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Today in Cloud

Analysts, investors, pundits and press are still picking through HP’s news this morning. Just as IBM did in 2005, HP is seeking to get rid of its PC business. Schumpeter reminds us it controls 18.5% of the global market and generated $9.6bn in revenue last quarter, but Business Insider’s Chart of the Day for yesterday clearly shows flat revenues. High-end servers and storage remain a focus for now, with CEO Leo Apotheker at pains to stress the company’s ongoing commitment to the Itanium chip, but margins are likely to be squeezed as the company loses the purchasing muscle of its Personal Systems division. Despite all the bold promises a few short months ago, HP is also dumping the hardware side of the business it acquired with Palm. The mobile operating system, webOS, stays for now, as the company “will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.” That doesn’t sound terribly committed… yet. Maybe someone in some HP lab somewhere is about to have the brainwave that will see webOS slip quietly onto printers and other devices, as Apotheker once suggested? Perhaps the biggest announcement is HP’s $11bn acquisition of UK-based Autonomy. The Financial Times reports that Autonomy’s shares rose 79% this morning (as HP’s fell 15%), and also points to some disquiet amongst politicians and business leaders here at the effect on the UK of losing its largest FTSE-listed tech company. Both BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones and UK-based venture capitalist Nic Brisbourne echo the FT’s comments about impact on the UK; Brisbourne describes himself as “sad” at the news. Stacey Higginbotham has more analysis. It’s also worth remembering that — despite Autonomy’s Board supporting the offer — this is not yet a done deal. Oracle, IBM and others may still swoop in to offer more money. It’s interesting to ponder what HP would be without desktop computers, Palm, or their new toy.