HP Kills TouchPad, Buys Autonomy

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest computer maker, today announced it is in talks to buy Autonomy, a business software maker, for about $10 billion and plans to spin off its personal-computer business, reports Bloomberg.

Hewlett-Packard will discontinue its line of products running its WebOS operating system, including TouchPad tablets, the company said today.

The company is considering paying a premium – some $10 billion – for Autonomy, people familiar with the matter said earlier. Autonomy’s main technology, ‘Intelligent Data Operating Layer‘ (IDOL), allows search and processing of text taken from database, audio, video or text files or streams.

HP said that it will take a hit to fiscal 2011 earnings of $1.16 a share to $1.23 a share as it restructures and shuts down WebOS devices and related operations.

There were signs that TouchPad sales were bleak, but a complete shutdown of WebOS operations was unexpected, notes C/Net.

According to research firm Canalys, Apple is now the world’s no. 3 PC manufacturer (if you count the iPad), trailing behind mainstays HP and Acer. Apple is more a wireless devices maker than a computer maker, however.

iSuppli, which tracks worldwide PC shipping, reports HP is still king of the hill, but Dell has almost slipped down to number three, behind Acer. Global PC shipments grew a relatively weak 14.2 percent in 2010.

After a rocky $25 billion merger with Compaq in 2002, HP had grown to dominate global PC sales, and bought Palm and WebOS for $1.2 billion to grow the mobile market.

It never took off. Palm and WebOS couldn’t make a dent in the established players; Apple/iOS, Google/Android, Nokia/Microsoft or Blackberry/RIM.

Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker famously predicted a shift to mobile (above) will happen in 2012. Laptops began outselling PCs in 2009, but next year powerful smartphones are expected to outsell desktops and laptops combined.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 11:57 am .

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