HP splitting the webOS GBU in two; software headed to Office of Strategy and Technology [exclusive] | webOS Nation
 
 

HP splitting the webOS GBU in two; software headed to Office of Strategy and Technology [exclusive] 102

by Derek Kessler Fri, 02 Sep 2011 9:45 pm EDT

Ready for things to get shaken up once more in Sunnyvale? Good, because it’s happening. We’ve received two memos sent to employees of HP’s webOS Global Business Unit that tell the story of how HP is splitting the former Palm, Inc. into two separate units that will report to separate divisions of HP. The hardware division will stay under the Personal Systems Group and continue to report to Stephen DeWitt. The software side – the side that HP’s still interested in – is to be split off and moved over to HP’s Office of Strategy and Technology, where they’ll report to EVP Shane Robison.

If splitting Palm’s hardware and software divisions sounds familiar, well, it should. That’s exactly what Palm did back in 2003 when they split into palmOne (hardware, after merging with Handspring) and PalmSource (software). It was a disaster, with PalmSource floundering with operating system development and getting purchased by mobile browser builder ACCESS a few years later for a paltry $324 million (that purchase eventually resulted in the Access Linux Platform, which also went nowhere).

Palm split back in 2003 so they could get around a problem we’d discussed as a potential liability for HP: licensing software while making competing hardware. HP’s shutdown of webOS hardware development, while traumatizing, did help remove that impediment. Splitting the webOS GBU into two could enable the absorption of the webOS hardware team into the rest of the PSG (or just a smoother shuttering). Heck, this could allow them to serve as a webOS-licensing mobile tech development business after the PSG is spun-off, though that's not exactly a possibility we'd consider likely (though we'd find it amusing to see the new software-only HP licensing webOS to its former hardware half)

Moving webOS software under the Office of Strategy and Technology will serve two purposes: the first being getting webOS out of the soon-to-be-spun-off PSG and keeping it as a property of the new software and services HP, and the second being giving webOS a closer relationship to HP’s multi-billion research and development fund and personnel. The OS&T is considered by HP to be an “incubator” for their tech businesses, where they’re currently applying TLC to HP’s Cloud Services, Vertica, and Business Solutions units.

According to Robison’s letter to the webOS software team, they can expect that not much will change, saying that they “will continue to operate under their current systems and processes,” at least for now. Except for who reports to who, with webOS development chief Ari Jaaksi and VP of developer relations Richard Kerris reporting directly to Robison.

Both the letter from Todd Bradley announcing the split and Shane Robison’s message to the webOS software team are after the break.


Message from Todd Bradley

Earlier this month, I told you about our difficult but necessary decision to discontinue the development of our webOS hardware devices.

However, the webOS platform that powers these devices continues to demonstrate its ability to improve how our customers look up information, access entertainment and stay connected on the go. As you know, the company is investigating the best ways to leverage webOS software and grow its applications environment.

With this in mind, we have decided that we'll be most effective in these efforts by having the teams in webOS software engineering, worldwide developer relations and webOS software product marketing join the Office of Strategy and Technology under Shane Robison. This change is effective immediately.

The remainder of the webOS team, under Stephen DeWitt, will continue to report into PSG; later today, Stephen will reach out to these teams with an update.

I am excited about the opportunity this move creates for all of HP.

Reorganizing the webOS software teams under OS&T allows us to fully investigate how we can utilize the webOS software platform. The pan-HP charter of OS&T provides a broad view of how we can optimize our technologies. In fact, it has proven to be a successful incubator of technologies; it is home to a team of senior technology experts devoted exclusively to exploring longer-term strategies for our technologies. Currently, OS&T is incubating the HP Cloud Services business units, Vertica and Business Solutions.

I would like to thank the teams moving to OS&T for their hard work, innovation and devotion to creating a differentiated customer experience. Their efforts are evident in the intuitive elegance of webOS, and they will not soon be forgotten.

