Desktop Computers 'Not Dead' Yet, HP CEO Insists

Dennis Faas's picture

Hewlett-Packard (HP) chief executive officer Meg Whitman says her firm isn't about to give up on 'traditional' computers, like desktops. In a recent interview, Whitman said she believes "desktops are not dead".

Whitman made that comment in a CNBC interview published earlier this week. When asked whether her firm would focus more on mobile hardware, like tablet computers, Whitman had this to say:

"In the commercial business, we've got a tremendously strong lineup, because we can go all the way from virtual desktop to workstations to desktops -- by the way, desktops are not dead -- to laptops to hybrids to tablets for the commercial enterprise."

It's a bit of a windy statement, but Whitman's message comes across clear enough: her firm won't be ditching desktop computers any time soon. (Source:

HP CEO: "There's No Point in Not Making Money"

The likely reason: enterprise users aren't yet sold on the idea that tablet computers can replace desktops and laptops in the office environment.

However, Whitman did note that the home (or consumer) market was a different beast, and that HP would have to approach it in a unique way.

"We're going to be careful about where we play and how we're going to win because there's no point in not making money," Whitman said. "We have to segment the market and be thoughtful about it."

Whitman also gushed about upcoming products aimed at home consumers, including tablet-laptop hybrid PCs.

"All tablet, all laptop," she said of the devices. "And you can take the screen off. You can work with a regular keyboard. Or you can take the screen off and sit back and watch a movie on the airplane." (Source:

Caution the Name of the Game

Still, the overarching theme in Whitman's interview: caution. As the fourth Hewlett-Packard chief executive in the past three years (a period in which HP has lost a great deal of its share of the PC market to rival Lenovo), it's clear Whitman is hesitant to jump on the wrong bandwagon.

For HP, whose devices have long been associated with the home market, the way back to stability would appear to involve focusing more on the enterprise market -- and that means keeping desktop computers on life support. (Source:

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