Hewlett-Packard to improve printing from Web

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Hewlett-Packard Co. has unveiled a new strategy for capturing a significant share of the growing digital print market.

By 2010, the electronics company estimates 53 trillion digital pages will be printed, creating a market opportunity worth more than $296 billion. The company will go after this market with a strategy called Print 2.0 that includes three key areas: making it easier to print from Web sites; extending the company's digital content and publishing platforms across customer segments; and increasing the speed of digital printing while lowering its price for high-volume commercial markets.

The strategy "centers on empowering our customers to create and consume their content their way," Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP's imaging and printing group, said at the company's annual Imaging and Printing Conference.

Content from the Internet accounts for nearly half of all printing done at home, HP claims. Yet many Web sites, including blogs and travel sites, have limited printing capabilities.

Palo Alto, CA-based HP has collaborated with ViaMichelin, a map provider in Europe, to offer improved map printing by better aligning what is seen on the screen with what is printed on the page, as well as how maps are used once people are on the road.

HP has teamed up with SixApart Ltd., creator of the Movable Type blogging platform, to enable bloggers to add a "print" button to their blogs. The new blog-printing widget will let readers choose the posts they want to print.

The plug-in is currently in beta release.

HP also plans to introduce an embeddable Web site widget this summer that enables Web designers to incorporate print functionality into new and existing sites. The Tabblo Print Toolkit is based on custom template technology developed by Tabblo, which HP acquired in March.

In line with such measures, HP announced new services for business customers across several industry segments designed to manage their printing environments, streamline information workflows and reduce costs. The HP Retail Marketing Automation application, for example, automates the in-store promotion, allowing for quicker time to market.

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