HP Buys Web Printing Firm

HP did not disclose how much it paid for Tabblo, a Cambridge, Mass.-based private firm, but said its AJAX-based Web print engine would be part of its effort to grow HP's solution capability.

"By acquiring Tabblo's technology and making it available to companies that host popular Web sites, HP will be firmly on the path to becoming the print engine of the Web," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP's Imaging and Printing Group.

Tabblo, founded in 2005, provides technology that appears mostly targeted at consumers, with applications including photo sharing and creation of "tabblos," or combinations of photos, images and text, that can also be used for collaboration. Tabblo's service also allows users to print photocubes, documents, posters and books. For example, Tabblo provides a series of tools, uploaders and design editors that permit the creation of individual photo books. The Tabblo service also integrates with online services such as Flickr and Google's Picasa.

In its announcement, HP said it would use Tabblo's technology to "make printing from the Web easier and more convenient than it is today."

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HP has also been in the online print-collaboration space with its own Snapfish service, which offers some but not all of the functionality of Tabblo.