HP Spinning Off PC Business? What about webOS?

Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world’s largest computer manufacturer, may soon take a serious step in its shift from PC production to software expansion, as it is reported to be in talks to acquire Autonomy Corp., U.K.’s second-largest software maker, for $10 billion.  The news comes hours before HP’s quarterly earnings call, scheduled for this afternoon.

With consumers shifting to smartphones and tablets, personal computer sales have remarkably gone down.  To address the dwindling PC economy, Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker has said that they will be expanding their software and services through the cloud, appealing to the enterprise and consumer markets.

HP’s shares spiked when news of the acquisition came to light but fell 53 cents to $30.86 at 12:34 p.m. on the New York Stock Exchange.

The next question is, if HP is planning to buy a software company, what will happen to webOS?  Will it be integrated to Autonomy’s software or vice versa?  Is the Autonomy acquisition part of HP’s plan to expand their OS not only in computers, smartphones and tablets but also in home appliances and automobiles?  Will this acquisition result in HP completely turning its back on the PC market?  These are all questions that may be answered this afternoon and in coming weeks.