Stand by your brand

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HP CEO Carly Fiorina used her Comdex Fall keynote address to take aim at critics of the company's merger with Compaq.

"The merger has improved our market position," Fiorina told the conference. "Six months after we closed the merger, we feel pretty good about the progress we've made," she said.

Fiorina said HP dominates the printer server and laptop markets, is neck and neck with Dell in desktop PCs and is second only to IBM in services.

She also defended HP's latest “everything is possible” advertising campaign. Twice during her address, Fiorina took aim at HP's critics using the slogan. "Progress is not made by the cynics or doubters. It is made by those who believe everything is possible," she said.

Fiorina also criticised IBM's recent e-business campaign. However, she made no mention of outgoing president and former Compaq CEO Michael Capellas, who took over the WorldCom salvage operation on Friday.

Fiorina said it is important to keep products grounded in customer needs. "I think the last thing business customers need today are time machines or binoculars or more breathless hype about billion-dollar bets on the next big thing," she said.

Like Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, she predicted a healthier long-term outlook for the industry, saying it needs to look beyond “the doom and gloom headlines”.

"I have every reason to be hopeful about this industry," she said.

Fiorina also used her keynote to show off a new iPaq with biometric identification and a tablet PC.

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