HP Offers Subscription Computing

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP) Tuesday (March 6) announced HP Extended Office and HP Web Services, two e-services designed to help U.S. small business owners install, manage and support their information technology (IT) systems and quickly deploy their businesses on the Internet.

HP Extended Office is a subscription-based e-service that combines the latest HP business computing products with installation, business software, 24-hour phone support with a 90-second response time guarantee and nightly online backups for a competitively priced monthly fee.

HP Web Services offer businesses a wide range of capabilities that include basic Web site construction to enable e-commerce and real-time credit card processing. The package also includes ready-to-use, industry-specific Web site templates that allow entrepreneurs to get their businesses on the Internet immediately.

“Small business owners are faced with the daunting task of installing, managing and supporting their PCs and Web sites with limited or no IT support staff,” said Michael Weir, general manager, HP Small and Medium Business Organization. “HP offers comprehensive, worry-free solutions: affordable, business-class hardware, market-leading software, Internet services and outstanding support. We take care of the technology so our customers can focus on their businesses.”

HP Extended Office customers can subscribe for a set monthly fee starting at $169 for an HP Vectra vl400 desktop PC (including monitor) or for a set monthly fee starting at $229 for an HP Omnibook 6000 notebook PC. Both PCs come loaded with Microsoft Office Professional software and include nationwide, unlimited Internet access, secure online data backup, virus protection and complete IT support, including online training classes. Subscribers of either of these two standard plans also can choose from a variety of optional upgrades, including additional memory, printers and monitors.

HP Web Services provide small business owners with Web site solutions tailored to fit the individual needs of small business environments. The e-service incorporates basic site construction to enable e-commerce, including optional real-time credit card processing with shopping cart technology. HP also includes access to 55 industry-specific Web site templates that provide an easy starting point to get small businesses on the Web quickly.

For example, the bicycle shop template includes an interactive menu with pictures and descriptions of common bicycle parts and services in ready-to-use Web page formats. Other templates include ready-to-go Web sites for small businesses such as building contractors, florists, dentists, restaurants, churches, talent agents and animal breeders. HP Web Services is available in four customizable packages starting at $24.95 per month.

“HP Web Services has been a painless way to get on the Web,” said Richard Lee, owner of the Table Tennis World Site e-store in Potomac, Md. “They make it extremely easy to put up a site with e-commerce, discussion groups, news archives and more.”

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