HP 'prefers to spin off' PC unit: Should we just ignore what HP says?

Summary:HP is looking to 'spin off' its PC and tablet unit, rather than selling it outright, according to reports. Is it time to ignore most of what HP is saying?

According to Reuters, HP would prefer to 'spin-off' as a separate company, rather than selling the company to a third-party, as the world's largest technology company is working to cook up options for its PC and tablet unit.

What HP will do with its PC and tablet unit -- known as the Personal Systems Group (PSG) -- has been subject to wide speculation.

Some of the many options HP could take including hiving off the business into a separate company, similar to how Motorola Mobility will act under Google, or sell off the entire unit to a third-party.

Yet, this is merely another addition to the pot of speculation. Attributable to a HP spokesperson or not, previous communiques have hardly proven to be true, or even seemingly sane.

It has been less than a fortnight since HP announced a new all-in-one PC, designed for the business and enterprise market, causing mixed-messages to run rife, only weeks after the company put webOS on the chopping block also.

A HP spokesperson told the news agency:

"We prefer a spin-off as a separate company and the working hypotheses is that a spin-off will be in the best interests of HP's shareholders, customers and employees. However, we have to complete the diligence process and validate this assumption, including fully understanding the dis-synergies in separating the PSG business from HP."

HP said that the whole process could take a year or longer, but "firm decisions" will be made before the end of the year.

Yeah, right.

As HP still retains, despite the month of horrors it has suffered of its own accord, the title of the world's largest PC maker.

But analysts are concerned that, as software needs hardware to run on, a "better leverage" of HP's footprint would make the company unstoppable.

Communicating the plans, since the initial news that the PC and tablet unit would be wound up, has frankly been terrible.

My four-year-old godson could have done a better job, and his prime method of communication is throwing custard across the dining table.

Dennis Howlett asked whether it was Bill Wohl's fault -- the company's chief communicator -- who this week was shifted from communications to a "special assignment" to realign the company's software operations into the wider picture.

Frankly, it seems that Wohl should have been the one communicating the plans rather than executives, who clearly made a complete hash of the whole thing when the news first broke earlier this month. Instead, they're putting Wohl out to pasture; a shame after many years of good service to the company.

That said, he did spell my name wrong when he apologised after attacking me on Twitter over something he thought I wrote, when in fact flames should've been pointed to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols' direction. But he was probably tired after a stressful week.

I forgive you, Bill.

But the company is in trouble, and without firm plans for its PC and tablet unit, investors won't invest and shareholders will be tapping their feet in impatience. And this can no longer be brushed under the carpet from a fortnight ago, when the damage could have been repaired.

Related content:

Topics: Hardware, Hewlett-Packard

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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