With a private concert by No Doubt in Paris and in collaboration with Universal Music, HP presented Connected Music, an internet service which it will now offer to all users of its Windows 8 ready computers in Europe. Exclusively, TG learned from HP representatives in the French capital that HP will soon be offering the same thing to private users in the USA.
What Is It?
Connected Music is additional value acquired only by purchasers of HP desktops, notebooks, ultrabooks, tablets, hybrids and other devices that come with Windows 8, and offers various ways of enjoying music through tracks, events and exclusive content from an exceptionally wide range of the world\’s most popular musicians, united under the Universal Music label.
Via Connected Music, available at www.hpconnectedmusic.com, users will be able to reproduce content in real time, i.e. stream the entire music catalogue of Universal Music, while users of the HP Spectre and HP Envy series will be able to download 10 mp3s of their choice per month for 90 days free of charge.
All HP computers will come with a preinstalled Windows 8 application for accessing HP Music Rewards Packages, which enable access to content and events that will not be available to users of computers by other manufacturers in any other way (unlike streamed music which anyone can consume in various ways, after purchase). Among other things, this will include HP\’s private music events, i.e. exclusive concerts – just like the No Doubt performance that HP held in Paris for the launch of its innovative music service.
Similarly, this application will also offer music experiences, i.e. opportunities for HP owners to \”experience what money cannot buy\”, to quote company executives. Music experiences will include meeting musicians, socializing with them over lunch and dinner, visiting studios where they are preparing their latest albums and music videos, among other opportunities.
Finally, the luckiest owners of new HP computers will win VIP Pack Trips through HP Music Rewards, i.e. trips, which includes all expense paid trips to visit musicians in their homes.
Merciless Market War
HP has clearly prepared for the merciless market war with its launch of Connected Music, which began with the appearance of Windows 8, a version of Microsoft\’s operating system that has introduced the most radical twist in the way we use computers. Hardware specifications are no longer sufficient to lure purchasers of computers, tablets, notebooks and all the new generation hybrid devices. Consumers are now looking to other offers, such as exclusive content and features. HP has chosen music to encourage consumers, with exclusive content and features that could help sway consumers in the market.
During the presentation of Connected Music in Paris, HP has also shown its current range of Windows 8 devices, with the biggest star among them – a hybrid between a tablet and a notebook, Envy X2, which premiered at IFA in Berlin precisely two months ago. This device will arrive on the European and American market in some ten days and due to its hybrid concept, users and the media misjudged it as a copycat of the Microsoft\’s Surface.
Unlike the currently available Surface, Envy X2 comes with an Intel processor, which means it includes Windows 8 and not Windows RT, while it also has an actual physical keyboard. According to these specs, users will most likely see the Surface as more of a tablet and the Envy X2 as a miniature notebook.
TG tried HP\’s Envy X2 in Paris and this device really does offer far more options than the Microsoft Surface Tablet does. It provides the functionality of a full-blooded notebook and, actually, the most comparable notebook of the new HP Envy X2 is the 11-inch MacBook Air. They offer a nearly identical user experience. One should keep in mind that Envy X2 will be cheaper than the Apple computer, at its announced price of $850, and it will come with the added feature of HP Connected Music.