So basically HP has decided to not only drop out of the tablet and phone business just 48 days after launching their Touchpad, but they have apparently decided to drop out of the consumer computer business altogether. With their acquisition of Autonomy, a business software company, HP plans to drop their entire hardware business (with the exception of printers) and focus strictly on software and cloud based services for businesses. Their tentative plan is apparently to ditch everything consumer related within 12-18 months.
This just blows my mind, as HP is the biggest PC manufacturer in the US. It makes up 1/3 of their yearly revenue and is pretty much owns the Windows based PC market. Now of course it probably means that another company will just come in and buy up that division, but this all seems like crazy drastic measures immediately following their failed 2 month tablet venture.
Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's largest personal-computer maker, is exploring a spinoff of its PC business, an about-face that highlights how growth has pivoted from the computers that so long ruled the industry toward software and mobile devices, where H-P has largely failed to compete.
H-P said its board is evaluating strategic options for its PC business, which could include a "full or partial separation." It also will abandon efforts to sell tablets and smartphones that challenged Apple Inc.'s iPad and iPhone.
At the same time, H-P agreed to buy U.K. software firm Autonomy Corp. for about $10.25 billion, seeking to move further into the higher-profit business of analyzing data for corporations.
Facing low margins and low growth in the PC businesses, Mr. Apotheker decided there would be no sacred cows and it would be best to get out of the computer business, people familiar with the matter said.
His goal is to reposition H-P into an enterprise business and move away from consumer products, the people said.
A $1 billion investment disclosed in May by New York hedge-fund manager John Paulson in H-P was also a "wake up call" for the company, one of the people said. Mr. Paulson told H-P executives that the company had to make moves to unlock shareholder value, the person added.
While H-P will pursue a spinoff, it will also be open to other potential offers if they are more attractive, people familiar with the matter said. The company said it expects the process to last 12 to 18 months.