Tech Industry

HP to offer online printing services

The computing giant says it will begin offering imaging and printing services through, as an alternative to brick-and-mortar copy centers.

Hewlett-Packard today announced it will begin offering Internet printing services with its computing, printing and imaging systems.

New York-based will provide the printing software and services--an alternative to brick-and-mortar copy centers--and some of HP's imaging products.

HP is an investor in the 1998 start-up and holds one position on's board. The Internet printing services operation also extensively uses HP equipment and said it plans to purchase more.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP is touting the relationship as part of its "e-services" initiative. HP typically forms a partnership with a company that delivers services over the Internet, giving away hardware in exchange for a small share in the profits. last week introduced Exact Print SoftwareSM, the client-side software that makes its service possible. Customers use the software to send documents electronically to for printing or copying. With Exact Print, which requires an Internet connection, customers also select paper type and color, binding and other characteristics. The company guarantees next-day delivery from its Memphis, Tenn., printing facility on items ordered by 7 p.m. PST.

HP plans to preload's software onto commercial and consumer PCs and notebooks, as well as Jornada palm-top computers and HP printing and imaging products.

"We believe that provides knowledge workers with a compelling Web-based alternative to traditional document production and distribution processes," Carolyn Ticknor, president of HP's imaging and printing systems division, said in a prepared statement. "This relationship will reduce our customers' reliance on copiers and copy centers, and help them take full advantage of the Internet as a business tool."

Ticknor did not say what the impact of's service might be on sales of HP printers and copiers. In its 1999 fiscal year, ended Oct. 31, HP's printing and imaging division accounted for 12.2 percent of the $42.3 billion net revenue.

HP has dedicated one senior management to the relationship, and both companies said they plan to jointly develop additional Internet copying and printing technologies and services.