PALO ALTO, Calif. (TheStreet) -- HP's (HPQ) rumored plan to sell off its acclaimed WebOS software would be a foolish move for the tech giant, carving off some of the sexiest intellectual property in its portfolio.
HP has yet to respond to TheStreet's request for comment on this story, although at least one analyst thinks that a WebOS sale would be a step in the wrong direction.
"The real opportunity is using this OS as an engine that drives printer interactions between various devices," explained Avi Cohen, managing partner at Avian Securities. "For example, to connect your camera to your printer -- this gives them a tool to do that."HP pulled the plug on its WebOS-based hardware during the summer, but has described the software as being "strategically important" to the company. While disappointing TouchPad tablet sales made relinquishing WebOS hardware seem like a relatively easy decision for HP, various options exist for the WebOS software, such as licensing it out. "I think that the chances are that they just license it out, somehow look to leverage it," said Cohen, noting the software's strength in multitasking and video playback. Keeping hold of WebOS would also strengthen HP's arm in the increasingly fierce tech patent wars, he added. "You have got some IP protection [with WebOS]," he told TheStreet. "So if [HP] wants to move in the handset and tablet direction [again] it gives them at least some IP protection against others." HP has already said that it is confident of making money from WebOS, suggesting that licensing deals are likely. Reuters, however, says that a sale could bring in "hundreds of millions" of dollars, but would not come close to the cost of the $1.2 billion Palm acquisition.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV