Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More on HP Web Printing Initiative

The San Jose Mercury News has a story on HP's (NYSE HPQ) expanding interest in enabling printing from the Web, as I've covered in numerous posts over the past year. An interesting statistic revealed in the article is that 48% of printing in the home is "directly from the Internet". And in addition to its acquisition of Tabblo earlier this year, HP is announcing a relationship for printing from SixApart blogs. (What, no Google Blogger? Yet?)

Actually, my opinion is that HP may be kidding themselves a bit on much of this. Print buttons on blogs? We've survived without them so far, so that should tell us something! And back to that 48%? What happened to all those camera phone photo prints? Seems like they'd be the dominant source of home printing, based on predictions of the last few years. The world is changing, or more accurately, the world has already changed. Print "ain't what it used to be" and will play a diminishing role in the future, at least as a proportion to all information shared. You read it here first!

On this theme, HP's LaserJet blog covers similar topics but also reaches, in my opinion. Vince Ferraro mentions Scribd in his latest post, "LaserJet Printers in the Web 2.0 World", as I've covered previously in early March and April. But in my opinion he's also stretching it when he states "I like what they are doing because they are essentially trying to create the YouTube equivalent for documents and this content ultimately needs to be printed". No doubt, some of those docs will be printed. But many will be shared in other ways.

I prefer a broader view of printing as a part, and only a part, of ever-changing information flow. HP is wiser to stick with that thinking as the foundation of its strategy, as Vyomesh Joshi is quoted in the PC Magazine piece I posted about yesterday:
While we are very successful, I want to transform our business, it's not about the means, it's about the end. It could be making DVDs, printing, or viewing. Build on our core competency, and move our organization.


Jim Lyons said...

The HP Printing and Imaging PR machine is in high gear this week -- interesting that once again they're going up against the WSJ D5 conference.

But interesting press is rolling out, nonetheless. Here's one from Forbes.

Anonymous said...

Jim, I'm surprised you disagree with HP. How come? :-)

Actually, I noticed a green "print posts" button on Techcrunch yesterday. Clicked on it. Got a crappy looking screen that confused hell out of me, but proceeded anyways. After all huffing and puffing my FF popped up Save As ... something.pdf and so I did.

Man, it was a PDF file of the blog post. Are they kidding themselves or something?
PDF print drivers are available as freeware and anyone with affinity to PDF files has one. Can't think of many people so keen on PDFs tho.

Jim Lyons said...

Hey -- Can't agree with everything.

Even when this was my idea 10-12 years ago!