HP "not walking away from webOS," say execs at all-hands webOS GBU meeting
As you might imagine, today’s news out of HP came as a shock to almost everybody working in the webOS Global Business Unit (formerly known as Palm, Inc.). According to details give to This Is My Next, an all-hands meeting was called, chaired by webOS GBU VP Stephen DeWitt, who made it clear that HP will continue work on webOS, with the likely end goal of licensing the OS. He was reportedly “adamant,” saying that “We are not walking away from webOS,” with the goal of having the platform’s future outlined by within two weeks. HP VP, Personal Systems Group, pointed out that HP could license webOS, since it’s designed to work on popular Qualcomm chips.
If you ask us, this sounds like a gaggle of executives caught off guard by their bosses, trying desperately to spin something positive to their employees. It’s not pretty, and the fact that they’re admitting that “they don’t have all the answers today” tells us that even executives as high as Bradley didn’t know what was happening. Both Bradley and DeWitt reportedly stated that the reason webOS wasn’t succeeding was because of the lackluster hardware (agreed) and that they need to stop “trying to force non-competitive products into the market.”
Our read: HP has little interest in webOS anymore. They don’t want to walk away, because they’ve likely spent at least a few billion dollars on it, and walking away would be tantamount to treason at a company that values shareholder value over all else. So they have to find a way to get money out of what they spent, which means continuing development on webOS until they can find somebody who’s willing to license it, or buy it. Can this community handle another change of ownership? We don’t know, but at least webOS would still be alive. If HP can’t find a buyer or licensees, webOS is as good as dead.
Source: This is my next