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HP considering sale of underperforming units 9

by Derek Kessler Wed, 02 Jan 2013 8:21 pm EST

HP considering sale of underperforming units

As with any struggling company, HP's looking at ways to streamline their business and raise some cash in the process. Late last month HP send a 10-K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that the company will "continue to evaluate the potential disposition of assets and businesses that may no longer help us meet our objectives."

In plain talk: if you're a part of HP but aren't helping out the bottom line as much as HP would like, you might not be part of HP for much longer. Of course, the ideal method for getting rid of those not-helping-HP units is for HP to sell them. You know, stop losing money by making money.

This isn't the first time HP's looked at selling parts of the company. In fact, a lot of HP's problems over the past year can be traced back to efforts to dispense with large parts of the company. It was the plan of then CEO Leo Apotheker and still-Chairman Ray Lane to split HP into two distinctly separate companies, with one focusing on enterprise software and the other built around the declining PC business. That plan kicked off a firestorm in Palo Alto and Wall Street, ending with the ouster of Apotheker. HP also tried and failed to find a buyer for webOS and/or the webOS Global Business Unit at a favorable price, eventually opting instead to commit webOS to open source and spin off the GBU as a standalone company.

Or at least, that was the plan months ago. Gram, that standalone company, has yet to launch, and since HP's decision to open source webOS a year ago the mobile landscape has dramatically changed. Could HP be weighing giving a sale of webOS and it's GBU another go? Not likely, considering how much they've invested in spinning off Gram so far, but… crazier things have happened.

Source: Bloomberg

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9 Comments

I really love the Gram logo. On that alone do I want the company to exist. What are they even supposed to do? Support OWOS? They're surely not going to make phones, right?

They exist to apparently develop a marketable "Professional" version of Open webOS and talk people into adopting it, but other than that, I don't think anyone has any idea of what they're doing, if anything. Every bit of news has been centered around porting the relatively bland version of Open webOS to other devices, rather than discussing actual features that might make it competitive in 2013.
 
The OS is nothing without third-party developer outreach and a working App Catalog on the platform, and there's been zero public discussion of either. Which, at the very least, is seriously disconcerting given that the competition is growing now to well over a half-dozen competitors that have funding and/or enough connections to release retail devices within the next 12 months.
 
In the time Open webOS was sparked off, we now have:

  • Firefox OS
  • Sailfish OS
  • Ubuntu Phone OS (which gets rid of having to layer an OS on top of Linux completely)
  • BB10
  • Windows Phone 8
  • Samsung's first Tizen phone

 
...and I'm sure there'll be even more competition along with the usual updates to iOS and Android that bring new industry features. What's Gram planning to do to prove that webOS can actually compete on the same level instead of basically recoding legacy webOS on an open source platform with zero evidence of retail presence?
 
...and LG / Gram were delaying the presentation of an Open webOS-powered TV at CES till later? Well, no kidding. There's simply nothing to back up the assertion that LG was going to choose webOS when they've just invested heavily again into Google's ecosystem having just announced an entire line of televisions powered by Google TV.
 
According to this site, the whole reason for looking at Open webOS was to get away from Google's heavy handed terms so, well, I think we can call this site's source bunk until proven otherwise. If LG only released one GTV-powered unit that'd be one thing, but an entire line of GTV-powered televisions spells renewed dedication to Google's platform.

I think HP should just bring in a whole new management or sellout. Maybe someone else can put that money into better use.

Perhaps they should sell off the entire Board of Directors as being an "underperforming unit".
It's funny how boards never find themselves to be underperforming, even when the company is catching fire underneath them.

For the love of god HP, please sell whatever is left of palm and maybe webOS can be resurrected.

I will not be suprised if HP sells whatever is left of palm to Google or Microsoft.

Why would they (Google especially) want the remnants of Palm at this point? They both have their own mobile OSs, with Google's in particular being very popular and successful.

Patents.

this is how i picture hp's executive board http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=jlzSbeUOCUQ&feature=endscreen