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HP is determined to succeed in the tablet market

"It's just wrong."

That's what Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) executive vice president of HP’s printing and personal systems group Todd Bradley said about claims of the "post-PC" era, in a new PC World interview.  Mr. Bradley knows a thing or two about computers -- his division is responsible for consumer personal computer design at the world's largest personal computer maker.

The term "post-PC" is a popular one in some media and analyst circles to describe the hypothesis that consumers will abandon traditional desktops and laptops for smartphones and tablets.  Some would argue even if customers don't wholly abandon their legacy devices that canibalization by the newer device types is proof we're heading towards a post-PC era.

One of the top proponents of the term is Ray Ozzie, former chief technical officer and chief software architect at Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

But others like Mr. Bradley take issue with the term, arguing the PC is not dying, but evolving.  He comments, "Just think of the decision when your child is going off to college. What’s a requirement? A PC. Or you run a business and need your employees to be productive. You need a PC. The size of the global PC business is huge, and I think some people are trying to be dramatic. That said, there is a growing role for tablets, and we will absolutely be a significant force in that space."

Tom Bradley
Todd Bradley, HP EVP [Image Source: HP]

He claims this evolution has been going on for some time.  For example, while he's excited about touch in Windows 8, he argues HP has been pushing in that direction for some time now, commenting,  "We pioneered the touch many years ago built on top of a Microsoft system. HP has a long tradition of innovating in touch interfaces, and it’s great to have Microsoft agree and support us.  Whether it’s a touch interface you use occasionally on a notebook or desktop, or something you use all the time with tablets, we think customers will really be excited."

Asked if he was concerned about Microsoft's Surface tablet, he confidently remarks, "The market for tablets is huge. And customers really win when there are lots of choices."

He points to the Envy x2 hybrid Ultrabook (tablet/notebook) as one gleaning example of an HP mobile star, commenting, "This market is still young, and we will be a significant player."

HP Envy x2
HP Envy x2 hybrid Ultrabook [Image Source: HP]

HP, like Taiwan's Acer Inc. (TPE:2353), is pushing Windows 8 product rather than Microsoft's ARM analogue, Windows RT.  Mr. Bradley argues that the ARM applications space in Windows 8 is too immature, commenting, "We see x86 chips delivering one of the best experiences in the short term and near future. We will continue to develop with our partners in the ARM ecosystem. We think that work is very important. But our first tablets will be based on the x86 architecture."

On a final note, for the lingering fans of the near-defunct webOS, Mr. Bradley does provide a bit of an update.

He comments, "HP is executing its plan to deliver an open webOS under a new organization called Gram.  HP will make webOS source code available under the Apache License, Version 2.0, and we expect the full source code for open webOS to be available by September." 

But webOS is now mostly a humbling chapter in HP's history.  Windows 8 is its future.  And HP has big hopes for the Microsoft touch era.

Source: PC World

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Just ignorance
By Beenthere on 9/20/2012 2:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's pure ignorance to even suggest we are in a post PC era. Somebody is out of touch with reality.

RE: Just ignorance
By Mitch101 on 9/20/2012 2:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
I agree on the desktop.

I do think tablets like the x86 one coming from Microsoft will blur the line between ultra book and tablet. Its a tablet and a smaller screen ultra book on the go. Then you can plug the external HDMI out to a large monitor and use a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and use it like a desktop.

RE: Just ignorance
By Motoman on 9/20/2012 2:51:11 PM , Rating: 3
...which is to say, you turn it into an actual computer when you actually need to do something.

And that's not new...the Transformer line is cool, as is that HP thing above, that dock into a real laptop keyboard/trackpad/DVD drive unit. And as far as that goes, for like $15 you can get a faux-leather folder for your tablet that has a USB keyboard built into it, and turn pretty much any tablet into a laptop. For $15.

Tablets aren't "taking over" anything though when you think about it. What people are doing are either buying docakable tablets that can be tablety and do actual work, or they're buying tables and then the necesary accessories to turn them into laptops when they need to do actual work.

RE: Just ignorance
By Mitch101 on 9/20/2012 3:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
A tablet that runs a full blown OS that I can dock and use with a full size screen or as a second screen, has USB 3.0 ports, Memory slot, and supports a Bluetooth keyboard mouse combo might replace my laptop.

It wont take over my desktop yet but might take over as my laptop.

The average user who just does e-mail, compose a document, and balance the checkbook it might.

