ReadWrite, The Verge, and other tech blogs are reporting that Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) is ready to throw its weight behind Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) Android as its operating system of choice for a new line of mobile devices.
The Android love will start with a high-end tablet. That makes sense, but the sources also say that HP is exploring putting out Android-fueled smartphones.
One can argue that this has nothing to do with Microsoft committing to $2 billion in the roughly $24 billion deal to buy out a meandering Dell. However, since so many people have argued that Microsoft was making this investment to have a say in keeping Dell from embracing Android -- and Microsoft is already paying billions to Nokia to support Windows Phone as its mobile operating system of choice -- could this be HP's way of lashing out for not winning Mr. Softy's billions?
It's still a smart move on HP's behalf. HP has thrown Android a few bones in recent years, but it was held back as it tried to make webOS work after its $1 billion acquisition of Palm.
However, as computing devices embrace Android while traditional Windows-powered PCs wane in popularity, the only real question here is why HP didn't throw more support behind the open-source Android juggernaut sooner.
HP is struggling, and investors will get a glimpse of that when the world's largest PC supplier reports next week. Analysts see revenue and earnings sliding 8% and 23%, respectively. Making another run at mobile devices won't make HP the next Samsung, but it will provide welcome diversification if Microsoft's market dominance continues to fade.
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