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HP and Compaq see a wireless future

Wireless integration projects and PC innovations will be big revenue drivers for the merged Hewlett-Packard and Compaq, the companies' chief executives claimed on 10 October.

"Wireless will be huge," said Michael Capellas, Compaq chairman and chief executive, in an interview during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2001.

"Wireless drives infrastructure in a way that provides market growth,'' said Carly Fiorina, chairman and chief executive of HP.

The companies announced their intention to merge in September, in a deal criticised by analysts and users.

Fiorina and Capellas both said that wireless implementations would expand the software and hardware markets by driving the need to connect devices over reliable networks. This in turn will drive companies to HP/Compaq for integration help, as well as for servers and other infrastructure. The profit margins on actual wireless devices might be small, claimed Fiorina and Capellas, but it will be the connections behind them that are large.

"What wireless does is change traffic patterns that people have to deal with," Fiorina said. This, she claimed, would require more servers and more storage.

The executives also hinted at future innovations for desktop computers to keep the merged company in a leadership position. Future desktops will be pre-installed with smart cards to help IT departments track information about the machines, making it easier to update software and other administration chores.

Cappellas claimed that PCs will become part of an integrated access architecture, helping to coordinate the use of handheld and wireless devices connected to them, as well as many other devices.

Fiorina said such PC innovations would help the merged company win market share from Dell.

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