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Comdex: Cynics hold industry back, says HP's Fiorina

Carly Fiorina, chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard (HP), used her keynote speech at the Comdex trade show to call for renewed optimism in the IT industry.

Fiorina said confidence was needed to take the industry forward. "Progress is not made by cynics and doubters. We need the capacity to look ahead and develop practical solutions."

She told visitors that despite the "less certain world" around us, "I come to this conference more confident than I have ever been."

Integrated computing that solves customers' problems and "a partner that can make all their pieces work well together" would be key to future IT, she said.

Repeating the company's line since its merger with Compaq, she said that the new HP is a market leader across much of the IT industry and has the experience and expertise to cover a broad range of customer needs.

HP will also work with other companies where it doesn't have resources in-house, she said.

Fiorina said HP would focus on RoIT - return on IT - for all customers. That would involve lowering the cost of acquiring and running technology, helping companies to manage it end to end, and providing services that give them RoIT.

"We will provide the most modular and standards-based technology in the industry, to keep the costs of acquiring technology low," she said.

Reactions after Fiorina's speech were mixed. "I was hoping to hear more about specific products or strategies," said one IT consultant. "The 'integration' buzzword is overused at this point."

A senior developer was more positive. " She struck a good balance between their vision of computing and the day-to-day relevance of gadgets."
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