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HP Making Major Changes, How Microsoft Could Capitalize

With recent reports about Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) looking to evolve its PC business by focusing more on software and cloud services, and an acquisition of software Autonomy, HP is causing a major shake-up in the computer industry. The big question is, should Microsoft jump on this and buy HP’s PC spin-off?

According to HP, the company has “authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group.” The company will also “consider a broad range of options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction.”

Autonomy, a British company that makes database-search software, was recently purchased by HP for $11.7 billion dollars in an attempt to focus more on being a software and services company rather than hardware.

HP’s Personal Systems Group includes business and consumer PCs and may eventually be made into a new publicly traded company in which HP could sell. This is where Microsoft would come in. GeekWire brings up a great point about how Microsoft could capitalize by competing with its own hardware partners in the PC business:

“Even suggesting this will be heresy to most people in Redmond. Getting into the PC business would be a huge break with tradition for the company, which long ago decided to focus on Windows and applications for a variety of hardware makers. It was a major key to the company’s success. Getting into the PC business would mean competing with its partners – existing Windows PC makers. Yes, it’s a stretch. I mean, who would be crazy enough to compete with its own hardware partners? But as I’ve said publicly in the past, I believe the approach that leads to the best computing experience is when the computer is treated as a single product, and a single experience, allowing the operating system and core features to be tightly integrated with the hardware,” GeekWire stated.

HP recently shelved its webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones, to continue to “explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.” HP further explained that their webOS devices had not gained enough traction in the marketplace with consumers. “Continuing to execute our current device approach in this space is no longer in the interest of HP or its shareholders,” HP stated.

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