"What's this thing? It looks pretty cool. What pretty icons! Can I touch them? I can, really?" Etc. That basically describes our infantile thought process when we stumbled across the DreamScreen 400 (not to be confused with the DreamScreen photo frame line), a new all-in-one desktop from HP, but suddenly it all became clear: this thing is built for the Indian market, and us chubby Americans will have to keep on dreaming. Still, it's an interesting thought experiment. HP has long sought to differentiate itself in its Windows-based offerings, and even at times abandoned its first OS love with its Mobile Internet Edition Ubuntu-based netbooks and now its upcoming webOS tablets. The DreamScreen 400, which runs some flavor of Linux with an extensive, touch-friendly HP skin on top, sort of demonstrates an alternate reality where HP decided to pursue Linux in the consumer desktop space -- Microsoft be damned. Of course, this is also an actual reality: you should be able to buy this 18.5-inch desktop in India for Rs. 19,999 (about $450) in India right around nowish, and we'll see where HP takes this software from here.
[Thanks, Chris J.]
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HP Connects Consumers in India to World Wide Web, Hometown Content
New information hub delivers simplicity and regional relevance
NEW DELHI, India, Nov. 18, 2010
Aiming to connect generations of families and overcome the complexity often associated with technology, HP today unveiled a gateway to information and services prized by consumers in India.
The HP DreamScreen400 delivers the full reach of the internet and access to localized content and services to all members of a family.(1)
The "developed in India, for India" tabletop product is designed to enhance education, deliver news and entertainment, link families, enrich spiritual life and provide access to the web via a touch interface.
"What was once elusive is now within reach – a tap of a finger lets everyone in the household reach the information they cherish," said Satjiv S. Chahil, advisor, Global Markets, Personal Systems Group, HP. "With such an easy way to access the internet, Indian families now can participate more fully in the global community and reach their dreams."
To deliver information that is tailored for the market, HP collaborated with leading Indian content and service providers to create an experience for all members of the family, including first-time technology users. Thanks to an intuitive user interface, information ranging from school curricula to Bollywood TV and music is instantly accessible(2) – in English or Hindi. Video calls can be initiated by tapping an onscreen number keypad or touching a photo. Real-time religious services are brought into the home from webcams stationed in faraway temples, bringing spiritual satisfaction to the comfort of the home.
To develop the HP DreamScreen from concept to final product, team members from the HP Innovation Program Office visited scores of Indian families in their homes. The primary objective was to create a customer experience that would be intuitive to people familiar with basic cell phones. It needed to offer people convenient alternatives to the travel and long lines that are commonplace in India for paying bills and purchasing train tickets, for example.
"We sat with people in their homes and really listened to what was important to them. They inspired us," said Phil McKinney, head of the Innovation Program Office and vice president and chief technology officer, Personal Systems Group, HP. "To serve kids, their parents and their grandparents sharing a household – sharing one device – that was our goal."
Additional information is available in the India news release and at www.TheNextBench.com, HP's innovation community.
The concept and business model of the HP DreamScreen400 is applicable to other countries and regions.
Pricing and availability
The HP DreamScreen400 has an 18.5-inch diagonal touchscreen display, a DVD optical drive, and is powered by innovative technology from Intel. It is expected to be available in India later this month at approximately 700 outlets across 60 cities in the country for Rs. 19,999 plus taxes, or about US$450. In-home delivery, setup and a tutorial are included in the price for a limited time.
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world's largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/.