Developer relations head Richard Kerris told The Loop yesterday that the TouchPad is really an enterprise play: “We think there’s a better opportunity for us to go after the enterprise space and those consumers that use PCs….It would be ignorant for us to say that we are going to take it away from Apple.”
Then today, marketing exec David Gee touted enterprise features like management and security to NetworkWorld.
This is smart — HP is betting its future on cloud computing and enterprise services, and it might be able to make some headway selling TouchPads as a specialised client that connects to business services running in the cloud. Sort of like Cisco is doing with its Android-based Cius tablet. Or like RIM was hoping to do with the Playbook.
But it’s also a pretty huge shift from February, when HP unveiled the tablet at a crowded media event in San Francisco. Sure, HP talked about email and contacts and printing. (It’s an unspoken rule: you may not have a media event at HP without mentioning printing.)
Yet, the focus was definitely consumer. They showed a video of Kung Fu Panda. They demonstrated the photo-sharing app with cute pictures of dogs. They showed poker and word games.
Famous music producer Jimmy Iovine got on stage for 15 minutes to talk about HP and music, and HP’s support for Beats Audio, the company founded by Iovine and Dr. Dre. (They make some pretty cool — if expensive — headphones, among other things.)
But never mind all that. Apparently the TouchPad is an ENTERPRISE device.
Looks like small startups aren’t the only ones who understand the art of the pivot.