Meanwhile, during this time of transition and internal analysis, we in PSG must continue to ensure that our customers, partners, colleagues and friends understand that we remain focused on creating amazing products, winning new business and showing the world why we continue to be the largest, most profitable PC company in the world.

Todd Bradley
Executive Vice President Personal Systems Group


Organizational Announcement: webOS Teams to Join OS&T

SHANE ROBISON
EVP, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer
Office of Strategy and Technology
TO/ OST Employees
SUBJECT/ Organizational Announcement: webOS Teams to Join OS&T

Two weeks ago we announced the transformation of HP for the future. As part of that change we made a very tough decision to exit the webOS hardware device business. At the same time we recognized the value inherent in the webOS software platform. Not only because of its elegant, intuitive interface, but because of our strategic focus on cloud, connectivity, services and software, and printing.

I’m pleased that the executive team has decided that the webOS software teams will be best served joining the Office of Strategy and Technology while we investigate how to leverage the webOS platform and its ecosystem. This move also supports the teams’ continued efforts with over-the-air updates and the application catalog.

As a result, the webOS software engineering, developer relations, and software product marketing teams will become a part of OS&T, effective immediately. Ari Jaaksi, senior vice president leading webOS software engineering, and Richard Kerris, vice president leading webOS worldwide developer relations, will report to me. Lee Ott, the senior director of webOS software product marketing, will report to Ari.

With our focus on business and technology strategy, OS&T will be able to provide these teams with the resources and support they need as we define the best monetization model. The webOS software employees join HP Cloud Services, Vertica, and Business Solutions as an incubating business group. However, while these teams will be joining OS&T we have decided not to initiate any integration activities. These teams will continue to operate under their current systems and processes until further notice.

The webOS software is still a great asset. I am excited with the opportunity we have ahead of us and I look forward to the success of the team as a part of OS&T. Please join me in welcoming them.

Regards,

Shane

Thanks anonymous!

102 Comments

Leo must be stopped.

The hardware folks are toast. The software people will survive until Frankenwebos is panned on laptops. I dont see HP accepting market value for the WebOS or PSG parts, this will end badly for all the people working so hard. And I don't see an IBM-like transition for HP working. They don't have that sort of integrity or elegance.

"And I don't see an IBM-like transition for HP working". Really? Because it has been for many many years. They are the second largest service and enterprise hardware company in the world in terms of revenue. 50% of their revenue comes from those divisions already with a healthy profit margin.

HP credibility is tanking. People never stopped trusting IBM. Leo couldn't handle SAP, HP will not make it under his sloppy fist.

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You forgot the PS on the Webos Memo:

PS: Last one out, Please turn of the lights.

It's over. HP killed it. No more webos phones. No more tablets. What else matters? My toaster and washing machine work fine without it.

One of the things I have been thinking about was the timing and ineptitude of the announcement. I mean, why then when they obviously weren't prepared. Why not wait another quarter and have your ducks in a row?

Maybe Leo didn't have full support internally and felt time was against him, so he pulled a Cortes (who burned his ships when they hit the shores of the new lands, so his sailors could not think of returning)and made the announcement knowing full well that there could be no return from it.

Oh well, it's a thought and obviously one more than Leo had!

What do you think they are going to do with webOS is they aren't going to put it on phones or tablets in some way?

Why do you think they are continuing to work on it?

This looks like proof that its more alive than ever.

Some Japanese holdout soldiers had proof that World War 2 was still going on all the way until the 70s, too.

I believe Webos will sit fairly stagnant until HP figures out how to make some money from it, which will be by piecing it out.

Even though the hardware has been panned, it was the software that wasn't ready on the Touchpad. Pre 3? waiting for the software. Touch to Share? Not existent... waiting on the software.

What about using the GPU? Software not getting it done. Optimized for speed? not yet.

