HP targets workforce, workplace and workstyle

NEW YORK – CDN got a sneak peek at HP’s newest line of notebooks, tablets and hybrids at a special event in New York’s London Hotel. And, the company new line-up has shrunk significantly from its previous models.

HP has all new designs that are 40 per cent thinner and 28 per cent lighter. In the next six to eight weeks the company will roll-out totally refreshed units except for the HP Elite Book Evolve.

“The old products were built like tanks and passed all of the military tests. The new products will do the same,” said Ajay Gupta, HP’s director of commercial notebook products.

HP is also going with a new naming convention. For example the 8470p class is replaced by the 840 and 850 models. The 6000 series of products are now the 600.

According to Gupta, the company has realized end users do not necessarily have a dedicate office and that the new millennial generation is looking for self-service options.

“These new users have grown-up with technology and they do not rely on the IT department. They bypass IT and the IT restrictions. This is happening in the enterprise and in SMB. We are trying to react to these trends. Customers are now the drivers of transformation; not the IT department,” said Gupta, who is responsible for HP’s long term product strategy.

HP in the past focused its go-to-market strategy on business leaders and IT managers with either a return on investment plan, an IT integration need or a security requirement. “The user was an afterthought,” said Gupta.

It’s not that HP has thrown that model out the window, but the company has increased its focus on the end user and made them as important as the IT manager or business leader. “We are not giving up on the IT manager and we will still work with them to solve cost and security issues, which the consumer does not care about,” he said.

Gupta told CDN that HP’s new go-to-market plan is to strike a balance between the two but do it with a sense of style. HP wants to give its new product line an identity, Gupta added.

HP is also taking a bold new direction with its support of operating systems. The company is expanding into multi-OS client solutions and ecosystems. Gupta said that HP will fully support the Microsoft Windows 8. As for the other OS in the marketplace, Gupta was not at liberty to say as they will be announced later on this year.

“The introduction of touch and tablets has meant that the user consumption model has changed. The reality of the situation is that users are moving backwards and forwards on consumption and creation. HP will be slicing and dicing to address the different user needs,” Gupta said.

Another reason for supporting multiple OS is that the marketplace is using Android and the IOS for smartphones and tablets and that those OS may get updated before Windows. “The business world is not totally Windows anymore,” Gupta said.

The new products will also have enhanced security and manageability solutions along with advanced remote collaboration features. Gupta added that the new designs have also been built for premium services.

One of key new features of HP’s new product line is SureStart, a new security component that self-heals the machine in the bios. This feature will first come out on the HP 800 Elite series as a hidden embedded controller in dedicated memory. It will be separate from the OS. SureStart at the boot cycle checks to see if the bios is clean or tampered with. If it is the corrupted bios is replaced with a clean copy that is in memory.

“If you have a security threat inside the enterprise and the bios is under attack this technology from HP Labs can detect it and log it for the IT department, while fixing it. And, user is never aware of it or inconvenienced,” Gupta said.

HP has also come up with a solution for saving the notebook in case the user accidentally pours liquid on the product. HP has designed this new machines with a drain hole. The drain hole is part of five tiny holes underneath the keyboard. The battery also has an untextured area that funnels the liquid through the main drain hole. Gupta said that his design feature will increase the life of the product.

The new notebooks and hybrids will also come with an unbreakable Ethernet port that can withstand 20 pounds of force.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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