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What with low-margins and declining sales in the move to mobile devices where Apple is eating everyone’s lunch, there will probably be more of this to come.
Bloomberg reports that multiple sources are indicating that HP will spin off its PC business to focus on enterprise services. As part of that change in focus, it will be acquiring the Cambridge, UK-based data analysis company Autonomy for about $10 billion, a healthy premium over the company’s current market cap.
Although HP’s shift toward a service and consulting focus has been going on for years (we joked that it already looked a bit like IBM West a year ago), the decision to spin off its PC business is a bit of a surprise. After a rocky merger with Compaq, HP had grown to dominate global PC sales, and its purchase of Palm and WebOS had indicated it was at least trying to pursue options that could help keep it relevant as sales of compact touchscreen devices soared.
Nevertheless, the margins of the PC business have remained very narrow, and most of HP’s competition is either suffering or attempting to go upmarket (Dell being the primary example of the latter).