HP

I often hear a lot of complaints from people I meet here in India about the Surface tablets and the Nokia Lumia 2520 not hitting our shores. We could either believe or argue the reasons offered by Microsoft and Nokia about the same, or look at all other options available in the market right now and make an informed purchase decision.

In a Microsoft event last week, I learned about twenty Windows 8.1 tablets from seven original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that are on the shelves at the moment or coming in a couple of weeks or so. In this post, let’s take a look at few of them.

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HP has announced at Mobile World Congress the HP Pavilion x360. It reminds us of Lenovo’s line of YOGA machines. The Pavilion x360 features a 360-degree hinge that lets you convert the notebook to stand or tent mode, or to tablet. Use the x360 as a notebook to work, rotate into a stand to watch videos, convert into a tent to play, or transform it into a tablet to go anywhere. The starting price is $399.99, which is close to the prices of entry-level notebooks.

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While Windows Phone doesn’t support printing natively, a discussion is brewing on the Windows Phone Central forums about different ways to print on-the-go. In case you were curious about how to get this going, you may want to pay attention.

If you have a Brother printer or all-in-one, the Brother iPrint&Scan has your back. The official companion app allows you to print from and scan to your Windows Phone device using your local wireless network to connect to the Brother printer or all-in-one.

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Microsoft is attempting to save Windows 8 through Windows 8.1, pushing machines left, right and centre, but it seems one of its OEM partners has other ideas. HP has brought back Windows 7 hardware, enabling consumers to customise a new HP PC, running the older operating system. The reason for this re-introduction? According to the HP website, the offer was brought back "by popular demand."

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HP’s Mike Diehl sat down with us at #CESLive to show off the new HP Z1 G2 all-in-one computer.  The second-generation computer has Thunderbolt 2 and a 27” multi-touch screen.

The Z1 earned a Geek Beat Editor’s Choice award and while it may not be very pocketable like our Windows Phone, the Z1 does make a cool first impression.  The design really shines in how easily the Z1 can be serviced with its tool-less design.  Cost for the Z1 G2 is in the neighborhood of $1,999.

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The Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas usually makes way for a plethora of, well, consumer electronics. Hewlett Packard has decided to go the other route this year and rolled out a new collection of business machines; the company doesn't have the largest market share when it comes to the enterprise world, but their latest collection of machines from the company is promising to excite. 

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The Confusion

If you head over to your local electronics shopping center, the blinking LEDs and flickering screens you witness from the lineup of computers on display, are most likely coming from what OEMs call “consumer machines”.

Since the birth of the personal computer, there have always been Consumer PCs and Business PCs; machines aimed at two separate markets that claim to be focused on what matters most for the particular individual. What truly makes a business machine what it is versus a consumer machine, and what is the state of each within today’s market?

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At the 2013 Intel Developer Conference (IDF), the company has announced that Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo will install 3D-depth cameras inside the screen bezel of personal computers, starting in the second half of 2014. Ever looked at your laptop and wanted Kinect-like motion tracking implemented for that added functionality? It could well become reality.

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All-in-one desktops don’t seem like an area that need much revolutionizing; they are essentially monitors that tilt and feature an integrated PC – features stop at folding the monitor down flat to use as a tabletop PC. HP believes they can take all-in-one desktops PCs a step farther by bringing them off your desk and into your lap.

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Could HP rejoin Microsoft in 2013? Maybe.

Yesterday, Fox Business has a recent interview with HP CEO Meg Whitman where all aspects of the business were discussed. HP has had a very interesting history these last 10 years and while we don’t want to focus on the changes, it’s on again/off again foray into smartphones is highly relevant.

To that issue, Whitman was asked directly "So a smartphone is not if, but when, for Hewlett-Packard?" to which Whitman replied:

"[HP will] have to ultimately offer a smartphone, because in many countries in the world that is your first computing device. You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a PC or desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We're a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor."

That’s a smart analysis of the mobile industry but also a tough problem to solve.

