HP to buy Autonomy for $10 billion, spinning off PC business

HP will be announcing a $10 billion acquisition of enterprise software company Autonomy and may spin off its PC hardware business. The announcement could be made as early as today after the company reports its quarterly earnings after markets close. According to Bloomberg, the information comes from sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Back in March, HP had revealed plans to expand beyond its PC and printer business to focus more on cloud computing, connectivity, and software. It makes sense with the industry heading increasingly into mobile computing. But, Bloomberg reports that HP may want to shed its PC hardware business entirely, which is one of its largest divisions but also one of its least profitable.

However, HP's recent mobile computing hardware has not impressed, with the Pre3 and TouchPad launches seeing lackluster reception and a subsequent $100 price cut on the tablet to boost sales. Most complaints were targeted at the poor hardware rather than the WebOS platform. Make sure to check out our reviews for more details on WebOS 3.0 and the HP Touchpad.

HP's CEO Leo Apotheker has already confirmed that the company is open to licensing its WebOS platform to manufacturer partners. Hence, it will be interesting to see if HP does fully transition like IBM from a heavy-weight PC business into an enterprise software and services business, capitalizing on mobile with its WebOS platform and enterprise cloud computing infrastructure.

[via Bloomberg]