HP will keep its PC division

After months of turmoil, HP seems to have made a sensible decision as the company announced it has reversed a previous decision to spin off the PC division.

This looks like a sound move, and new CEO Meg Whitman will probably earn some good will inside HP for this decision.

That said, paidContent is reporting that webOS is toast.

But the Guardian understands that HP is to shut down its webOS division, acquired for $1.2 billion in April 2010 when it bought Palm, and make the staff there redundant or shift them elsewhere inside the company. That could mean losses of up to 500 jobs as the business which created the short-lived HP TouchPad and smartphones is closed.

If true, this makes less sense. Cheap tablets have a future, and HP shouldn’t abandon these efforts just because they botched the initial TouchPad release.


Boogie Board is a different and popular tablet

Kent Displays, the company that makes the Boogie Board tablet, is getting more VC money and is hiring 40 more employees in Ohio.

The Boogie Board is a modern equivalent to the old-fashioned chalk slate – a device that allows users to write and quickly erase messages on a screen the size of a sheet of paper. Company spokesman Kevin Oswald said orders for the boards have forced the plant to run three shifts a day for much of the year.

He added that he expects orders to increase this fall when the company adds a version of the board that can save images for later use.

“[The expansion] will allow us to meet worldwide demand for the Boogie Board tablets for the foreseeable future,” Oswald said.

Sales of multimedia tablets, such as Apple’s iPad or Motorola’s Xoom, have boomed this year, but Oswald said Kent’s product doesn’t compete with those. Boogie Boards cost $40-$60, depending on size, and are meant as a replacement for notepads and paper, not computers.

It will be interesting to see if this technology eventually finds it’s way into the all-purpose tablets.


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