HP Launches Consumer Electronics Initiative

Following in the steps of other computer giants such as Apple Computer, Gateway, Microsoft, and Sony, HP announced a new initiative yesterday that will refocus the products in its consumer product lines so they'll work better together. Under the new strategy--"Radically Simple, Better Together"--HP's consumer-oriented computers, digital cameras, printers, scanners, and other products will adopt common UIs, physical connectors, and other compatibility-oriented technologies, where possible. Not coincidentally, the company used a press event that introduced the strategy to unveil its fall lineup of consumer-oriented products, which includes more than 150 new devices.
   "Today marks a new beginning for consumers who have been turned off by complicated technology," said Carly Fiorina, HP chairman and CEO. "HP is using its unparalleled consumer knowledge and technical inventiveness to cut through the complexity and make technology a positive ingredient in people's lives, a way to connect, discover, entertain, and get more things done. Our vision is simple: Place the consumer at the center of the digital experience by making technology that is simple, fun to use, and works better together." As part of the initiative, HP is also opening retail "experience centers" in stores such as Best Buy, Circuit City, and CompUSA that will tout HP's integrated product line while showing off some of the common customer scenarios these products help fulfill.
   Some of the new products HP introduced yesterday include the industry's first consumer eight-ink photo printer with studio-grade photo paper that surpasses the image quality and fade resistance of traditional photography; a new low-cost, glossy photo paper; a new line of digital cameras with adaptive lighting technology; a line of HP Photosmart PCs that combines its Media Center PCs with a built-in dock for HP's digital cameras; new image-acquisition software called HP Image Zone; a new line of see-through scanners; wireless-equipped all-in-one printers; an iPAQ mobile camera; a digital-media receiver that pumps computer-based digital-media content to the TV; and a 17" widescreen Pavilion notebook computer that features a 3.06GHz Pentium 4 processor and Harmon Kardon speakers.

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