Comments On HP Q4 2013 Performance for Sales of Commercial PCs

In the early moments of the HP Q4 2013 Earnings Report, Meg Whitman, CEO points to ” . . . [the] first unit growth since the first calendar quarter of 2012 . . . ” Ms. Whitman also reports the HP Commercial PC business grew revenue by 4% over the prior year, ” . . . driven by commercial notebooks, with our EliteBook Folio doing particularly well.”

A review of the Elite Book Folio product line on the HP website produces supports three important observations:

  1. Many enterprise businesses, as Gartner, Forrester and other PC Industry Analysts correctly forecasted earlier in 2013, are presently in a long overdue buying cycle, ostensibly to replace old devices. The EliteBook Folio product line is not targeted to consumers. The lowest cost device in this product set has an advertised price (as of November 27, 2013) of $849.00
  2. The Windows 8 Touch Operating System is not yet in demand, at least for HP’s customers for this product. None of the EliteBook Folio notebook PCs include a touchscreen monitor. The EliteBook Folio can be purchased with a downgrade to the Windows 7 64 bit Professional Operating System from Windows 8 Pro; this option is promoted on the HP website for these products
  3. Enterprise Business continues to standardize on Intel CPUs for the type of computing task best handled with a notebook like the HP EliteBook Folio. The CPUs are either Intel Core i5 or i7, although one device does include the Intel Core i3 processor

The notebooks in this product line are neither particularly light, nor especially small in size. Each EliteBook includes a backlit LED display.

The apparent lack of interest on the part of EliteBook customers in the Windows 8 Operating System is worth some further attention:

Microsoft® certainly has an opportunity to persuade enterprise buyers to migrate to Windows 8. A successful effort to convince enterprise customers to adopt the new O/S would provide Microsoft with further upside from sales of Operating Systems in an otherwise declining product segment.

But the task looks to require a better effort to inform consumers about the benefits of this touch operating system, so they will adopt the Windows 8 computing experience. To their credit, Microsoft has clearly demonstrated a substantial amount of experience with this type of work. Mark Kashman, a Senior Product Manager on the SharePoint Team took a step in this direction with a post published on November 19, 2013 to the Office Blog: SharePoint Online introduces the Touch Design mobile experience.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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