and graphics. It also allows users to print digital photos directly from slide shows or on screen thumbnails.

Printers aren't the only thing out of HP today in Print 2.0. Specific enterprise verticals have access to new services from HP.

For pharmaceutical companies, there's the new HP Smart Labels & Packaging Solution, which HP says addresses the counterfeiting and product diversion problems by providing secure serialization process with traceability, tracking and authentication capabilities throughout the pharmaceutical value chain.

Architects, engineers and construction professionals get the HP Instant Printing Toolkit 2.0. Already available to Web developers, the toolkit allows Web site users to print construction documents in-house.

HP said its new HP Imaging and Printing Open Extensibility Platform is for Web developers who want to create applications for industry-specific needs, such as security, compliance and capture, in a flexible and device-agnostic environment.

HP A826
For the consumer set.
Source: HP

Yes, there's more.

HP also upgraded its Halo Collaboration Studios, which are built for business collaboration and social connection between users. There are now more than 120 such studios in operation or soon opening worldwide. Now they'll include Halo Collaboration Meeting Room as well as encryption, localization and enhanced multimedia capabilities.

If that's not enough for enterprise buyers, there's also the new HP Graphic Arts Capture Business Development program, an expanded offering of business development tools, training and services to help customers grow digital page volume.

HP did not leave the consumers out of Print 2.0. HP said it's embedding print services in popular Web sites, such as photo-sharing sites Flickr and Snapfish. For other sites, it's unveiled the HP Print It button, as well as a new HP Yahoo Printing Toolbar.

In October, the company plans to add the HP Print Studio to its portfolio of Web experiences. The free site will feature templates and designs for greeting cards, letterhead, business cards and invitations.

HP also announced it signed an agreement with Meijer, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based supercenter retailer, to provide a complete, digital HP Photo Center solution, which includes the HP Photosmart Studio and Microlab products.

There is also a new service called HP NextDayTV, which makes current and local event television and sports programs available to retail customers on DVD shortly after the event or broadcast. Partners include Major League Baseball.

In the first quarter of this year, HP led worldwide sales of personal computers with unit shipments of 11 million, for 17.6 percent share of the quarter and year-over-year growth of 28.7 percent.

But HP's long-time horse has been printers. In early 2005, then CEO Carly Fiorna even combined its printing and PC group, hoping the successful printing business would prop up stagnant PC sales. Current CEO Mark Hurd split the groups into separate divisions later that year, hoping to "sharpen our competitiveness and improve our cost structures."

Despite early 2007 concerns that the lucrative printer ink market might be drying up, the move seems to have worked.

Even a pretexting scandal that plagued HP's board of directors hasn't slowed HP down in 2007.

Before HP announced its second quarter results, analysts at equities firm Robert W. Baird pledged to maintain its "outperform" rating.

"With a strong product portfolio and improved cost structure, we expect HP will continue to profitably leverage its massive installed base and distribution network," the analysts said in a research note.