Hewlett-Packard (HP) is bigging up its web-based printer offerings in a pricey $300m marketing campaign. The printing giant said that the campaign, which kicks off today and will be shown across traditional media, outdoor ads and online content, will promote HP's so-called "Print 2.0" strategy which was first announced in May …
HP's printers now cost 3x as much to operate as competing products with equivalent quality and speed; furthermore, HP drivers have generated quite a number of Windows BSOD events here at work over the past 8 months, while drivers of other printer brands have generated no such crashes.
Perhaps if HP would spend less money on hyping their very-expensive products, and more on writing good driver code, they could sell their products on merit. But I suppose that doesn't fit the Marketing MBA model of doing business.
In any case, we're moving towards becoming an HP-free zone.
What do I have to say?
"What do you have to say?" asks HP.
I answer "Your printer consumables are a rip-off. I hope your web-printing sales work out for you, because I am NEVER going to buy one of your printers again."
justifying their existence
as I understand it, this sounds like a way of getting mail order prints, which may be fine for more suburban/rural people, but then you care less about what makes a consumer printer good and more about the quality of your postal service. So it may be good for professional printers because if HP is making lots of their high-end printers for their own mail order service, then the economies of scale may make them cheaper. For urban people, the Kodak-style kiosk is the way forward in my opinion. I've used one a few times and while it has its limitations and it is relatively expensive, the prints from my 2MP camera were as good if not better than some Boots APS prints we got a few years back, and the kiosk prints are almost immediate.
Does this mean yet another toolbar will be forced on us by the OEM PC companies? At this rate, with Google, Yahoo, MSN, Epson, HP... and then the starware & mywebsearch bars that kids seem to attract, there soon won't be any space for actual web pages in a browser!
So that's what web2.0 is all about... lots of helper programs, no content available... I see a problem here, how are we meant to print anything unless we can get to it initially?
Roped in LiveJournal
They've roped in LiveJournal, too - see http://news.livejournal.com/102576.html. It's not exactly the biggest of websites, but I suppose it has its advantages for this. They'd better hope it doesn't go the same way as Pepsi's sponsorship of LiveJournal.
(For those of you not following it, the Pepsi campaign involved sponsored mood themes, journal styles and v-gifts. The v-gifts got used to spam http://news.livejournal.com/profile, LiveJournal staffers, and people the sender didn't like, often with interesting messages attached. The journal styles were used to create journals that seemed, at a glance, like badly-done Pepsi sponsored ones. In the end, I think they pulled it not because of all this, but because somewhere on LiveJournal there were Russian neo-nazi beheading pictures and videos.)
HP printers used to be known for rock-solid mechanicals and dubious software quality. A few years back in a Carly-inspired re-org, some friends there told me that the PLAN was to outsource the mechanical design and keep the software development in house. It makes a "new-HP" sort of sense: "play to your weakness". It also explains why my 3210 "all in one", which I bought for networked printing, has not been usable as a networked printer (BSODs itself if you connect via ethernet) since my first software update. Sigh
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