HP, the world’s largest PC maker, won’t be selling its PC business, after all. The company announced the news this afternoon, making its biggest reversal yet under the direction of new CEO Meg Whitman.
The announcement doesn’t address the other big move that HP made back in August — the decision to discontinue its lineup of webOS devices, including the HP TouchPad. But Whitman’s willingness to reverse course is interesting in light of a report this week that HP is thinking about reviving the TouchPad and has been testing Windows 8 on the devices.
Note especially the “and more” in this comment from HP executive Todd Bradley, head of the company’s Personal Systems Group. “As part of HP, PSG will continue to give customers and partners the advantages of product innovation and global scale across the industry’s broadest portfolio of PCs, workstations and mores broadest portfolio of PCs, workstations and more.”
It would make a ton of sense, with HP now staying in the PC business, for it to remain in the tablet business, as well.
One of the biggest challenges would be pricing. The company’s TouchPad fire sale set expectations that the device is worth $99, and HP will need to come up with something big — like a considerably better new version — to be able to raise the price again.
Overall, HP’s decision to keep the PC business appears to be good news for Microsoft, which has historically counted the company among its biggest partners.