Competitors do not have to buy HP and accept all the risks of buying a damaged brand with all its associated unknown market value and financial risks.
They can simply wait as it disintegrates and pick up market share.
I recently purchased a HP Laptop and quickly returned it yesterday when I heard the "Abandon Ship" announcement.
I felt I was not going to get the technical support and improvements I wanted while the whole organization is going through cut backs and restructuring and is paralyzed. So I bought an Apple.
When you announce you are considering "selling" HP, you just announced that you are no longer in the business.
Perhaps struggling General Motors should consider getting out of the low return car business and go into the software business ... or pharmaceutical business ... or Apple growing. (the edible kind)
Leo Apotheker just ripped out the bottom of the HP ship. But he shouldn't worry, unlike the thousands of employees who will be abandoned and struggling in the rough economy sea, he'll still get his bonuses and be able to sail his yacht into the beautiful sunset.