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HP CEO candidate Livermore touts Web of the future

Services via the Internet will expand to where the Web will seek you out and, among other features, page you when a flight is canceled, HP's Ann Livermore says.

BURLINGAME, California--The Web of the future will serve as your virtual personal assistant, Hewlett-Packard executive Ann Livermore said today.

All services will be connected to each other: The Web will seek out the best prices for goods and services, page you when a flight is canceled, and even alert restaurants and hotels that your arrival will be delayed, said Livermore, president and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard's Enterprise Computing Solutions.

"You don't have to work the Web, the Web will be working for you," said Livermore during a speech at the Enterprise Outlook software conference here today.

After her speech, in response to a question on another issue, Livermore said she has interviewed for the chief executive position at HP and would be interested in taking the job. "If the board decided I was the best candidate, I'd be thrilled to do it," she said.

As reported earlier, Livermore is on the short list of candidates, and some analysts believe she may get the nod. When asked how'd she feel if she were chosen and how she'd run HP, she declined to comment, saying she needed to keep a low profile until a decision is made.

But the focus of her visit to the conference was to prophesize the future of e-business and Hewlett-Packard's efforts in helping companies dive into e-commerce.

Portal sites will emerge targeting specific industries, such as banking, Insurance, and travel, she said.

More and more technology firms will offer services, such as e-mail and financial and human resources software, over the Internet, so Information Systems departments won't have to buy and deploy the applications themselves, they can just rent them over the Web, she said.

For example, she said, HP has partnered with PSINet to offer e-mail services to small and medium-sized businesses and is working with Microsoft to deliver the same services to large companies.

And all Web sites will connect to each other through HP's e-speak software, open source technology that enables Internet-based services to link with each other, she said. Companies working on e-speak technology include Oracle, Qwest Communications and Ariba, she added.

And as a result, the Web in the future can automatically page you when a flight is canceled, among other services, she said.