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HP recently told the industry that it planned to make WebOS
an underlying feature not just in its smartphones and tablets but also in its
PCs, leading many to question the tech giant’s commitment to Microsoft and its
Windows operating system for client PCs.

That question remained on the minds of financial analysts
listening to HP’s earnings conference call last week. The call came amid a
torrent of news out of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computing giant, including
the discontinuation of smartphones and tablets that use the WebOS and an
announcement that HP would be looking at strategic alternatives (a spin off, a
sale, or status quo) for HP’s Personal Systems Group – its PCs.

So if WebOS is being marginalized and PCs may also go away,
will HP still be putting WebOS on its PCs in the short term while it decides
what to do with PSG, (a process that CEO Leo Apotheker says will take 12 to 18

Here’s what HP’s CEO had to say to analysts in answering
that very question:

Analyst Question: “How do we think about the thought that
you were going to try to push webOS further into your PC division? So are you
now more aligned on the Microsoft side? Are you still going to try to continue
to use webOS? Just any color on you can give us on sort of how will you
anticipate PSG developing over the next year to year and half?”

Leo Apotheker: “Let me try to answer this and we’ll try to
answer this as a team. So what the board and the management team have been
working very diligently over the last period is to really look at all of our
options and what the board has decided to do, together with the management
team, is to look at all of the strategic options around PSG. And we’re really
examining all of them. The announcement of today will allow us to look at this
much more closely, including all of the synergies and other aspects of this
operation. And over time, a decision will or will not crystallize on what the
most appropriate way is to deal with PSG going forward. That’s all I can say
about this right now, and we will refrain from commenting on what the strategic
options are until the board will make such a decision. Regarding webOS and the
future of webOS, and I will not talk about the device business, I will talk
about the software side of it. We are looking at all of our strategic options
concerning the software. I’d like to repeat what [CFO] Cathie [Lesjak] had said
early on, the software has been received very well. It’s very elegantly
designed. Developers like it. Users like it, and we will be looking at all of
the options from our own devices to third-party devices to other hardware
manufacturers to other manufacturers, to other people who need this kind of
software, and we will be looking at all possible business models from licensing
to any other possibility in order to evaluate how we can best extract value out
of webOS.”