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HP is probably best known as a computer maker, but according to Bloomberg the company may soon announce plans to split off the PC business as a separate company.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this rumor. In March the folks at DigiTimes reported that HP was thinking about selling its PC division — possibly to Samsung. It’s not entirely clear if the plan right now is to simply separate HP’s PC business from its other offerings, including software, or if HP is eyeing a sale.

Earlier this year Motorola split in half, only to have Google make a $12.5 billion bid for Motorola Mobility this week.

If you’re wondering exactly what HP would do without its PC business, Bloomberg has another rumor for you. The company is reportedly negotiating to buy a company called Autonomy for $10 billion. Autonomy is an enterprise software company based in the UK with some pretty big customers including Coca-Cola and the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

HP is expected to announce its quarterly earnings today and we could learn more at that point.

The company has been trying to push a new software ecosystem focused on webOS with the HP TouchPad tablet an a new line of smartphones running the software. Eventually webOS could also run on desktop computers, internet connected printers, and other devices. But the company’s first webOS tablet doesn’t appear to be selling very well. It’s not clear if that has anything to do with the rumored plans to separate out the PC business.

Update: HP has confirmed that it’s put in an offer for Autonomy, and that the company is considering splitting off its PC division. HP has also announced that it’s discontinuing webOS devices including the HP TouchPad tablet and Pre and Veer smartphones.

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2 replies on “HP may spin off PC business as a separate company”

  1. Will the printers be spun off too or is it just the computers they are spinning off? Inquiring minds want to know.

    I will avoid HP in the future. I bought both a HP Touchpad and a Palm/HP pre. It seems they are no longer making either one. 🙁

    1. The Personal Systems Group is the PC division that would be spun off. Printers are actually in a different department — but if HP really wants to shift its focus to enterprise software I don’t know if they’ll be hanging onto consumer inkjet and laser printers forever. 

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