The letter below is from Stephen DiFranco, SVP and GM of HP’s PSG, aka Personal Systems Group. That is the division HP recently took a lot of care to re-org in such a way that makes it conveniently sale-able. Luckily though, HP is only ‘evaluating’ their strategic alternatives. At least that is what they say publicly, insiders tell SemiAccurate that Samsung is the likely buyer.
There are two interesting bits here. First are the pains that Stephen takes to say that HP is winding down the hardware side of Palm, err, WebOS, err, webOS, but still see value in the OS itself. This is generally PR-speak, a language vaguely related to human, but not quite, for HP not wanting to compete with the likes of HTC in hardware. Instead, they will probably license it to such companies, and hopefully actually make money doing so. This is a good move, especially in light of the Google/Motorola deal.
The other bit to note is how DiFranco tries to reassure partners that nothing is going wrong, but won’t actually say anything of substance. DiFranco is well respected in the channel, and several HP partners told SemiAccurate that he still has the benefit of the doubt on such things. That said, most are looking elsewhere just to be sure. Dell sure could clean house in the coming days if they put even a tiny bit of effort into it.
As HP memos go, this one ranks slightly above a scratchy VOIP call to an HP ‘Center of Excellence’ and just below anesthetic free gum surgery in a third world hut on the “Things I find fun” scale. In the end, we printed as we received it, only mildly cleaning bits up for formatting and email privacy, but unchanged otherwise. Enjoy seems like too strong a word here, but some may care.S|A
<Begin HP Letter>
I wanted to reach out to you regarding the significant announcements made by HP this week. Included among them was the HP board’s decision to evaluate strategic alternatives for the Personal Systems Group business, not an announcement of a shutdown of HP’s PC business.
I can tell you on behalf of Todd Bradley and the entire HP leadership team that HP remains committed – now more than ever – to the health and growth of its PC business. We also remain deeply committed to our channel partners, who, as an extension of our HP organization, will continue to play a critical and strategic role in our PC business now and in the future. That will not change during this period of transformation.
At $42 billion and growing, it is the largest PC business in the world with #1 market share and profitability worldwide. We are not taking our foot off the pedal now and will continue to drive leading innovation across our PC portfolio now and in the future. We also will continue HP’s strong and solid history of taking care of you and your customers. You can absolutely continue to feel comfortable and confident in selling HP just as you always have despite the confusion you might be hearing from our competition.
As you also heard this week, we have made the tough but necessary decision to discontinue the device operations of the webOS business group. While our team created a well-respected software platform, and HP sees long term promise and value for you from the webOS operation system and the ecosystem around it, webOS devices did not gain market traction as we had hoped. The significant burden to HP’s business to invest for scale in the business underscored the depths of the challenges for webOS. We will wind down webOS device operations during Q4 of 2011.
For some of you that had begun building mobility practices, I realize this decision raises many questions for you. Please know that we are committed to addressing those questions and helping you during this period of transition.
In an effort to enable you to provide immediate communication out to your customers, we have developed the attached letter. We also will be posting additional materials to the HP Partner Portal in the days ahead for you to leverage with customers as well as internally within your organization.
I would like to reinforce that Todd along with HP’s leadership team remain committed to its PC business and the products it sells, and most importantly to you, our valued channel partner. I look forward to traveling on this journey with you and will continue to keep an open dialogue with you along the way. In the meantime, I encourage you to reach out to me and the other channel leaders with any questions.
Thank you for your valued partnership and let’s get back to selling together!
Senior Vice President and General Manager
Personal Systems Group-
@SDFat[removed] – Twitter
<End HP Letter>