Hewlett-Packard is making news this morning after multiple sources are reporting that the company is planning to spin off its personal computer business and purchase British software firm Autonomy for $10 billion. The announcement has not be made official yet, but sources close to HP are saying the a press release from the company could be released as early as later this afternoon. These business moves will position HP to once again climb to the forefront of cutting-edge computing trends, as the company has been lagging behind competitors like Apple.
With the purchase of British software firm Autonomy, Hewlett-Packard aims to expand its cloud-computing business. It is important for HP to get into the cloud-computing game soon, as Amazon, Apple, and Google have already released or plan to released their own cloud-computing services. Though, while HP does have a solid consumer customer base, I envision the company to develop cloud-computing services for both consumers and businesses.
Hewlett-Packard has continually relied upon PCs for a significant portion of their revenue, but as consumers continue to shun traditional computers for tablets and smartphones, HP has been sliding behind companies like Apple and Motorola in sales and impact. By refocusing on tablet devices, HP will try to once again reach the top of the consumer electronics scene, a position it once held about a decade ago. While taking down Apple is likely to be extremely difficult, I'm sure Hewlett-Packard would be happy just regaining a dominant computing marketshare it once held.
However, no matter how much HP refocuses on tablets and smartphones, I'm not sure how much the company can turn around its financial performance if it continues to rely upon WebOS, which became the company's primary mobile OS following the purchase of Palm last year. As consumers proved during the release of the Palm Pre, they are much more favorable toward Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS.