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HP's Huge Changes: Tech Weekly Recap

PALO ALTO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- HP (HPQ - Get Report) unveiled a major corporate and strategic overhaul on Thursday, ditching its WebOS devices and potentially spinning off its PC business.

The sheer scale of the changes took investors by surprise, although HP CEO Leo Apotheker, speaking during a conference call late on Thursday, defined the fire hose of announcements as setting the company up for the future.
HP turned on a fire hose of announcements this week.

"We are focusing on what needs to be fixed, what needs to be shut down, and what needs to be considered for separation," he said. "Equally, if not more importantly, we are focused on what value added IP needs to be added to HP."

HP also reported its third-quarter results on Wednesday, edging past analysts' estimates. With consumer spending weakening and a major overhaul of its business on the horizon, however, HP offered up tepid guidance.

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In addition to its new strategy and its latest results, HP announced its $11 billion acquisition of U.K. software maker Autonomy on Thursday, underscoring Apotheker's desire to bolster the company's software business. The former SAP (SAP) chief has made no secret of his desire to push HP towards higher-margin business such as software and services, an approach that has proved successful for rival IBM (IBM).

HP investors, however, balked at the company's latest plans, pushing the PC giant's stock down $5.91, or 20.03%, to close at $23.60 on Friday.

Google (GOOG - Get Report) kicked off the week with its biggest-ever acquisition, announcing a $12.5 billion deal for Motorola Mobility (MMI - Get Report) on Monday. The purchase should give Google a big leg up in the booming smartphone market, where its Android operating system is locked in a fierce battle with Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iOS.

As part of the deal Google not only gets its hands on a leading player in the smartphone industry, but a trove of 17,000 technology patents related mostly to the wireless industry.

Google chief Larry Page described the deal, which is expected to close in late 2011 or early 2012, as good for all Android players.

"Motorola Mobility's total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem," Page said in a press release Monday.

Amidst a broader selloff in tech stocks, Google shares closed down $13.96, or 2.77%, at $490.92 on Friday. Motorola Mobility's stock was up a penny, or 0.03%, at $37.86.
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