Hewlett-Packard's Todd Bradley might have missed his calling as a politician. Bradley, executive vice president of HP's printing and personal systems group, clearly lives and breathes his company's products, and it shows in his answers to my questions during a recent phone and email Q&A.
His answers often include highly detailed information--even down to the level of individual product skews--but he uses phrasing that sometimes sounds like scripted HP-speak. I asked Bradley questions about the upcoming HP Windows 8 computers, what printing will be like in the future, and what type of mobile gear we will see from HP in the months ahead, among other things.
PCW: What will Windows 8 mean to HP and its customers?
Bradley: Clearly the touch opportunity is significant. We pioneered the touch many years ago built on top of a Microsoft system. HP has a long tradition of innovating in touch interfaces, and it's great to have Microsoft agree and support us. Whether it's a touch interface you use occasionally on a notebook or desktop, or something you use all the time with tablets, we think customers will really be excited.
PCW: Thoughts on Microsoft releasing its own Windows Surface tablet?
Bradley: We are confident with our competitive offerings. I'm not going to comment on anybody else's announcements. Microsoft remains a key partner, and the market for tablets is huge. And customers really win when there are lots of choices.
PCW: How do you react when people say we're in a post-PC era?
Bradley: Look, it's just wrong. Just think of the decision when your child is going off to college. What's a requirement? A PC. Or you run a business and need your employees to be productive. You need a PC. The size of the global PC business is huge, and I think some people are trying to be dramatic. That said, there is a growing role for tablets, and we will absolutely be a significant force in that space.
PCW: HP makes some of the most important hardware for consumers and business. Same goes for the services that you provide. But all the attention is on web services, tablets, and smartphones. Critics say HP has missed the boat on the mobile revolution. Is that fair?
Bradley: Our new hybrid notebook, the ENVY x2, that doubles as a tablet, is one of the first products we've announced that runs Windows 8, and we'll follow it with an enterprise-ready tablet later in the Windows 8 timeframe. This market is still young, and we will be a significant player.
PCW: When it comes to having an ARM tablet I've heard mixed reports on what HP is up to. Some headlines have reported that you had an ARM tablet in the works and then decided to kill the project. Can you tell me what's really going on and if you will be coming to market with an ARM-based tablet soon?
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