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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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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
quote:
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 you...it'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.)


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