HP Plans To Spin Off PC Business
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
I'm Robert Siegel. And it's time now for All Tech Considered.
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SIEGEL: Well, we're going to ask Ben Worthen of the Wall Street Journal. Welcome to the program.
BEN WORTHEN: Thank you for having me.
SIEGEL: Ben, it's tempting to see Hewlett-Packard's announcement as confirmation that the era of the personal computer is over. But HP is also talking about getting out of the tablet business and the smartphone business. What's going on here?
WORTHEN: And as you noted, Hewlett-Packard is getting out of those businesses, too. They launched, a short while ago, their own types of products in those categories, and they haven't caught on. And so they're pulling the plug.
SIEGEL: Hewlett-Packard has also just bought a British software company, Autonomy, for over $10 billion. Why? What's the plan there?
WORTHEN: Software tends to be more profitable than computers. It's the sort of product that you can build it once, write it once, and then sell it over and over and over again. And moving forward, I think we should expect HP to try to buy more software companies, to expand its products there and to target businesses much more than it does consumers.
SIEGEL: You know, it's intriguing and a little humbling to look at the things that have come down in price that Hewlett-Packard makes for personal computers and printers. Something that doesn't come down in price is the ink inside those printer cartridges. And I gather it's a big business for them.
WORTHEN: And they have no intention of getting out of that business, even though you would think it would have a similar type of dynamic as the PC business. I think they're going to keep milking that cow for as long as they can.
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SIEGEL: Ink is good business.
SIEGEL: Ben Worthen, thanks so much for talking with us.
WORTHEN: Thank you for having me.
SIEGEL: Ben Worthen covers the technology industry for the Wall Street Journal.
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