HP purchased Palm and its webOS operating system back in April 2010 for $1.2 billion. However, the PC company reportedly tried to unload those assets during the second half of 2011 for the exact same price. Venture Beat, reporting via unnamed sources, claims that HP even tried to get Facebook to purchase those assets for $1.2 billion but that its offer was "practically laughed out of the room" by Facebook.
The idea that HP would try to sell off Palm and webOS for the same price it paid for those items over a year ago does seem rather strange, especially since the value of those assets has surely gone way down since the failure of the webOS-based HP TouchPad earlier this summer. In December, HP announced that it would release webOS as an open source software project. The company also plans to go back and release new webOS-based hardware, including tablets.
In any case, it does seem like HP is trying to get back on the right track instead of doing silly things such as making dumb sales offers or announcing a spin-off of its huge PC business, which it later retracted. Let's hope 2012 has better things in store for the company.