Desktop computers are not dead: HP's Whitman

Reported by Karen Tso, written by Catherine Boyle
Desktops are not dead: HP CEO

Meg Whitman, chief executive of Hewlett-Packard told CNBC in an interview that "desktops are not dead" as the group battles tough competition in the technology market.

In addition, the group is working on innovative products for consumers including a device which combines the laptop and tablet, she said.

With competition from ever-smaller and thinner tablets and smartphones, plenty of industry experts have dismissed desktop computers as old and clunky.

(Read more: Global PC sales tank to lowest level since 2008)

HP, which has had a torrid few years, has to focus on innovation to turn around, Whitman told CNBC.

"We're making a lot of progress," she said to CNBC at Hewlett-Packard's Discover Conference in Barcelona. "We have to continue to innovate. The innovation engine is alive and well at HP."

The company's shares are up nearly 90 percent this year, suggesting that investors have faith in its five-year turnaround plan, spearheaded by Whitman, which is two years underway.

It is thought to be at a critical point, where it could either reclaim its market share and re-emerge as one of the forces to be reckoned with in the IT world, or fade out.

"I think we're beginning to build confidence around where we're taking the company," Whitman said.

(Read more: Hewlett-Packard earnings beat estimates)

"We're taking advantage of HP's breadth and depth. We have to be on our game every single day, with traditional competitors and the new competitors which want to disrupt our world."

Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

She cited the importance of paying down the company's debt pile.

One of the key concerns for investors is the integration of U.K. company Autonomy, which HP bought in 2010 for $11 billion, and had to take an $8.8 billion write-down on in 2012. The computer giant has cited alleged accounting fraud at Autonomy, which has been vigorously denied by the company's founder Mike Lynch.

"The wheels of justice are turning slowly" in the U.S. on the Autonomy case, according to Whitman.

Whitman was famously HP's fourth chief executive in fourteen months when she took over in September 2011, as the company struggled to match innovations from rivals like Apple. It still has no smartphone and a small slice of the tablet market.

The company recently raised its dividend by 10 percent and announced share buyback plans, which should keep investors happy for the short term.

"HP is coming back and it's coming back strong," Whitman said.

"Customers can see us being more optimistic than we have been in a number of years."