HP allays fears around PC business uncertainty

HP will continue to sell and support PC products as it explores options to spin off or sell the Personal Systems Group

Business continues as usual for Hewlett-Packard's PC unit, which will continue to support and sell products as the company explores options to spin off or sell the Personal Systems Group, HP said on Monday.

Amidst uncertainty regarding the fate of its PC business, HP announced on Monday the Compaq 8200 Elite business all-in-one desktop, with a three-year warranty for parts and labor and on-site and phone support services. HP will ensure the full support and warranty commitment for the desktop is met, a company spokeswoman said in an e-mail.

"We understand customers may have questions about support, so you will see us increasing our communications to customers about our commitment. We absolutely stand by our products, support and customers. Consumers and businesses can buy with confidence," the spokeswoman said.

HP last week said it would explore the sale or spin-off of the PSG unit, which markets PCs and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. For HP, a slowdown in PC sales and its razor-thin margins are a drag as it emphasizes more profitable business areas such as enterprise software, services and hardware.

HP's first action in restructuring was to liquidate its inventory of smartphones and TouchPad tablets, which were selling at bargain basement prices over the weekend. Retailers Best Buy and Staples sold all HP tablets and smartphones in a matter of hours on Saturday. The devices run on the webOS software, around which HP will continue to develop and explore business opportunities.

Beyond the new Compaq desktop, the company will announce new PCs later this year to fill out its line of laptops and desktops.

One HP customer, Brent Woodruff exchanged his TouchPad for Apple's iPad 2 with Best Buy because of worries around support for the webOS operating system and services with the TouchPad. He also owns an HP laptop and netbook, and is not concerned about support for those products.

"I'm not worried about either. Whichever entity picks up their PC business will probably take on the support contracts and warranties also, similar to the IBM-Lenovo deal," said, Woodruff, a computer engineer in Tallahassee, Florida.

IBM sold its PC business to Lenovo in 2005 to focus on the higher-margin software and services business.

The sales and support transition for products like the ThinkPad laptop from IBM to Lenovo was smooth, and any transition will be similarly smooth for HP, said Josh Kaplan, CEO of Rescuecom, a computer repair firm.

"HP's had a great track record with tech support ... they are not just going to alienate customers," Kaplan said.

HP is also the world's largest PC maker so there will be no shortage of parts, Kaplan said. HP has consistently ranked as one of the better support providers, and it will try to maintain that status even in transition.

However, there are questions around support for webOS, and owners of devices based on that OS could be squeezed, Kaplan said.

Users posting in Internet forums also weren't worried about support in the wake of HP's announcement, saying warranties won't be voided and HP had a duty to meet its commitments.

"Whether or not somebody is happy with his/her level of support from HP will vary based on their personal experience, but what is happening at HP right now will not affect their level of tech support/warranty, for better or for worse," wrote a poster in Notebook Review's forums.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issueshardware systemsdesktop pcsrestructuringHewlett-Packard

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?