HP has ‘multi-year’ roadmap for consumer and enterprise tablets

by Doug Drinkwater

March 25 2013

HP COO Bill Veghte says HP is "serious" about tablets
HP COO Bill Veghte says HP is "serious" about tablets

HP may have bombed out the tablet market in speculator fashion two years ago when it discontinued the TouchPad, but company exec Bill Veghte stresses that the firm is “serious” about its new models in the consumer and enterprise markets.

Speaking to The Australian Financial Review recently, chief operating officer (COO) Veghte said that HP has an 18-month roadmap for consumer and enterprise tablets, including the recently-announced ElitePad 900 and Slate 7 models.

“In the tablet space, we are serious about this, we’re not messing around with it,” said Veghte. “Is it an entry? Yes. Have we got a multi-year strategy around the hypothesis? Absolutely.”

The HP COO went onto suggest that the Palo Alto firm designed the ElitePad 900 with the consumer in mind, or at least with the idea that the Windows 8 model needed to be stylish enough to fight off models brought in to work on a bring-your-own (BYO) basis.

“We entered predicated on a very clear hypothesis that said enterprises need a tablet that their employees are excited about but that can effectively interact with the enterprise without all sorts of costs and add-ons,” said Veghte.

HP tried before with consumer tablets back in 2011, when it launched the highly-rated TouchPad running Palm’s webOS under then-CEO Leo Apotheker. The tablet was subsequently discontinued in August of that year, only for HP to jump back into the tablet market at the end of 2012.

Since then, the firm has launched the Envy x2 and ElitePad 900 Windows 8 tablets, as well as a surprise Kindle Fire rival in the shape of the $169 Slate 7. The company is also said to be planning a high-end Android tablet.

This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise -- just last month CEO Meg Whitman declared that tablets were part of the company’s attempt to “incrementally” shift its focus away from desktop PCs.

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