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HP Handheld Conferences -- this year and next

HP Handheld Conferences -- this year and next

The HP Handheld conference held in late August in Anaheim, California was a success. We had over 100 users and about a dozen vendors. Next year we will help Shier Systems sponsor the event, and I want to see you there! It will be in the San Francisco bay area in either May 16-18 of 1997

I'll announce next issue next issue. We will do our best to create and announce the conference tracks ahead of time so you know what to expect. There will be solutions-oriented discussions, tutorials, demos, a panel from HP, and you will be able to talk to many vendors and see first hand how their products work. Most importantly, and most fun, you will be able to meet and network with fellow Palmtop users and HP people.

This year Khaw Kheng Joo, the head of the HP Handheld division, gave the conferences keynote address. (Chinese names start with the family name in the West his name would be Kheng Joo Khaw but Khaw tells us to address him as Khaw.)

Khaw re-stated his commitment to the HP 200LX platform, As long as you want to buy them, I'll make them. HP's emphasis in the coming year will be on wireless and vertical market (niche) HP 200LX solutions. As you will see in upcoming issues, HP is recommitting itself to the HP 200LX. I believe the HP 200LX will be around for years to come no matter what else is introduced.

Khaw is a hands on man for whom I've developed a great respect. In my travels this summer I saw him three times (everywhere but at his home base in Singapore, since he was traveling when I was there). Khaw appears at all events where he has the opportunity to talk to users and vendors, and to hear their ideas and thinking. He recently spent a whole day watching the sales process in a retail outlet where Palmtops were being sold. Khaw does not hide behind his title he is simple, approachable, and unassuming, yet he has a razor-sharp mind and is action oriented. His team in Singapore mirrors his entrepreneurial, open and forward-thinking outlook, inside a huge, sometimes bureaucratic and impersonal company.

Based on Khaws comments and the comments of other HP people with whom I met, I think HP now really gets it. Almost two years ago we ran a series of user comments on why people should buy the HP Palmtop (plus our version of a possible HP Palmtop ad). The point that emerged from the user comments was that HP should not position the Palmtop as an expensive competitor to the Psion, Newton or other organizer/PDAs. Rather the HP Palmtop should be positioned as an inexpensive, superior alternative (or at least an adjunct) to carrying a laptop. The HP Palmtop is always there when you need it, there are no power concerns, and it is not distracting in meetings like a laptop is. Functionally, the Palmtop can do virtually all you need done when you are not at your desk.

iPhone Life magazine

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