Information Week, Aug 18, Jim Ericson
HP Shuts WebOS Business, Acquires Autonomy for $10B
Hewlett Packard has announced it is halting its WebOS business supporting computing devices including smartphones and the TouchPad, and revising its sales outlook downward. ... HP also announced it is acquiring U.K.-based software vendor Autonomy for approximately $10.2 billion and exploring options to spin off its personal computer business.
... Looking to the future, Apotheker said Autonomy brings a leader in the enterprise information management space to HP with vertical capabilities, software and services for global and public sector enterprises and professional service firms. The price paid, he added, was justified by the value of Autonomy combined with HP's "value added IP" of hardware, printing, analytics and services.
In February, HP acquired database software and analytics provider Vertica , which brought structured (database) technology to HP. Autonomy's unstructured (document, email) management capabilities, Apotheker said, give HP the opportunity to build a "next generation information platform" spanning all types of data and information.
Tony Byrne, a software analyst and founder of Real Story Group, which follows the unstructured information software market, said HP's jump into the information management space is "good news for the industry," but less so for HP.
"With Autonomy, HP is acquiring an aging technology base from a company that is little-loved by most of its customers," Byrne said. "If HP wants this to be more than just an asset sale, it has a lot of repair work to do here."