Hewlett Packard and Intel are currently discussing whether the chip giant will buy out the now-defunct hardware division previously known as Palm as well as the webOS operating system.
The sale is not as clear cut as might be expected. Part of the deal that HP is hoping to make is to allow the licensing of webOS after the sale. While it isn't pushing its tablets any more, one place that the company does want to use the mobile operating system is in its printers. Recouping the $3 billion or so that was invested in Palm over the past year is likely to factor in too, though it'd be impressive if HP was able to get much for the beleaguered property.
VentureBeat's take on the whole thing is that perhaps HP has some webOS-enabled printers almost ready to go and that selling off the intellectual property rights would create problems when it plans to release them in the next few months. In the case of Intel, this shouldn't really be a problem as it seems unlikely that it would be producing its own line of printers. Licensing is a major revenue stream for many companies, so having a guaranteed income when taking on a new property is certainly a plus point.
However another view could be that, with the mass changing of the guard at HP, the company just doesn't really know what it wants. Last year, the company's chief executive claimed the firm would be leaving the consumer hardware game altogether - though he only lasted a year, and was outlived by the very department he sought to exterminate.