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HP launches Web-enabled printers

They can email, so they can spam

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Hewlett-Packard is launching a range of five Net-enabled printers today, which connect online without going through a PC.

At the bottom end the printers will send out emails or pager messages that they're running low on toner or paper. At the top end they'll take Net delivered print requests from any Web enabled device - that's your phone, PDA, set top box, whatever.

It would be a nice touch if your office manager, who can't be bothered getting out of their chair to refill the toner, gets spammed with increasingly abusive emails until they sort out the problem.

HP suffers like all computer hardware manufacturers in that the margins are slim on its tin. So its freshly restructured imaging and printing business is doing this to expand the market for HP's devices.

Now if your web enable printer is sending messages to HP, or its accredited distributors or dealers, that printers need refilling then that is nice business. HP is said to make up to 60 per cent margin on its printer consumable business - that's ink, ribbons, and toner. Paper is also right up there in the high margin business.

HP's printing and imaging business accounts for 42 per cent of the company's sales. ®

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