HP product splash to center on photo printing

Hewlett-Packard (HP) will focus on printing, digital photography and making the two work together better when it announces on Monday the first batch of over one hundred new consumer products on Monday, an analyst briefed by HP said.

"The emphasis will be on digital photography and the concept of still image management and the printing aspect of that," said Roger Kay, vice president of client computing for research company IDC, in Framingham, Massachusetts.

"One of the messages that HP is trying to communicate is ease of use. That is an old message, but it is not listened to carefully. They are taking the admonishment to simplify more seriously, " Kay said.

Palo Alto, California-based HP already sells a line of digital cameras and "photosmart" printers. The printers allow users to print digital photos without the need to use a PC. The company is expected to expand on that concept, Kay said.

HP's product splash won't include digital video products because video files are unmanageable for the average PC user, Kay said. "HP is definitely interested in video, but they see that the digital video era is not actually upon us. The company is providing products for the scale of data type that people are comfortable dealing with using today's hardware," he said.

Not all the products in what HP calls its "largest consumer product roll-out in the company's history" will actually be new. A lot are updates of existing products in specific product lines, while others are "newish," Kay said. All in all, the announcement is big enough "to warrant a fair amount of attention," he said.

HP Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina will host an event in New York City on Monday at which HP will unveil its new consumer strategy and announce the first batch of more than one hundred new consumer technology products, the company said in an invitation last week.

Additionally, HP's research arm, HP Labs, will give a glimpse of what the company has in store for the future, according to the invitation.

HP declined to comment for this story.

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Joris Evers

IDG News Service
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