RealTime IT News

Vendors Trumpeting XP-Equipped Machines

With the Oct. 25 launch of Microsoft Windows XP rapidly approaching, computer manufacturers are coming out to tout their new XP machines.

eMachines Inc. Friday announced it has begun shipping its entire line of PCs preloaded with XP, with systems starting as low as $399 after manufacturer's rebate.

Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard Co. announced consumer and business applications -- including enhanced digital photography and imaging capabilities, PC-to-PC information transfer and Internet access -- that will be packaged with its newly introduced desktop and notebook PCs equipped with XP.

eMachines said all of its PCs have been qualified by Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) for meeting or exceeding the requirements for Windows XP. The company also said it is the first vendor to integrate the Windows XP "Remote Assistance" feature within its customer call center operations. The feature allows eMachines' technical support personnel to directly evaluate, identify and resolve problems on the end-users' PC through an Internet connection -- with customer permission.

The company also underscored that it offers a "clean, uncluttered desktop screen without unsolicited icons promoting third-party products and services."

HP is taking a different tack. It has partnered with Detto Technologies, The Learning Company and others to "enhance HP's Windows XP experience for consumers."

HP's alliance with Detto allows the company to pre-install Detto's IntelliMover software, which gives consumers the ability to upgrade their PCs seamlessly. It offers transfer and integration of data, settings and information from one PC to another.

Together with The Learning Company, HP is including HP Learning Adventure software with every Windows XP-equipped machine for the consumer market. Customers will have access to 15 pre-installed software choices ranging from children's educational titles to family reference software -- and will be able to select one free with each system they purchase.

HP has also partnered with BackWeb Technologies to provide the My HP Center, which gives customers access to Internet sites featuring special offers for HP customers ranging from personal finance and shopping to digital imaging and music.

"HP and Windows XP is the one-two punch that unlocks the possibilities of home, business and notebook PCs for consumers and businesses," said Pradeep Jotwani, president and general manager of HP Consumer Business Organization. "HP's Windows XP-powered desktop and notebook PCs take users into the future of digital solutions with their very own photo lab, movie theater, production studio and jukebox, as well as the latest in mobile and office technologies."