RE: Just ignorance
By NellyFromMA on 9/20/2012 4:44:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. there are definitely tons of people who I know and wouldn't consider 'tech saavy' but use PCs/Laptops on a regular basis for light everyday internet use. Certainly some of these people just won't need a PC-like device, just something to consume some content. The real issue becomes ergonomics I think (as nerdy as that sounds...)

It's not comfortable to use a tablet or phone for extended periods of time, even propped up. That's when the peripherals really come in handy.

The surface will be an intriguing device to get hands-on with; it's about the only device that has come out and tried to actualy not be a total chore to use.

We'll see how it plays out in the next 2-5 years.

RE: Just ignorance
By StevoLincolnite on 9/20/2012 3:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's pure ignorance to even suggest we are in a post PC era. Somebody is out of touch with reality.

I think what people mean by "Post PC" is more Post-Desktop world.

The term "PC" afterall means a "Personal Computer" hence even the Apple iPhone falls into that category.

What annoys me is how allot of these people think that Tablets and Smartphones will go on to take over all our facets of computing; which not only is not true but completely impossible at this stage.
For starters the Tablet is a content consuming device not a device where you create content, allot of analyst seem to forget this.
It's not like you will buy a tablet play a game of Crysis, encode some 1080P movies, do some photoshop work, run some demanding databases etc'.

Plus, don't get me started on how the PC landscape has still seen increases Year on Year in sales... Despite software and games remaining relatively stagnant in terms of hardware requirements for the last half decade.

Most households would even have multiple PC's by now that will handle everything they want at this stage with flying colours anyway.

RE: Just ignorance
By NellyFromMA on 9/20/2012 4:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
We live in a world where it's simply not enough to be large and sustainable; you have to GROW to be considered successful.

That's always kind of astounded me actually...

RE: Just ignorance
By augiem on 9/20/2012 5:07:13 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, just like we're in the post-paper era because of computers.

Finally some people are willing to say it
By BifurcatedBoat on 9/20/2012 3:52:04 PM , Rating: 2
Don't get me wrong. I have a smartphone. I even found myself using my tablet a bit on the couch this weekend, doing a bit of browsing when the commercials were on TV. There is no way though that I'd ever consider a phone or tablet a replacement for a real computer.

At least, I should say, the desktop interface isn't going away. What it's powered by may change.

RE: Finally some people are willing to say it
By drycrust3 on 9/20/2012 6:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
There is no way though that I'd ever consider a phone or tablet a replacement for a real computer.

This is were you are mistaken. Where they are now is just about at the point where computers were before the IBM PC, Windows 3.1, and some decent software packages. Once people sort out a means of typing, viewing, connecting to an ethernet LAN, concurrently running databases and spreadsheets (sorry, I can't remember if Windows 3.1 could run programs concurrently), etc, which won't be long (maybe 5 years), they will be as much "real computers" as any desktop PC.
For example, you could arrive at work, take your company supplied smartphone from your pocket, activate the Bluetooth, put it into a charging stand, and turn on the keyboard and monitor, and your Login for the company server appears. All done via a smartphone!

RE: Finally some people are willing to say it
By Motoman on 9/20/2012 8:33:48 PM , Rating: 3
...but all you've really done there is affect a change to the design of a laptop. You can buy laptop docks for some phones now...and they work fine. The power available in a phone-sized device is enough for internet and email...that's not the issue.

The fallacy is that a "tablet", in and of itself, is a device that will replace other traditional computer formats.

It doesn't.

The format for a PC is set. It needs a self-standing screen, a keyboard, and a mouse.

Whether that format is met by a traditional desktop PC, a laptop, or a tablet/phone with a dock of some sort, that *is* the required format of a computer for humans to interact with in order to get anything done.

What you're really doing when you carry around a tablet, or even a phone, is you're simply carrying a subset of a PC around with's an incomplete computer, that you join with other parts to make it complete when you need to actually use it.

By mlambert890 on 9/23/2012 12:43:36 PM , Rating: 3
You're missing the point and arguing semantics just like the guy below you. This isnt, at its core, some theoretical academic argument. It is a *business* and *marketshare* focused argument.

Why do you think an HP VP is making such a strong statement and sounding so defensive?

Who cares if "technically" the guy aboves scenario (which I love btw), of the "bluetooth dock smartphone at work and go!" effectively *becomes* a PC? That's a semantic nuance that only geeks on blogs with lots of free time will feel is worth arguing.

The reality for actual IT pros, and for investors and analysts, is that there is a 75+% chance right now that this device will be running either IOS or Android. You understand now?

