HP currying favour with IT managers

HP currying favour with IT managers

Hewlett-Packard is using streamlined IT management as a sales pitch

for its latest line of PCs, including the first desktops to use Intel Corp.'s

vPro technology bundle.

A computer running the vPro bundle uses software and hardware -- including

Intel's new "Conroe" Core 2 Duo processor -- to automate some aspects of IT

management and network security. Intel plans to formally announce the platform

Thursday, as Gateway Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. also start selling vPro-enabled


HP got a jump on its competition, particularly arch-rival Dell, by

unveiling its new business line first. HP announced three new desktops, a

workstation and six notebooks during a press conference Wednesday in New York


Only the desktops offer the vPro option, while the other new PCs take advantage

of the flurry of chips launched in recent months, including Intel's "Merom"

Core 2 Duo for the notebooks and a choice of Intel's "Woodcrest" Xeon 5100 or

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s (AMD's) "Rev. F" Next-Generation Opteron for the


HP promised to make life easier for the IT managers who maintain these machines

by pre-loading its OpenView Configuration Management agent on all commercial

notebooks, desktops and workstations. That product has been an option in the


OpenView will bolster Intel's Active Management Technology, an ingredient of

vPro, allowing IT managers to make fewer time-consuming "desk-side" visits by

booting and repairing PCs remotely, said John Snaider, HP's vice president for

desktop PCs.

Other business-friendly enhancements on the desktops include Trusted Platform

Model (TPM) 1.2 security chips, a second hard drive for real-time data backup,

and a virtual partition on the hard drive for encrypting sensitive data, said

Brian Schmitz, director of desktop product marketing for HP.

In contrast to its concentration on Intel-powered desktops, HP is selling the

new xw9400 workstation as the AMD-powered peer of its xw8400 model. AMD-based

PCs account for about one-third of HP's high-end workstation sales, since they

are able to run certain Nvidia graphics cards that Intel cannot handle, said

Jeff Wood, HP's director of product marketing for workstations.

HP is selling the dc7700 desktop for US$643, plus a premium for the vPro

option. The company will launch the dc5700 and dc5750, which will be available

with either Intel or AMD chips, in the fourth quarter.

The xw9400 workstation will ship later in September for $1,800. The notebooks

include the HP Compaq 9400 for $1,299; 8400 for $1,449; nx7400 for $849; nc6400

for $1,199; 6300 for $799; and 4400 for $1,479.

Detailed information about the new systems can be found at:

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