New York - Hewlett-Packard Co. rolled out the largest product launch in the company's history last week, introducing nearly 150 new devices ranging from a new 17-inch wide-screen notebook, an 8-ink photo printer and a new retail merchandizing program.
HP CEO Carly Fiorina stressed that while the 'digital revolution' has changed the way people interact with photos, music, videos and communication, the experience was still daunting to the consumer.
Educating the consumer was the motivating factor between HP’s partnership with Microsoft to develop retail 'experience centers' -- a pilot program that will be tested at Circuit City, Microcenter, and J&R Computer World.
CompUSA will be added to the pilot next month.
The retail experience center, which will have a dedicated sales staff, will let the consumer 'touch and feel' the technology as it works together in an integrated environment, said Vyomesh Joshi, executive VP of HP’s Imaging and Printing group.
It will be organized around kiosks representing digital photography, music and more, with connected cameras, printers and computers on hand to give customers the chance to see how, for instance, a digital darkroom functions.
'It is all about experiencing the equipment, because that is the only way consumers will understand how it is suppose to work together,' said Joshi.
'Complexity is the enemy of progress,' said Alan McCollough, CEO of Circuit City, who was on hand for the event. 'We hope these experience centers will show our customers how easy it is to use all these products.'
Some of the new products introduced include the 8-ink Photosmart 7960 with an estimated street price of $299.
The company also unveiled a WiFi enabled multifunction printer, the HP PSC 2510 and the 5-megapixel Photosmart 94, which features an 8x optical zoom and an estimated street price of $499.
Fiorina said HP would complement the product blitz with a hefty $300 million consumer ad campaign geared around the tagline 'enjoy more.'