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Hewlett-Packard Co. on Wednesday launched a series of products, services and partnerships aimed at the mobile workforce.

The announcements ranged from new hardware to various plans to improve wireless networking.

“No other company spans the breadth of mobility like HP,” said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager of Mobile Computing at HP in Palo Alto, Calif.

The announcements included the most extensive business notebook computer launch in the company’s history—five new lines of corporate notebooks as well as a new Tablet PC. Ranging from desktop replacements to ultraportable notebooks, they are due to hit the market at various points between now and the end of March.

Clark said the company is aiming to take advantage of competitor IBM’s recent decision to sell its PC division to China’s Lenovo Group Ltd.

“In the market today, obviously things have been changing,” he said.

Click here to read about HP’s move to combine its printer and PC groups.

The company also plans to evolve its iPaq handheld computer line with a series of new devices due throughout 2005.

The first of these, the HP iPaq Mobile Messenger, integrates voice, GPS and support for high-speed EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) networks. The company plans to demonstrate the devices at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France, later this month.

The company also will introduce various e-mail options for its devices. For example, GoodLink software from Good Technology Inc. will be included on future iPaq devices, officials said.

On the services side, HP announced new initiatives aimed at giving small and midsize businesses the same kind of treatment that their enterprise counterparts receive.

These include an HP-hosted Microsoft Exchange e-mail service for wireless, Windows-based devices, as well as a wireless LAN installation and setup service.

And for customers whose mobility plans are bigger than their bank accounts, the company also announced the “Budget Stretcher” lease program, which allows the purchase of up to $150,000 of new equipment on a lease term of up to 51 months.

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