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September 23, 1998

HP STILL SHY OF PRODUCTION PRINTING

By CBR Staff Writer

The production printing industry (60 pages per minute and up) gets the jitters every time Hewlett-Packard Co is seen to be readying a sortie into its territory. However the suggestion is that HP has abandoned a planned 60ppm D660 printer and has also moved its D640 40ppm printer into Carolyn Ticknor’s LaserJet solutions group, a move that suggests HP’s production printing definition is limited to the office. Moreover Morgan Stanley & Co says that when it recently spoke with Lee Ray Massey, VP and world-wide marketing manager LaserJet solutions division he did not talk about any production printing and conspicuously ignored the whole speed issue. Massey alluded that there was no demand in office environment for above 40ppm. The brokerage thinks HP is missing something there, although it is on a collision course for Xerox Corp which it will battle on software and networking: this may be a good idea so they can push the idea of distribute and print and maintain a clear marketing message. It says that HP’s Desk Top Management products should transfer to printers without too much problem. There’s a re-fresh of the color printers in the pipe, and Morgan Stanley says HP is also in the beginning phases of building a direct sales force for laser printers that will put it into competition with Lexmark International Inc. It has 500 dedicated so far. It estimates the LaserJet hardware and consumable businesses generated 17% of HP’s total revenue in the third quarter.

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