HP Unveils Grand E-Service Printer Strategy

SAN FRANCISCO (04/19/2000) - Who said paper would become obsolete in the digital age?

Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Officer and President Carly Fiorina today unveiled a series of alliances and services designed to address what she said is an exploding market for Web-based printing services.

"Most people think of printers as peripherals that sit quietly in the back of the room until we need to print something," Fiorina said at an HP event here today. "We think we are going to change all that. The simple beige box -- the printer -- is becoming the information appliance."

Fiorina said the market for printing and imaging sales will increase from US$40 billion presently to $100 billion in the next three years. She also cited a study from analyst firm International Data Corp. (IDC) predicting a $130 billion market by 2004.

"We are at the dawn of a renaissance of creativity and invention which will simplify the way we work," she said. "We are at the intersection of infrastructure, e-services and information appliances that are all about the role of printers in this new landscape."

Fiorina announced two products she said will help bring about this new landscape -- an HP Document Router and a JetDirect 4000 print appliance to help IT managers better manage print queues.

Analysts said the heart of the HP strategy depends upon seven alliances the company announced today with Internet-based printing or imaging companies.

Those partnerships are with ImageTag Inc., a vendor of paper managing systems; EncrypTix Inc., which provides security for delivering documents over the Internet; Mimeo.com Inc., a Web-based secure document printing and delivery service; NewspaperDirect Inc., which prints international newspapers on demand; Stamps.com Inc., an Internet mailing and shipping service; printCafe Inc., a provider of Web-based B2B (business-to-business) applications for the printing industry; and Federal Express Corp., who with HP will develop inkjet technology to allow customers to print FedEx shipping documents from their desktops.

One analyst said HP is reaching out to these still-developing Internet printing and imaging business applications in hopes of capturing the emerging market.

"In this day and age, you need to do more than to just sell a box like a printer," said Angele Boyd, an IDC analyst. "Everybody involved in the Internet is forming alliances. Nobody knows all the ways the users will take advantage of the Internet. The way to go is to take a stake in all of these companies and see what pans out. It also shows HP is presenting Internet solutions."

Hewlett-Packard Co., based in Palo Alto, California, can be reached at +1-650-857-1501 or at http://www.hp.com/.

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