We learned all about this last year, when Oracle bought Sun, then went after the open source status of mySQL, Java, and Open Office, aiming to turn the dependence of users into its product, twisting development strategies to suit itself, etc. etc. etc.
Yet I'm sure a lot of open source executives are preening like schoolgirls at a prom over news that HP might be interested in going on an open source buying spree of its own.
They don't seem to understand what is wrong with this picture.
That's because to get the most value from open source you have to make a bigger commitment than a check. You become a developer, a bug tracker, a stakeholder in the program you've installed.
So any news like this from HP puts the interests of users against the projects they have grown dependent on. It's a negative, in other words.
Any chance HP or the financial press might recognize this fact? Don't bet on it.
And if I weren't unemployed at the present time I might not be able to tell you either.