HP not ditching webOS, just the hardware

Aug 18, 2011
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Following earlier reports that HP will be discontinuing its webOS ecosystem of devices, including the Veer, Pre3, and TouchPad, an insider source has informed Thisismynext that the company will not be abandoning the platform entirely. The source revealed details from an all-hands meeting held with HP employees in the webOS Global Business Unit that indicate the platform could still live on through licensing.

During the meeting, webOS Global Business Unit VP Stephen DeWitt reaffirmed several times that HP intends to continue work on the webOS platform, saying "We are not walking away from webOS." DeWitt continued to detail how the next two weeks will look like for the platform, but also admitted that "Clearly, we don't have all the answers today."

DeWitt also revealed that the webOS unit would see staff reductions, telling the team that the company needs people "that are serious about winning." Failure of the webOS ecosystem was pegged on the lackluster hardware, with the belief that HP needed to stop forcing non-competitive products into the market.

Hence, it looks like HP will be taking the route of licensing webOS to manufacturers. But when asked about HTC or Samsung being potential licensees, HP VP Todd Bradley pointed out that the webOS platform was only designed to work with Qualcomm chips. Therefore, to satisfy many potential licensees, webOS will have to support other chipsets as well. Perhaps, this is the work that HP will have to continue with on webOS?

HP today also confirmed the purchase of enterprise software company Autonomy for $10 billion, as part of its transition to focus on software, connectivity, and cloud computing.

[via Thisismynext]


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