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Looks like Microsoft's Brandon Watson got more than he expected when he Tweeted about webOS devs switching to Windows Phone. In a follow up Tweet, he notes the overwhelming response:

"...I have >500 emails in just the last 22 hours. Had to rethink the algorithm for responding to all."

Watson goes into more detail in the letter to soon-to-be-former webOS devs who expressed interest in the Windows Phone developer system:

"First things first. Thank you so much for reaching out to the Windows Phone team to signal your interest in bringing your talents to our platform. To be honest, we didn’t expect this level of response, so we were caught a bit flatfooted. It took a few days (on the weekend) to pull all the mails together into one place to allow me to respond in a smart way and not retype every mail by hand. Consider this a first step in building a relationship with the Windows Phone team. We are psyched to have you aboard and to see what your imagination can do on the Windows Phone canvas."

As the news and ramifications of HP dropping hardware development for webOS sinks in, it will be interesting to see where webOS customers and developers head--Android, Windows Phone or the iPhone. So far, it seems like many have expressed interest in Windows Phone due to its elegance and lets face it, superior developer support. Either way, good job on Watson for seizing the moment and giving hope to devs who may need some work ASAP.

Related: see our guide for consumers switching from webOS to WP7

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HP made their quarterly fiscal report today and announced that they planned to discontinue operations for webOS devices including their TouchPad and webOS (formerly Palm) phones.  Wow.

In the press release, HP did leave the door open stating they will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward. What this means is anyone's guess. As our friends at PreCentral note, HP is discontinuing operations for webOS devices, not the OS itself.

Could we see HP follow suit and license out webOS to, say, HTC? Could HP take advantage of all the headaches/litigation Android is creating and offer manufacturers an alternative? Personally, I just don't see HP giving up on webOS after, only a year ago, spending $1.2 billion to acquire the system. On the other hand, who is interested in licensing an OS that has failed to catch on? Twice.

What does this mean for everyone else? I'm not sure if it will really impact Microsoft, Google, Apple or RIM. While webOS devices have a strong following, they were on a downhill slide when HP acquired Palm and never took off. With Mango just around the corner, Microsoft may be able to attract Pre customers with webOS's future being uncertain.

As a former Palm user (still have my first Palm Pilot) I hope HP finds a way to keep webOS as a viable system. One thing is for certain though, it seems these days the smartphone industry is constantly changing.

You can read HP's full press release on their quarterly report after the break.

Update: The Verge confirms that HP is not killling WebOS as a platform and they are looking for partners and options. In short, they're killing HP's attempt at hardware noting that they need to stop putting under-performing hardware in the market. Still, WebOS's future, even as an OS, obviously remains in dire straits.

via: PreCentral

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More interesting news on the Nokia front, along with Qualcomm. While both companies have a history in having a somewhat distant relationship, it seems they are really starting to come together, especially with Nokia's entry into Windows Phone 7.5 being just around the corner. The CEO of Nokia, Stephon Elop, will be keynoting at Qualcomm's Uplinq 2011 conference on June 2nd in San Diego.

Brilliant news for the Qualcomm and Nokia partnership, should the handset giant make a positive re-entrance into the competition under Microsoft's flag, since Qualcomm see promise with the handset manufacturer. Along with Nokia, HP and HTC are to be present at the conference.

Source: Qualcomm, via: MobileTechWorld

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HP drops Windows Phone 7

Let us flashback to the 2010 Mobile World Congress with Steve Manser, HP's Senior VP, saying, "HP is working even closer with Microsoft to develop signature phones on the Windows Phone 7 Series that offer an entirely new consumer experience.”.

Apparently, times have changed and we've seen indications that HP is no longer on board with Windows Phone 7.  The latest confirmation of such came in a CNBC interview with HP Personal Systems Group VP Todd Bradley. Bradley left no room for doubt when he said, "I think it's clear to say, that we're very focused on the customer, and giving the customer the experience that's important to them. We won't do -- will not do a Linux / Android phone. We won't do a Microsoft phone.".

