HP

Chris Nuttall

HP is extending its platform for touch-enabled computing with the release of its fourth-generation TouchSmart software and the launch of an Apps Center for free and subscription-based applications.

Owners of its TouchSmart all-in-one PCs will be able to get the upgrade later this year and it is installed on a new version of its TouchSmart PC, the 310, available on Wednesday in the US. Read more

Joseph Menn

Hewlett-Packard is announcing an entertainment-oriented  refresh to its notebook computer line today–and the most notable addition comes with its own 3D glasses.

The HP Envy 17 3D’s glasses automatically turn on when the user is watching a 3D Blu-ray DVD on the machine and then turn off again, giving the glasses a projected year of battery life.

In a test, I found the background shapes to have distracting shadows, but HP said it is tweaking the technology and will ship before the winter holidays at $1,600 or more. Read more

HP may have topped Dell in the bidding war for 3Par, but today’s Lex note argues, “HP may trump its rival– but to do so it has put a valuation on 3Par that is, frankly, bonkers.”

Lex writes, “Trouble is, 3Par has not made an operating profit in five years. Fixed assets at the end of last year were worth just $58m. On sales of $235m in the year to March 2011, analysts expect 3Par to generate $21m of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. HP intends to pay almost 80 times those profits.” Read more

Joseph Menn

Hewlett-Packard will bring out a tablet-style computer running Windows after all.

That was the word today from HP’s third-quarter earnings call, which should reverse speculation around the time of HP’s Palm acquisition–and its accompanying enthusiasm for Palm’s WebOS mobile operating system–that the company was killing the Windows slate.

“You’ll see us with a Microsoft product out in the near future and a WebOS-based product out in 2011″, said HP personal computer division head Todd Bradley. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The US has moved ahead of Europe and Asia to become a clear leader in the mobile phone industry, according to the chief technology officer of AT&T.

“I get so tired of hearing that [ we are far behind Europe and Asia],” John Donovan told the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Printing and mobility generally go together like England and success in World Cups, but some results are being achieved through old-fashioned email.

I was impressed that the Los Angeles hotel I stayed at this month would automatically print anything I emailed it from my laptop. Now, Pogoplug owners will have a similar solution if they own HP or Epson printers. Read more

Chris Nuttall

HP emphasised compelling designs and colours, but also its expanded use of AMD processors in its back-to-school laptop lineup this week.

Ultra-thin laptop concepts pushed by AMD could literally be the shape of things to come, with netbooks suffering a setback in the first quarter and Intel taking another shot at this higher-end category. Read more

Paul Taylor

In the Personal Technology section of the paper’s Business Life section this week, we look at the latest laser printer from HP:

“It was a shock recently when I realised a new set of ink cartridges would cost more than half what I had paid for my home office colour laser printer in the first place.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

Servers, whether the tall wardrobe type or those pizza-box slices of hardware that slide into racks in data centre ovens, seem suddenly almost sexy.

We have had lavish beauty-contest launches from AMD and Intel on Monday and Tuesday of new high-performance server chips at San Francisco’s De Young Museum and the old Federal Reserve building respectively. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Touch is becoming a common feature on netbooks, with HP launching its first touch-enabled netbook  a day after Lenovo announced its own entry  at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The HP Mini 5102 has a capacitive touchscreen option , like the iPhone’s, but it may be a little used feature at first , with few applications able to take advantage of the display’s capabilities. Read more

Paul Taylor

Until recently, most of the Taylor family’s digital photo frames (DPFs) were gathering dust because we had unplugged them. We had bought a clutch of these first-generation devices for displaying digital photos but found the screens disappointingly small and low-resolution, and the limited internal storage capacities allowed only a few dozen images to be displayed.

But digital photo frames have become cheaper and evolved quickly to add features that include: slots for extra memory cards, which make it easier to load photos; Wi-Fi networking capabilities, so content can be added via a home network; and the ability to refresh content over the internet, so friends and family can add photos, and images can be downloaded from web-based services. Read more

Richard Waters

Mark Hurd is finally starting to look on the bright side. The boss of HP has been one of the most cautious tech CEOs in recent weeks, but when I caught up with him moments after the company put out its latest quarterly earnings today (the headline numbers were pre-announced earlier this month) he was sounding uncharacteristically relaxed.

You have to be a student of Mr Hurd’s normally dour style to understand just how optimistic he can make it sound when he says he’s feeling “a little more positive”. He said there had been a continuing rebound in the US in the latest quarter and “good sequential improvement in Asia in most markets”.

The one thing preventing Mr Hurd from feeling downright happy, in fact, is Europe. Read more

Chris Nuttall

HP has launched a new PC lineup, ranging from laptops with innovative drains, aimed at preventing ruinous keyboard spills, to enhanced versions of its TouchSmart all-in-one PCs.

At a sneak preview of the new machines in San Francisco,  HP demonstrated an impressive guttering system underneath a laptop keyboard. Read more

Chris Nuttall

HP today came up with a videoconferencing product that could work out 1,000 times cheaper than the telepresence mega-productions itself and Cisco have been pushing.

Cisco’s TelePresence or HP’s Halo can cost more than $300,000 for a boardroom suite setup, but HP’s  SkyRoom could link two boardrooms for less than $300. Read more

Richard Waters

Speculation about a possible spin-off of Sun’s hardware business by Oracle may not be so wide of the mark after all. The reason: Oracle’s initial acquisition interest only extended to some of Sun’s software assets.

Also, HP spent months doing due diligence over a possible bid of its own but backed out at the last minute without ever submitting an offer, so there’s a chance of it emerging as a buyer should Oracle opt to shed any parts of Sun in future.

Those are some of the things to be gleaned from Sun’s detailed disclosure to the SEC today of the events leading up to its deal with Oracle (HP’s identity is not disclosed – it is mentioned in the filing only as “Party B”. But one person who had a ringside seat to the action has told us that HP was actively engaged for months, and that despite widespread speculation, Cisco never showed any serious interest.) Read more

  • After more than 40 years, a first from Intel: the leading semiconductor company announced that it would outsource the manufacturing of some of its chips. The unprecedented agreement with Taiwan’s TSMC shows how Intel is adjusting its manufacturing and business model as the Atom processor starts to play a bigger part in its future. While the US company will still make the low-cost chips for netbook computers itself, it said that TSMC’s relationships with device makers would help the technology find its way into a much wider range of smartphones and other gadgets.

 Read more

Chris Nuttall

HP Smart Display@CES, Las Vegas - One significant trend to frame and hang on the wall from the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show, which ends today, is the increasing sophistication of digital picture frames (DPFs).

Wireless connectivity and high-performance multimedia processors are beginning to give them functionality far beyond the usual digital slideshows of family snaps. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Firebird@CES, Las Vegas - What are the opposite of small, cheap, modestly powered netbooks for the masses?

How about big, expensive, high-end PCs for gamers?

If netbook sales are going to grow 80 per cent in 2009, according to Consumer Electronics Association forecasts, as consumers become more budget-conscious in a recession, does this mean sales of $4,000 to 6,000 PCs will plummet? Read more