"Post PC" is code for "post Wintel". This is not good for Microsoft or HP right now. No one here (in terms of the *business leaders* who weigh in on this topic in stories like this) actually cares about, or is talking about, form factors!

By GatoRat on 9/20/2012 9:43:46 PM , Rating: 2
Add a keyboard and isn't the tablet now a PC? By very definition there can't be a post-PC world in the near to middle future. (Create a computer that plugs directly into the brain is arguably post-PC.)

Internet bandwidth
By jRaskell on 9/20/2012 3:56:02 PM , Rating: 2
Various 'experts' have been babbling about cloud based computing, thin clients, centralized online storage...

They all ignore one simple fact (though they frequently talk about all the blatantly obvious reasons why they're right). So long as service providers have data caps and throttling, cloud based computing is NOT going to happen.

That is the only blatantly obvious fact for me. I look at something like Google music and think Oh, that has it's advantages, but as long as Verizon is capping me at 2gb of data a month, I won't even think about using it. I just keep my music stored locally on the phone.

And if you want to talk about trends, service providers have been consistently throttling down on data caps, NOT the other way around.

Bottom line, cloud computing and data caps are mutually exclusive.

RE: Internet bandwidth
By Motoman on 9/20/2012 9:29:44 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that and the fact that 1 in 5 Americans has no access to broadband internet service at all.

Anything that's in the "cloud" or "streaming" or whatever else is a laughable concept to 20% of the people in this country. And probably will be for a very long time.

HP's Board of Directors.
By drycrust3 on 9/20/2012 3:57:35 PM , Rating: 2
That's what Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) executive vice president of HP’s printing and personal systems group Todd Bradley said about claims of the "post-PC" era,

Mr Bradley can say what he likes, its the Board of Directors at HP that decide the direction HP is going in, and as far as I can tell they are looking forward to the "post-PC" era, when they won't be selling any type of personal computers.

By joeRocket on 9/20/2012 4:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
Really, if you take a look at it, all that's happening now is that "computers and computing devices" are maturing to the point that they're no longer exclusively for a privileged few, but everyone has a use for it, just like automobiles. It's just a matter of form factor. Full-sized van, pickup, minivan, SUV, wagon, hatchback, coupe, 2-seater convertible, supercar, Ariel Atom... we'll have all forms of computers now, and there's a market use for each of them. There's even a digital analog (ha ha ha...) for public transit... cloud computing :)

Saying that PC's are going away is like saying that SUVs will make minivans obsolete (or convertibles will make coupes obsolete): sensationalist but probably not true.

We will be in the post PC era
By kleinma on 9/20/2012 4:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
We will be in the post PC era when touch devices are more productive than a keyboard and mouse for more than just finger painting.

I love tablets, but who do you know who has a iPad as the highest level computing device they own?

I don't know anyone who owns no laptop or desktop, but just a tablet. With Windows 8 you will be able to have both in the same package, which is nice and I think a smart move.

Touch works well for lots of consumption and simple manipulation tasks. However outside of a few practicle applications for touch, we are less productive to the nth degree when using a tablet versus a traditional device. It isn't even that they are just slower devices, using your fat fingers to type on a flat screen is simply less productive, period.

Touch is Overrated
By jah1subs on 9/20/2012 10:30:41 PM , Rating: 2
Touch is overrated. I know many people who do not have good fine motor scales and prefer not to depend upon them if possible. This is true at all ages, but gets worse somewhere in the 30s or 40s and never gets better.

The ergonomics of frequently having to reach horizontally to a touch display are simply awful. Doing it once in a while is doable, but frequently, no. I believe that frequent users will have a new syndrome to go with carpal tunnel syndrome.

I am typing this message on a full sized keyboard with a USB port plugged in to a USB hub plugged into a laptop with a 15.6" 1280x800 display. The width from the outside of the Ctrl key on the left hand side of the USB keyboard to the outside of the Ctrl key on the right hand side is 11 inches and is comfortable. The laptop keyboard is actually a fraction of an inch wider. It makes me believe that this is probably a major reason that the 15.6" laptop size is so popular in the consumer market.

This tells me simply that any device with less than a 13.3" or 14" widescreen display, which is all tablets on the market, is more of a mobile toy than a device for hard work.

By johnsmith9875 on 9/22/2012 1:07:56 AM , Rating: 2
PC's are unlikely to go away but they definitely won't be the dominant computing device anymore.

I expect the home server to replace it. Our kids won't remember a time when a home didn't have at least one server. Romneys kids will have 10 servers in the house.

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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