The company also said it is in discussions with Autonomy Corp. to make an offer to acquire the enterprise software vendor, and that it is exploring strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG), made up of PCs, tablets and smartphones, including a spinoff or other transaction.
The shake-up comes as the company reports third-quarter revenues of $31.2 billion, up slightly from $30.7 billion a year ago. HP expects fourth-quarter revenues to be $32.1 billion to $32.5 billion, buoyed by its restructuring and shutdown of costs associated with webOS devices, like the TouchPad and Veer smartphone. (See HP Veers Into the Future of WebOS.)
Why this matters
Since HP acquired webOS from Palm last year, it has been plotting to bring the OS to its entire range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs and printers. So far, only two smartphones and the TouchPad tablet, which launched to lackluster reviews, have been born of this, but hardware was clearly part of its plans to reinvigorate the OS. (See Palm Plots Beyond Phones.)
Now, HP's options will be to license the software to other hardware makers or potentially put it up for sale. The company's top execs said they were open to licensing the software to "special" partners at various shows earlier this year. (See HP Open to 'Special' webOS Partners.)
The company also recently reassigned former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein to head up the PSG and brought Stephen DeWitt, former head of the PSG, to led webOS's expansion plans. An HSPA+ TouchPad and Pre 3 smartphone were expected to be arriving soon under his lead. (See AT&T to Launch the HSPA+ HP TouchPad.)
Without webOS as a contender, the OS wars are winnowing to just a few key players. Read up on the hole HP's leaving in the market below.
- HP TouchPad Adds Entertainment Apps
- OS Watch: RIM Rebounds in Emerging Markets
- HP TouchPad Success Hangs on Apps
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile