Windows Trips Up H-P's Giant 'iPad' Bet
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There's an old vaudeville saw: For every two minutes of glamour, there's eight hours of pain and frustration. As Meg Whitman and Hewlett-Packard(H-PQ) try to add some Apple-like glamour to their song and dance, they'll probably tell you that ratio is about right.
Pretend for a sec you're Whitman, the top star at computer giant H-P. Since PCs and software are stuck in the dumps between commodity and free service, the future is clear: Do what Apple(AAPL) does -- develop some star power with a stylish, integrated software and hardware experience that consumers throng to.
|The HP TouchSmart 9300 PC packs serious business punch -- including an Intel Core i7 processor and full terabyte of storage -- as well as touch-based controls.|
Not surprisingly, H-P investors also want a piece of the Apple limelight. Whitman was peppered by such demands from shareholders this year at the company's annual conference. Even though H-P spends a billion dollars more per year than Apple on research and development, Macs succeed and H-P products don't. What up with that?
"Steve Jobs is the business genius of our generation," Whitman told a cranky shareholder, according to Business Insider's Julie Bort, who covered the event.
Now, there is no doubt Whitman and H-P are trying hard at Apple box office draw. Take the HP TouchSmart 9300 PC (base price: $1,499). I've been giving one a demo for about a month, as well as talking with several H-P product managers about how this PC fits into the larger strategy.
"It's all about redefining what a computer really is," says Joe Marenin, product manager for the TouchSmart.
My takeaway? Grabbing some Apple glamour really is going to take some serious blood, sweat and tears. Here's why:
The 9300 is a decent business computer, but it's not yet an Apple "experience."