Instead, HP will concentrate on using WebOS (a.k.a. Palm) for the company's smartphone lineup. With such a strong position on Windows Phone 7 it would appear that the HP Glisten might very well be HP's Windows Phone swan song.

So, does HP's departure from the WP7 represent a great loss or a void easily filled by another company?

[via: Precentral]

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In an updated slide presented by Steve Ballmer during WPC10 the other day, HP was notably absent from the "launch partner" list for Windows Phone 7.

Unless they were just forgotten, it's sort of a big deal since HP was initially listed months ago as being one of the big OEMs to release a WP7 device this fall. Of course with their acquisition of Palm and specifically their WebOS, it's probably not a huge surprise that they've cold feet--even if they don't consider smartphones 'hard' or their main focus. Then again, they are still listed as a Microsoft slate-partner, even though they've said they would do a WebOS slate, possibly this year. Going further, this seems to contradict earlier reports that HP was "committed" to Windows Phone 7--even though they never actually stated as much.

Of course, while we're always excited about Microsoft working with as many OEMs as possible for design innovation and just general competition reasons, HP has not exactly lit the world on fire with their WM6.5 push in 2009 and we can't say we're too sad not to see them not listed.

Heck, with Dell being on board, we'll take that swap any day.

[via MobileTechWorld]

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While it's a slow news day on the Windows Phone front, I don't think you can say the same for our friends at PreCentral.net, which covers the Palm side of the smart-phone industry.

HP has agreed to purchase Palm for $1.2 billion, paying $5.70 a share or about 23 percent more than what the stock is currently priced at. Palm will operate as a business unit within HP.

One of the many questions tossed out surrounding this acquisition is where does this put the Windows Phone? HP was listed as an initial hardware partner for Windows Phone 7 devicesm but will WebOS pull center stage with HP?

According to Brian Humphries, HP's VP of Strategy and Corporate Development, "We intend to continue to be a strategic partner for Microsoft. They're a huge piece of our business today and will continue to be so."

Other companies such as HTC has had success in producing smart-phones under different operating systems.  It will be interesting to see how HP does now that they own Palm. [via: Precentral.net]

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If there's anything we love about trade shows like CES, it's when big surprises are dropped on us. And if The New York Times Bits blog is correct, well, we'll just let them tell it.

On Wednesday, Mr. (Steve) Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, will unveil a novel take on a slate-type computer during his evening keynote at the Consumer Electronics trade show in Las Vegas, according to people familiar with Microsoft’s plans. The slate will be made by Hewlett-Packard and possibly available by mid-year, these people said.

Might this be the fabled Courier tablet, which Ballmer just a few months ago said he'd never seen (all be winking with his answer)? Only one way to find out. We'll be there live.

 

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Review: HP Glisten Camera

We took a look at the HP Glisten and while the Windows phone isn't as flashy as some of the others recently released, we found it to be a quality device. The Glisten is "old school" in design and while it may lack "sexiness" it fits well with those looking for a no-nonsense phone.

We skipped commenting on the Glisten's camera so we could take our time to give it proper attention. While not everyone looks to the camera as a selling point, many do.  Not everyone carries a standalone digital camera and relies on their phone's camera to capture those memorable moments in life.

Follow the break to see what memorable impressions the HP Glisten's camera made on us.

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The HP Glisten has been garnering some pretty solid reviews, including one from our very own George Ponder.

One big question a few have asked is whether HP plans on going wide with this AMOLED front-qwerty, releasing it for Europe, etc.

Sadly, the answer is absolument pas. (That's a sincere "no").

More specifically, TamsWMS asked HP's Austrian press department on their plans and the response they got back, translated, was:

Dear Sir,
we are sorry but the HP iPaq Glisten will not be made available in EMEA. It is an US only product.

With best regards…

Tams goes on to lament what they perceive as the end of era, where HP used to competitively compete in the European market.  However, instead maybe HP is just getting their sea-legs back after being in the desert for so long.  We're sort of rooting for HP and LG (and any other two-letter companies) to succeed in the WinMo space, as more competition with a certain 3-letter juggernaut the merrier.

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