HP's Whitman opts to keep Personal Systems Group

Hewlett Packard's new chief executive Meg Whitman has made her first big decision at the company: to hang on to the Personal Systems Group, the consumer device oriented arm responsible for PCs and laptops.

When HP announced plans to reposition itself as an enterprise software house - buying UK giant Autonomy to help it along the way - it suggested it was looking at the possibility of spinning the Personal Systems Group off into a separate company, or even selling it off altogether.

The future of the PSG seemed bleak when HP closed down its webOS hardware division, selling off its products - including the TouchPad tablet and Pre 3 smartphone - at massively discounted prices to clear stock.

The success of the TouchPad's sales - which was enough to take several major retailers' sites offline due to demand - appears to have given HP food for thought, however, and Whitman has decided to hang on to the PSG after all.

Whitman's announcement should help HP shake off some of the damage caused by previous chief Léo Apotheker's announcement of a planned sale or spinoff, which is generally considered to have been incredibly badly handled by both industry analysts and HP's own staff.

With the Personal Systems Group safe, rumours that HP could be looking to rebirth the TouchPad as a Windows 8 tablet seem significantly more believable.