This week finds venerable Hewlett-Packard splitting in two: consumer versus enterprise firms. That's probably good news for long-suffering customers of the former Autonomy products.
You know why? Because things couldn't get much worse for them.
Sure, theoretically things could go further downhill. You always got the sense that the "old" HP at least wanted to do the right thing; a new firm with a new culture could mean less integrity, and Autonomy customers have already experienced enough turbulence under the former owners, thank you very much.
Under a new regime, product managers and marketers might also play a little faster and looser, which means more gaps between promise and reality.
On the whole, though, I think customers of the former Autonomy tools stand to benefit. While it's probably too late for products like TeamSite (which needs a complete architectural overhaul), a more focused enterprise group could make the tough choices required to modernize -- or finally shed -- the other technologies.
Also, it means giving up the ghost about "synergies" between HP printers and Autonomy technology like search. HP's IDOL search engine has a long way to go to return to relevance, but at least no one will fantasize anymore about embedding it into $100 inkjet printers.
If you are not an HP software customer
Not an HP enterprise software customer? Wait and watch. Remain cautious about attempts from HP's (well-regarded) services arm to default to HP software -- the way IBM Global Services still sometimes shills for IBM software.