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Commentary: HP's PC plans

Gartner says the consolidated company has passed its first milestone by presenting a clear, timely plan for the HP and Compaq Computer PCs and notebooks.

By Leslie Fiering and Mark Margevicius, Gartner Analysts

In Gartner's opinion, companies should consider Hewlett-Packard as a viable enterprise-class PC vendor.

See news story:
HP aims to be king of changing market
The new, consolidated company has passed its first milestone by presenting a clear, timely plan for the HP and Compaq Computer PCs and notebooks. The plan for client devices includes the following:

• For business desktops and notebooks, HP chose a long-term strategy of using the brand awareness and product design of the Compaq products.

• In consumer desktops and notebooks, HP will continue both HP- and Compaq-branded products.

• Workstations--including those based on the IA-32, PA-RISC and Itanium product family architectures--will migrate over time to HP-branded products.

• Personal digital assistants, home networking and thin clients will retain the Compaq design but will be rebranded as HP products.

Desktops and notebooks for the enterprise will undergo a transition through the fourth quarter of 2002. In general, Gartner views the offering of Compaq products in lieu of HP products as the right move, and that goes for consolidating business desktops and notebooks around Compaq products, too.

In the consumer segment, Gartner has concerns about the plan to continue both the HP and Compaq brands since a major HP goal in this area is to reduce costs. Although the two brands will share many common components, maintaining two brands entails extra spending on marketing, positioning and branding.

HP probably decided to keep both brands to protect its shelf space. However, resellers will recognize that the two brands come from the same source and may be reluctant to allow one vendor that much leverage.

(For a related commentary on the HP-Compaq deal, see gartner.com.)

Entire contents, Copyright © 2002 Gartner, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein represents Gartner's initial commentary and analysis and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Positions taken are subject to change as more information becomes available and further analysis is undertaken. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof.