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Hewlett-Packard Puts Focus On Improving Its Photo Unit

Google, meanwhile, is testing an online photo service tied closely to its Picasa photo-editing software.

Eastman Kodak remains a top rival with its EasyShare Gallery. Privately held Shutterfly, based in Redwood City, Calif., is another rival. But Snapfish is the No. 1 online photo printing site, says research firm InfoTrends.

HP says Snapfish's user base tripled over the last year to more than 30 million users.

HP's Nelson says the Snapfish changes aren't a reaction to rival services. Most users don't care about terms like Web 2.0, he says.

"Flickr has no relevance to our business," he said. "They are not addressing what we are doing. Their customer base doesn't have the primary memory keepers of the house. Moms do not use Flickr."

That might be true, says Peter Grant, an analyst for research firm Gartner. But HP is still playing catch-up to Kodak in some areas.

"HP needs to make organizing photos at home and online as easy it is to walk into a store and use one of their kiosks," he said. If it succeeds, "there's a big upside for HP."

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