The announcement earlier today by HP's Leo Apotheker that it is essentially giving up on the WebOS community and considering getting rid of its Personal Systems Group is reminiscent of what happened back in 2004 when IBM got rid of its low margin PC division by selling it to the China-based Legend group, commonly known as Lenovo.
The three steps taken by the company, burying WebOS, abandoning laptops and desktops (the PSG group contains WebOS) and buying Autonomy, the market leader in unstructured data analysis, show that Apotheker is determined to emulate the success of Big Blue which took the bold but ultimately rewarding step of focusing on services and software.
HP's actions will certainly come with short term pains as the company will be forced to take a significant hit on existing stock, redundancy packages and other associated costs.
But ultimately, HP will become a more agile one, more capable of tackling the threats (and opportunities) that have risen following the arrival of iOS and Android by being as platform agnostic as possible.
We've described the TouchPad as being a clone of the original iPad (since it is still the only non-iPad tablet with a 9.7-inch 1024x768) and it seems that HP is also copying IBM's winning strategy, nearly seven years after Big Blue implemented it.