When Hewlett-Packard announced on Thursday that the company was eliminating its consumer operations, one might have expected the resulting flood of reactions. After all, HP has been a major player in the PC world for decades, and captured headlines throughout the last year for its acquisition of Palm and subsequent attempts to get WebOS devices such as the TouchPad off the ground.

There seemed to be a snide element to many of the responses, such as the attempted humor of Michael Dell, the Chief Executive of long-time competitor Dell.

HP.... They are calling it a separation but it feels like a divorce, tweeted the self-proclaimed family man, later adding If HP spins off their PC business....maybe they will call it Compaq? in a (decade-in-the-making) reference to HP's acquisition of the fellow PC-maker.

Dell's tweets may or may not have been malicious, but not many found them side-splittingly funny. One of Dell's few replies granted well played, but another tweeted instead of bashing HP, why don't you focus on fixing your own crappy PCs.

Dell may have slightly less to worry about than HP, but both companies face what is commonly termed the post-PC era a term first brought into mainstream parlance by none other than Apple CEO (and, arguably, tech guru) Steve Jobs. The model that Jobs has followed with Apple is to gradually taper off the traditional desktop and laptop offerings, replacing them on the hardware side with smartphones and tablets -- and all the while, keeping the software firmly in-house.

HP's efforts, if only for the past year or so, have taken that model to heart -- but HP CEO Leo Apotheker may not have had his heart into going head-to-head with the Apple monolith. In fact, when Apotheker first took control of HP last year, he was extremely clear that he had little to no interest in hardware, or the consumer market in general. In hindsight, it may have been less of a surprise that the TouchPad failed than it was that Apotheker's HP even attempted the project in the first place.

James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for IBG.com. With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found at www.ibg.com. Nationwide Biweekly Administration helps you pay off your mortgage loan 6-10 years early and save THOUSANDS in interest with their proven Interest Minimizer bi-weekly mortgage payment plan from Nationwide Biweekly Administration.