A surprise guest at todays HP Global Influencer Summit was HP’s CEO Meg Whitman, she was there to emphasise HP’s commitment to the PC market after a difficult year with HP almost spinning off it’s HP devision under the previous CEO. She said that HP are “fully committed to the PC and printing business” and that the combined PC and Printer unit (Printing and Personal Systems devision) amounts for 70% of HP’s revenue. She went on to say that HP is the only player with “leadership positions within the consumer and the enterprise market and they can bridge the gap with the consumerization of IT”, a theme that has been mentioned many times during the week. HP also talked about their labs where they were working on future developments like flexible displays that will change they way displays are made and could lead things like wearable personal displays.
There were a few awkward moments during the Q&A when Meg Whitman and Todd Bradley where asked about HP’s mobile strategy and each time the question was ask there was a slightly terce response that HP tablets strategy will be “enterprise and small business focused”, partnering with Microsoft for now and they didn’t want to talk about smartphones at todays event. However in my interview with Stacy Wolff, Vice President of Design at HP he did say that Windows 8 will introduce new form factors with its use of touch and HP are working with Microsoft on Windows 8 (I will post that interview is a separate post). Some also asked the CEO if WebOS could still be used in HP products and there was a short answer of “no”.
I think Meg Whitman presence was there to do two things, first to show HP’s commitment to the PC and Printer market going forward and also to highlight China as a critical market for HP. It will be interesting to see if HP can stick with PC the path outlined today as that is something they have not been able to do for the last couple of years.