HP to shed PC division, cancels WebOS devices

Written by Clive Webster

August 19, 2011 | 11:03

Tags: #sell #spin-off #touchpad #voodoo-pc #webos

Companies: #hp

An official statement from HP says that ‘its board of directors has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG). HP will consider a broad range of options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction.

The PSG is best recognised by the tag line ‘The Computer’s Personal Again’ and includes some interesting products, including all-in-one PCs and the gaming division that incorporated ex-Custom PC columnist Rahul Sood’s Voodoo PC company in 2006.

The result of the Voodoo takeover was a small range of Blackbird PCs that offered then-unheard of features such as allowing CrossFire setups on Nvidia nForcemotherboards.

We’ve reviewed a few Blackbird PCs in Custom PC but found them a largely disappointing comprise on the loonacy of Voodoo PC such as the gold-plated PC it showed in 2006. However, the gaming range of HP computers seems to have dwindled to nothing, and its figurehead Rahul Sood left to join Microsoft claiming that he’d be working with ‘some really... really... really cool stuff come January 2011.

Meanwhile. many will bemoan the loss of WebOS - seen by many as a genuine contender to iOS and Android -especially after the first WebOS tablet was only launched a couple of weeks ago and to reasonable critical acclaim.

The decision that HP ‘plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.’ is baffling, but leaves room for HP to license the OS to other manufacturers and try to increase its prevalence and profitability that way.

What do you make of the announcement? Was this inevitable and an indication of things to come, or did this come as a surprise? Let us know in the forum.
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