The Washington Times - October 27, 2011, 05:33PM

A little more than two months after it said it would bow out, Hewlett-Packard reversed course Oct. 27 and said it would remain a manufacturer of personal computers:

“HP today announced that it has completed its evaluation of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG) and has decided the unit will remain part of the company,” a news release stated.

“’HP objectively evaluated the strategic, financial and operational impact of spinning off PSG. It’s clear after our analysis that keeping PSG within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees,’ said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer. ‘HP is committed to PSG, and together we are stronger.’”

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HP announced its decision to quit the personal computer market on August 18, the same day it dropped its poorly received TouchPad tablet device. The Oct. 27 announcement noted HP “is the No. 1 manufacturer of personal computers in the world with revenues totaling $40.7 billion for fiscal year 2010,” which is a pretty healthy slice of the firm’s overall business, which HP estimates to be in the $127 billion range for fiscal 2011.

HP cited economies of scale, integration of resources and other common-sense reasons to keep the PC unit as is. Here’s another one: we need choice in the marketplace. I know of at least one enterprise which has moved away from Dell to HP for its hardware (with a fair amount of Apple, Inc., computers as well), and having the option of HP is a good thing for business, for users, and for all of us. Competition keeps the big players on their toes.