According to the Guardian, internal HP sources have revealed that the company will be shutting down WebOS. HP had just confirmed yesterday that it will be keeping its PC business, reversing plans to spin-off the PSG division, and although it had insisted back in August that it would continue to support the WebOS software, a complete shutdown of the division looks to be imminent.
There are currently about 500 employees working in the WebOS unit, but several top-level staff have recently left, which is a telling sign. It’s believed that some WebOS staff will be moved to a different division within HP, while others will be laid off. “There’s a 95% chance we all get laid off between now and November, and I for one am thinking it’s for the best,” said one WebOS employee.
WebOS was acquired by HP back in 2010 through the acquisition of Palm for $1.2 billion. HP-branded WebOS devices, such as the HP TouchPad, were first announced back in February and launched for only a few months before the company, under former CEO Leo Apotheker’s lead, announced that it would discontinue WebOS hardware, spin-off its PC business, and acquire software company Autonomy for $10 billion to transition into an enterprise software and services company.
With the replacement of Apotheker with new CEO Meg Whitman, HP has re-evaluated its situation and determined that it will be more beneficial to keep and manage its PC unit within HP than to spin it off into a separate company. It’s believed that HP may resurrect its TouchPad tablet or a new version of it that will be powered by Microsoft’s Windows 8.