HP returns to mobile with enterprise launch, banks on Windows

HP, Microsoft, Windows, enterprise, salesforce

HP Inc is to launch an enterprise mobile platform, featuring a Bang&Olufsen designed phone, as it attempts to woo businesses that do not want to go down the BYOD road.

The HP Elite x3 features a smartphone, docking unit and "dumb" phablet that puts mobile as the default method of working.

It is run on the Windows 10 OS and features Continuum2, Microsoft software that means work is available on mobile and desktops simultaneously, and HP Workspace, an app catalogue that companies can curate themselves.

The platform is launching with Salesforce as a partner, meaning the software vendor's CRM platform will be baked-in to the system when it launches "at the end of the summer".

Michael Park, HP Inc's General Manager of Mobility, told European Communications that the "big bet" the company was making was that enterprise apps had not yet "transitioned" to mobile.

He said: As [apps transition], corporate IT departments are going to have to make a choice - create a completely separate dev org that writes IoS/Android apps and supports them on an ongoing basis or go to Windows."

According to Park, mobile chips now rival PC chips and people "don't understand" the potential of Windows 10.

The OS has struggled to make an impact on the Android-IoS duopoly thus far.

Park revealed he is looking for telco partners to help push sales, particularly in Europe where he admitted the company was "a little behind".

He said HP was in discussions with a number of operators on the continent, with further talks expected at this week's Mobile World Congress.

Despite unveiling its first mobile phone since its Palm days, HP said it did not want the launch to be viewed as a "just about a new phone".

Indeed, Park said this is "the biggest risk to the project".

The Desk Dock enables users to connect to Ethernet and a USB, while the Mobile Extender - a laptop without a CPU - enables a bigger screen and keyboard experience.

Park admitted that it is targeting Blackberry's enterprise user base in particular and said the HP solution offered "a material cost saving" for IT buyers given the number of "individual computing devices" they were required to buy was down to just one.

He claimed there are "a lot" of enterprises that want to offer more mobile ways of working without resorting to BYOD.

For example, he said one company who HP had showed the new system indicated they would continue to support BYOD but look to force employees into using Elite in order to access services such as email archives.

Pointedly, Park said tech companies that have "grown up with BYOD" were not the Elite's addressable market.

The system also features Qualcomm chip technology and biometric security.

Park said: "The HP Elite x3 is where we see the future of computing heading - one device that can truly act like every device: a modern technology solution for a mobile-centric workplace combined with greater benefits of IT."

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella added: "windows 10 was built for an era of more personal computing, one in which your experiences, content and data are mobile with you.

"Together with partners including HP, Qualcomm and Salesforce, we are focused on enabling customers to be productive wherever they are."

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