HP (http://www.hp.com) has confirmed reports that it’s in discussions with Autonomy regarding a possible offer for the company and that its board of directors has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG), the division that makes the company’s personal computers.

HP will consider a range of options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction. In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.

These moves would leave HP free to concentrate on its printer business and enterprise operations. This would explain the company’s interest in Autonomy (http://www.autonomy.com), a company that specializes in infrastructure software for the enterprise and which has a market cap of US$7 billion.

— Dennis Sellers