WE HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE, as once again HP is considering selling off a part of its business, as it did with its PC division recently, and might or might not be seeking a bit of public feedback on its plans.
Reuters reports that HP is considering selling its WebOS division that is what's left of Palm, but given that this is a firm that has considered selling its PC hardware business, a shock announcement that surprised and disappointed industry watchers and shareholders, we probably could have assumed that it was coming.
Several groups are thought to be interested in the WebOS business and could fancy the patent haul that it offers.
Unlike the PC business, WebOS is a new thing for HP, and it only took it on when it acquired Palm last year. That Palm purchase was a big one, £1.2bn, but HP could still walk away from it. In Meg Whitman it has a new CEO, and one who will try and do things rather differently than HP's immediate former CEO Leo Apotheker.
There have already been clues from the firm, including rather obviously dumping WebOS from its tablets and the fire sale of its Touchpad devices. Although HP did say that it would consider using the software on its printers, it's likely that it could make more money in the short term by selling it off as a bouquet of patents. µ