Like most PC manufacturers, HP Inc. today took advantage of the 2016 edition of the CES show to showcase a bevy of new additions to its notebook lineup, which includes the HP EliteBook Folio– the thinnest and lightest notebook HP has ever created at only 12.4 mm.
But the most interesting aspect of the notebooks that HP Inc. launched today might be the work done with Microsoft to create the first notebook purpose-built for collaboration.
Mike Nash, vice president of customer experience and product portfolio for HP Inc., says the PC manufacturer worked with the Skype for Business team at Microsoft to create a device with which multiple people in a room can participate in a conference call, thereby eliminating the need for a separate conference call phone. HP Inc. used speakers from Bang and Olufsen that are clear enough to replace a phone. These PCs, says Nash, are the first offering ever built from the ground up with support for collaboration applications such as Microsoft Skype in mind.
Of course, soft phones on a PC have been around for a while. But given the audio quality of that experience, most people wind up using a phone to dial into a conference call running on their PC. HP Inc. is now making the case that the PC itself will be the primary mechanism through which both video and audio will be used going forward.
None of this means that smartphones will be going away any time soon. But it does mean that as a vehicle for communications, the PC is now starting to live up to its full potential.