Having, apparently, indicated that it wanted to get out of the PC business and having pulled the plug on it newly released tablet and supporting webOS platform, HP seems now to be back-tracking.

At least that appears to be the case according to an open letter from Paul Hunter, the head of HP PSG (Personal Systems Group) in the UK and Ireland, in which he seeks  to clear up "misunderstandings" arising from recent announcements.

In the letter he categorically denies that HP wants to quit the PC business.  Rather, he claims that the company is looking at three options - spinning off the PCG business as a separate entity, selling it or keeping it within the HP portfolio. In the meantime, the company is committed to supporting its PC base, honouring current and future warranties and, in the UK at least, ramping up its marketing activities.

As to webOS, Hunter says, "...all webOS products will be supported and HP fully intends to support the future development of the webOS platform." Although how this will be managed, he admits, is still under discussion.

And that kind of sums it up. HP is thinking about making changes but, apart from getting out of the tablet market, it hasn't quite decided what those changes should be. Which isn't the message you want to hear from a company with a $40billion PC business operating in 170 countries with over 180,000 channel partners.

The implications of any decision are enormous, making it ultra-important to be clear about what's going on and to only issue statements once future directions are known.

Careless words could cost HP dear.

This article is written by Alan Stevens and sponsored by Avaya. The opinions reflected in this piece are solely those of Alan Stevens and may not reflect those of Avaya management