HP this week explained how it plans to help businesses prepare for Windows 10. And as part of this announcement, the firm showed off a stunning limited edition EliteBook Folio 1020 that will ship this fall. Oh my.
“Our customers have told us that security continues to be their top concern and the changes in the security landscape have them looking for ways to protect their devices and data,” HP Commercial PCs vice president Alex Cho said in a prepared statement. “The security features in Windows 10, coupled with our stylish and secure commercial devices—like the thinnest, lightest and most secure business-class notebook HP EliteBook Folio 1020—help customers protect their organizations and maximize employee productivity in form factors users will love.”
PC migrations are difficult enough for individuals, but they can be particularly daunting tasks for IT organizations that manage hundreds or thousands of PCs. For this and other reasons—cost of both technology and training, for starters—businesses have historically adopted new Windows versions very slowly, and larger organizations often skip certain Windows versions entirely.
Indeed, HP notes that “nearly three-quarters of desktop users have a version of Windows that is almost six years old.”
So Windows 10 comes at an interesting time: support for Windows XP expired last year, and Windows 8 was particularly ill-received by businesses. So there’s an opening for PC makers that wish to see customers move to a modern Windows version that will be well-liked by both users and IT, and could trigger a new round of hardware sales.
HP is addressing the unique needs of the business PC market by providing a range of both touch- and non-touch devices and focusing on key concerns like security. The firm notes that Windows 10 “includes a host of security enhancements to address modern security threats, including Device Guard, Windows Hello and Microsoft Passport, which provide advanced malware protection and authentication across applications, data and online experiences.”
And it touts HP-specific hardware features. These include:
HP Start, which it bills as “the industry’s only self-healing BIOS-level protection. This solution combines with Device Guard in Windows 10 Enterprise [and] checks the BIOS before the operating system boots to ensure the BIOS has not been tampered with and resets the BIOS to its original state if an issue has been detected.” HP Start is available on HP’s Elite line of notebooks and HP ZBooks.
HP Client Security, a suite of pre-installed, integrated solutions that help IT to manage and deploy endpoint protection. HP Client Security controls access to the PC’s ports and storage devices, including disk encryption. It also protects user identities with password protection and user rights management.
Multi-factor authentication with support for smart cards, Bluetooth, PIN and fingerprint matching in hardware. HP notes that the majority of its commercial notebooks include hardened fingerprint readers, “which gives a more secure input option for Windows Hello than non-hardened fingerprint readers.”
HP Touchpoint Manager helps businesses deploy and enforce security and mobility policies to ensure that PCs in the environment are always up-to-date with the latest security patches.
And while HP’s existing commercial PC portfolio has been designed with Windows 10 in mind, the firm has also provided a peek at two upcoming Windows 10-specific PCs, both of which look quite interesting:
HP EliteBook Folio 1020 BANG & OLUFSEN limited edition. While I am currently evaluating the stock version of the HP EliteBook Folio 1020, HP has announced a new limited edition version of the thin and light laptop that features a stunning new color scheme. The Folio 1020 also “takes advantage of Cortana and Skype for Business to enable collaboration with dual-array microphones, exclusive noise-cancelling software and HD webcam,” HP says. It will ship in the fall, and pricing has not yet been announced.
HP Pro Tablet 608. Recently announced, this tablet has an 8-inch 4:3 screen which “provides a powerful combination of connectivity and performance built to support your business productivity needs and mobile workflows,” HP claims. The 608 will ship in August and start at $429. It features an Intel Atom quad-core Z8500 processor with up to 4 GB of memory and 128 GB eMMc storage.
Finally, HP has also announced a new subscription offering for small businesses called HP Subscription. This option lets small businesses bundle hardware, software and services over a three-year term, providing those with less heady budgets with a predictable and affordable monthly fee. HP will of course continue to offer “:a full suite of services, including client configuration and deployment services,” to help larger business customers migrate to Windows 10.
On a related note, reports surfaced yesterday suggesting that no new PCs would be available until sometime after the launch, but that is incorrect, Microsoft says: HP, like Dell and Lenovo, will have a limited selection of PCs available for sale on July 29, the Windows 10 launch day. That said, HP’s commercial PCs will be “available to ship in channel approximately August 17, 2015, two weeks following Windows 10 availability,” according to HP.