'Desktops are not dead,' says HP's chief

CEO Meg Whitman touts Hewlett-Packard's ability to offer a wide range of computing devices -- and teases a laptop-tablet combo coming for consumers.

Desktops are still alive and kicking, according to HP CEO Meg Whitman.
Desktops are still alive and kicking, according to HP CEO Meg Whitman. Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard's Meg Whitman still sees life in the good, old-fashioned desktop PC.

In an interview with CNBC published Wednesday, Whitman was asked about the company's strategy in selling tablets along with its traditional systems. In response, she touched on the array of products that HP targets to the commercial market.

"In the commercial business, we've got a tremendously strong lineup, because we can go all the way from virtual desktop to workstations to desktops -- by the way, desktops are not dead -- to laptops to hybrids to tablets for the commercial enterprise."

Segueing to the consumer market, Whitman conceded that it's a much more competitive arena with very low prices.

"So we're going to be careful about where we play and how we're going to win because there's no point in not making money," she added. "We have to segment the market and be thoughtful about it."

HP has been through a rough few years. Whitman is the company's fourth CEO since 2010 when Mark Hurd was ousted. Over the same time, HP has seen its once dominant share of the PC market overtaken by Lenovo. To battle back, the company is trying to focus more of its attention on the enterprise market.

But HP can't neglect its consumer roots. In the interview, Whitman teased an upcoming innovation for consumers, which she called a tablet and a laptop all in one.

"All tablet, all laptop," she explained. "And you can take the screen off. You can work with a regular keyboard. Or you can take the screen off and sit back and watch a movie on the airplane."

On the surface, that doesn't seem like an innovation as its sounds just like one of today's hybrids. But we'll see if HP has something more up its sleeve.

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