In a dramatic reshuffling, Hewlett-Packard said today it will discontinue its tablet computer and smartphone products and may sell or spin off its PC division, bowing out of the consumer businesses. The most apparent result for consumers will be the end of HP's TouchPad tablet and HP-branded smartphones. By the end of next year, HP computers could be sold under another company's name.
It's one of the most extreme makeovers in the company's 72-year history and signals new CEO Leo Apotheker's most transparent move to date to make HP look more like longtime rival IBM, which now makes most of its money from software and services. HP also announced it is buying Autonomy Corp., a business software maker, for about $10 billion, ranking the deal among HP's biggest. The company reported a rise in third-quarter income but again cut its outlook for the year. (Read more Hewlett-Packard stories.)