So while HP is dumping the hardware, the folks doing the coding are not without their share of the blame and why will it be any different in the current chaos? It won't be, I think it will get worse.

bmacfarland

This restructure, doesn't change the reality that HP doesn't know how to develop WebOS. They could not make it work on two similar devices, but believing they can take it 180 degrees with existing hardware in the marketplace and make it do something worthwhile on PC's is akin to putting cookies out for Santa Claus. ESPECIALLY after they kill WebOS devices and tell us they're not committed to PC's in the long term.

I mean really? Really? If they do install it on PCs, what is it going to do? It's not replacing windows. It's never had a full set of API's on simple wireless devices. Its gonna be tagged as incomplete bloatware, and left for dead by the market.

They are "continuing" to work on it to give it value for an acquirer. Here, this is my classic Renault Fuego. It never worked reliabily for me or the previous owner, but I'm replacing the air filter having the interior detailed so it will be better than new. So, give me $20,000 for it and I'll move on to herding cats as my new line of business. Deal?

Sounds like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic ...

Exactly WHO is going to license webOS with instability and lack of clear winnable strategy? And with no new hardware this OS will die off over time.

Frustrating & sad.

The software developement was split off to palmSource who became Access who was bought a year ago by Acacia.

It is Acacia who is licensing the Palm patents to Samusung, Motorola, Microsoft, Apple, Nokia, RIM, and all the rest:
http://forums.precentral.net/showthread.php?t=294230

That is why Samsung said that this week at IFA.

And yet, HP is reportedly shopping around the actual webOS patents--not those Acacia owns, which are the OLD Palm patents: http://www.informationweek.com/news/personal-tech/tablets/231600600?printer_friendly=this-page

I agree that if HP doesn't start manufacturing new devices or license this off IMMEDIATELY, the momentum they had when they released the tablets at $99 will quickly fizzle out and there won't be anyone else developing on this platform. The Touchpads will be bought for others to load Android and further erase the webos name.

If HP ends up destroying webos on mobile devices (I could care less about a printer having webos), it will be the last time I ever purchase anything HP.

Except in late October when the last batch comes back. This buys them some time to shop it around.

Hi all,

To me this is no surprise....HP has said they wanted to keep webOS....and so they are....

The only chance webOS and what ever else is left of Palm is for HP to license it off to someone...i hoping that with so many more people now enjoying webOS that someone will license it....

Take care,

Jay

Well, we can look forward to having it on our printers at least.

Who is this Shane Robinson? We must find out more!

Wait, so with PSG we'll get more webOS devices?

This at least leaves some option for the hardware folks who want to stay at HP. (Am I waxing desperately optimistic here ??)

Yes.

I'm a convinced optimist.

I consider the outlook for webos very very bleak at this point.

When HP dumped webos I was optimistic enough to think that perhaps HP was already in promising talks with Samsung and perhaps dumped the hardware to prepare finalization of a deal. That was the time for desperate optimism. Samsung was a realistic option for a white knight (big enough, already established in mobile, motivated by Google-Motorola deal and being sued by Apple).

After Samsungs no there is not much to hope for left - even for a serial optimist like me.
Nokia is in bed with MS (basically taken over by MS).
RIM is itself in trouble and already invested in QNX.
HTC doesn't seem to be interested either.
Motorola has been bought by Google.
Apple would perhaps buy the patents - but never webos.
Sony-Ericsson - hm - dunno if they have enough steam left.
Dell is a vague possibility - but I don't think so.
Lenovo - even less likely than Dell IMHO.

There's a tiny chance that a surprise player appears out of nowhere from India, China or Brazil. Some big supplier company that wants to go up-market and create its own brand to increase margins. Somewhat possible - but highly unlikely to happen. I'm still an optimist for even considering these possibilities.

Hmmm...your last paragraph brings up an interesting possibility. Maybe HP will focus on pushing webOS into emerging markets in Asia and Africa and try to establish a following there primarily. In the meantime, the current userbase would get OTA updates and new apps. And webOS on HP PCs.

Not a fully-fledged theory but something to think about.

We'll keep WebOS but we have nothing to put it on. That's the message I get.

