Hewlett-Packard tried to commit itself to the PC, the NC and the NetPC this week when it revealed its latest Internet-based products, services and strategy at an executives? conference.
The company gave presentations with Microsoft, Oracle and Netscape - a triumvirate of bitter rivals - in a bid to prove it has alliances with major players in the PC, NC and NetPC markets and to highlight its Internet strategy. HP claimed it will develop its relationship with NC pioneer Oracle yet remain close to PC software giant Microsoft, while working on Intranet solutions with Netscape.
Oracle president and chief operating officer Ray Lane snubbed the New York database event, DB Expo, to attend HP?s announcement, where the two companies outlined joint electronic commerce plans. He said: "This is more than just selling what we sell today electronically. We are reinventing business to allow any transaction over any network at any time." Lane said Oracle and HP will reduce ownership costs using thin clients, make hardware simpler so it appeals to more customers and introduce more choice through the electronic market.
Despite its work with Oracle on electronic commerce, HP claimed it will deliver a NetPC, adhering to Microsoft and Intel?s NetPC reference platform, in 1997. HP and Microsoft said they will make hardware cheaper to own by introducing management features in hardware, on the Web and within operating systems.
But HP also announced that it is a bosom buddy of Netscape. The partners will introduce Intranet tools, including software based on Live Picture?s Flash Pix imaging technology.
HP and Netscape will work together to provide businesses with Intranet solutions through Actra Business Systems, Netscape?s joint venture with GE Information Systems. Todd Rulon-Miller, senior VP at Netscape, said his company?s developments with HP will "bring easy to use Internet open systems software" to customers.
At the event in San Jose, HP outlined its electronic business framework - an initiative with partner vendors to deliver online business services, online technology and consulting. HP said it will also use its alliances with Broadvision, Open Market, Verifone and Visa to extend its electronic business framework, including some participation with Verifone in SET, the Internet transaction standard.
HP promised to make all its products and services Web-enabled. It will introduce Web appliances, Web printers and Web scanners to add to its growing range of Web servers.
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