Friday, January 25, 2008

HP gears up for variable data printing

Hewlett-Packard this week announced the purchase of US-based company Exstream Software. Exstream makes software that streamlines the use of variable data printing. The price for buying the privately-held company was not announced.

Exstream was founded in 1998 and currently has some 300 employees. Its software allows companies to create personalized marketing documents and billing notices. Its key products are called Dialogue, Dialogue Live, and AFP Studio. These Web-based products would be part of HP’s Print 2.0 initiative.

While the products can be used with some of HP’s higher-end LaserJet color printers and MFPs as well as its Indigo printer line, the suspicion is that HP is working on a high-speed digital press product, where it will compete against Canon, Xerox, and Kodak. HP has already made it clear that it sees its greatest source of future growth in chipping away at the vast majority of printed pages that are still done on analog, conventional printing presses.

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