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HP gets behind the desktop

The computer giant fleshes out its "Adaptive Enterprise" push with the release of desktop PC software and hardware.

Hewlett-Packard unveiled a set of PC-related products on Monday, including a new desktop computer with security technology.

The company also announced software for printing from wireless devices; data back-up and recovery software; and workstations, which are powerful desktop machines for uses such as creating digital content.

The new set of products is targeted at corporate customers and is part of HP's "Adaptive Enterprise" strategy. That effort--which has been criticized as vague--aims to help companies better align their information technology with business goals so that they can be more nimble. HP has focused much of its Adaptive Enterprise push on data centers, and Monday's announcements are aimed at rounding out that vision, a company representative said.

HP is not alone in pitching its products and services as key to improving business performance and flexibility. Rival IBM talks up its "on-demand computing" push, and Sun Microsystems is working on a similar initiative.

Earlier, HP introduced a new type of desktop computer--a "blade" PC system that provides monitors and keyboards to workers but centralizes the actual computing gear, with the aim of improving management. The company on Monday unveiled the HP Compaq Business Desktop dc7100, which also aims to provide easy management. The machine comes in three designs, all of which allow IT supervisors to open up the chassis and access all internal components without tools. Users can remove the parts in as little as one minute, HP said.

The dc7100 PC comes equipped with protective technology, dubbed the HP ProtectTools Embedded Security Manager. It combines hardware and software, accessed via a single interface, to handle security operations such as authentication, data encryption and secured communications, HP said.

Also bundled with the desktop PC is back-up and recovery software from Altiris that helps protect data in a hidden, secure area on the local hard drive. The software aims to enable people to recover their own data and system settings, which would help reduce the risk of data loss and the number of calls to the help desk, according to HP.

The dc7100 is slated to be available in July, with prices in the United States starting at an estimated $749.

The Embedded Security Manager is available today on certain HP business desktop and notebook PCs, HP said. The back-up software from Altiris--dubbed HP Local Recovery--comes preloaded on a number of HP business desktops, notebooks and workstations.

IBM also touts security technology and a backup and recovery system in its PCs. According to Big Blue, an advantage of its "Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore" system is that users can back up data to external drives

HP's new Mobile Print Driver for Windows is designed to help workers with a notebook or tablet PC connect to local and networked printers through an 802.11 or Bluetooth connection.