HP to acquire photo start-up Tabblo

HP hopes to license Tabblo's in-house Web printing technology to its partner sites.

Hewlett-Packard announced Thursday that it plans to acquire start-up Tabblo, citing an interest in the photo-sharing site's technology that facilitates printing from the Web.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based Tabblo, which was founded in 2005, specializes in the creation of photograph templates (or "tabblos," a takeoff on "tableau") and has developed Ajax-based features that enable users to arrange text, graphics and photos for printing directly from the Web. With the acquisition, HP hopes to license Tabblo's technology to its partner sites to make the simplified Web printing more accessible.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not provided. HP expects the deal to be completed within the next few weeks.

HP's been working on improving its profile in the digital photography market for some time. In 2005, it purchased Snapfish, a major player in the online photo-printing market, and now packages Snapfish software with its digital cameras. Additionally, in June, HP purchased the Swiss digital imaging company Silverwire, which specializes in software for commercial photo kiosks and mini-labs for retailers.

HP has also catered to professionals recently with the introduction of its DreamColor technology for photographers and designers, a collaboration with DreamWorks Animation, earlier this month.

But while HP expects to turn Tabblo's technology into another arm of its digital-imaging arsenal, this won't mean the end of the photo-sharing site. A post published Thursday on Tabblo's blog clarified that Tabblo's Web site will remain intact and stay separate from Snapfish.

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