HP exec: 'It's us and Dell'

Hewlett-Packard Co. personal systems executive vice president Duane Zitzner, speaking today in a teleconference, said that "in the PC space, it's coming down to us and Dell" Computer Corp. "Every quarter is a continuing battle," Zitzner said.

Claiming $1 billion in cost savings from HP's 2002 merger with Compaq Computer Corp., Zitzner said the company is concentrating on "useful innovation and aggressive pricing."

He cited mobile computing devices as a key innovation area and claimed that the premerger handhelds developed by both HP and Compaq with Microsoft Corp. operating systems hold a 52 percent market share.

The new iPaq 1910 released last month is thin enough to fit in a shirt pocket, weighs four ounces and costs less?$299?than earlier iPaqs, he said. The forthcoming iPaq Pocket PC H5450 will integrate a biometric fingerprint sign-on, he said, for a marketplace that increasingly insists on mobility and security.

Among other client offerings, some HP PCs have built-in TV tuners and can stream images directly to TVs, Zitzner said. Full-fledged 3-D graphics workstations are getting more mobile in a laptop-style format.

The Compaq Tablet PC, he said, is "quite different from others' models" with its snap-on keyboard. So far, tablets have succeeded mainly in vertical markets such as medicine and insurance, Zitzner said.

HP has embarked on a "radical simplicity" campaign to make its printers transparent to computers?particularly wireless handhelds?and HP Web site navigation transparent to users who need technical support.

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