Editor’s note: Krista Macomber is Research Analyst, Computer and Storage Practice, at Technology Business Research.

HAMPTON, N.H. – TBR believes that, after making a difficult but necessary decision in replacing CEO Leo Apotheker with Meg Whitman, HP (NYSE: HPQ) will first reassure its customers and partners and then continue to expand its scope and broaden its offerings.

We believe HP also will retain, develop and more fully leverage all its businesses, including PCs.

What is most important now is assuring HP’s many customers and partners as well as employees that the company can continue to be trusted. Once it is clear HP will continue to do business in its long-established manner, the company can address its strategic evolution going forward.

It is important to bear in mind that HP remains a successful company; it is profitable and growing in a difficult economic climate. HP continues to deliver and improve well-received technology-based products and services despite the disruption in top management that began fifteen months ago. HP’s PC business is the world’s largest and is one of the most profitable. PCs, however, have become a commodity and PC margins are lower than that of other technology products and services, causing HP to look for ways to separate PCs from the rest of its business.

TBR believes the synergies between PCs and the rest of HP’s business are positive, giving the company greater scale and allowing it to leverage its sales forces and partnership ecosystem. The company was exploring ways to separate PCs financially while retaining those positive synergies. We think, however, that this uncertainty about its PC strategy undermined customer and partner confidence in HP’s PC business and in its hardware business as a whole. We believe assuring customers it will retain and nurture its PC business is HP’s most logical and likely course of action.

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