Engadget interviews webOS chief Stephen DeWitt 32
HP SVP of the webOS Global Business Unit Stephen DeWitt sat down for an interview with Engadget following yesterday’s surprising news about HP’s plan to drop webOS device development. If the reports of the all-hands meeting that followed are accurate, DeWitt didn’t seem like he knew much more about what was going on than we did, but he’s had the overnight to get his thoughts in order (as have we).
The gist of the interview came down to DeWitt’s restatement of the point from the conference call: HP is only shutting down the device operations and they’re going to continue working on webOS the operating system while they try to figure out what to do with it. He confirmed that HP has been in talks with third party manufacturers about webOS, though he declined to name any. He said that the execution path they were on with hardware would have required a rather significant investment that, as discussed last night, HP is not entirely willing to make. DeWitt believes that this “alternative approach [will] introduce significantly more flexibility into the system,” which will permit HP to focus their resource on “what matters”, i.e. webOS. There’s plenty more to the interview, but Mr. DeWitt is a master of corporate speak and it’s a little bit hard to parse exactly all of what he’s try to say (if he’s saying anything at all). In short, HP – or at least the webOS GBU – still has plans and aspirations for webOS.