So it seems that HP (Hopes & Promises) has found a suitor for webOS...

Themselves.

That's right. They are two "separate" divisions now. It's not one giant money sink-hole anymore. The Hardware division makes their "own" money from hardware (printers, toasters, etc.) and "license" the software/OS (webOS) from the software division.

Business-101. How do you hide one giant money burner? Split it into smaller money burners so the numbers aren't so big when the shareholders look at them.

"In an insane world, it was the sanest choice."

M.

Leotard strikes again.

Another possibility is for the soon to be independent PSG to continue developing and marketing the hardware for webOS - phones and tablets.

However, the only successful tablets on the market are either the $500+ Apple or $100-200 competing tablets. I'm not sure how the PSG can manage to profit by making inexpensive tablets.

Their other option would be to move into the $500+ category by having a killer webOS app running on phones, tablets and PC's

"Their other option would be to move into the $500+ category by having a killer webOS app running on phones, tablets and PC's"

Won't happen. When was the last time you saw a commercial that touted at the end: "...and download our app available on iPhone, Android, and webOS!"? Never.

They should figure out a way to make a "translation layer" for 'Droid apps to run on webOS. Then, and only then, will we have true hope of seeing a new webOS out in the wild again.

M.

If Android (not Droid, as that's a Verizon thing) apps run on webOS, companies have even less reason to create webOS apps.

Sounds a lot like what eventually doomed OS/2. It ran Windows 3.x and DOS programs, sometimes even better than DOS/Win itself, so there was no impetus to create native applications for the platform. If they choose to go down this path, they may as well shutter the doors at Sunnyvale HQ now.

OS/2 did and does lve on in your friendly local bank ATM machines. The future for WebOS, maybe vending machines???

Pay phones.

Tomorrow's o/s for yesterday's hardware.

They just need to open up Enyo to other platforms. WebOS was ahead of its time in terms of apps. It's only until very recently that HTML5 apps have become the hot topic in software development. If they open up Enyo, they'll get developers interested, with no need to distract the software team by having them develop a translation layer.

There are already more tablet-specific apps for the TouchPad than there are for Android...what would be the point? Even before the firesale the TouchPad was second only to the iPad, both in sales and in mindshare (albeit a DISTANT second).

You know, that whole "tablet optimized" verbiage is just a back handed slap at WebOS users. Optimized, means the app doesn't work on phones, at all. And the other slap to it, is that the good phone apps don't scale up to run nicely on tablets. FAIL and FAIL, and more HP double talk.

Oh really? I've gone through the entire HP App Catalog and installed every "tablet-optimized" app I can find for my TouchPad (of the ones that interest me) plus everything in Preware (which is VERY limited thus far) and I have only about 145 apps installed. With only a few exceptions, I have ONLY "tablet-optimized" apps installed.

Alternatively on my Acer Iconia A500 Android Honeycomb 3.1 tablet, I have already acquired 337 "tablet-optimized" apps and there are TONS more available.

By "tablet-optimized" I mean apps that take advantage of the full screen real-estate.

I will say that for the most part the apps on TouchPad are of better quality than the Android apps and the TouchPad has been MUCH MUCH more stable than the Android tablet. That being said, I do appreciate the variety and quantity of apps available for Android.

I too very much wish that there were a way to at least sideload Android .APK apps onto the TouchPad. At least RIM figured out how to access Android apps (with apparently a very easy repackaging) on their webOS-like QNX operating system.

The PSG as a single business unit simply would not have the capital to do so - if you look at it's revenue and profits, it will be forced to concentrate on the low-margin high volume game.

This couldn't be worse for WebOS. According to Wikipedia, HP's Office of Strategy and Technology[49] has four main functions: (1) steering the company's $3.6 billion research and development investment, (2) fostering the development of the company's global technical community, (3) leading the company's strategy and corporate development efforts,[50] and (4) performing worldwide corporate marketing activities.

You know what that means? This is a service function within the organization. Not a revenue/profit-generating group. I suspect this means that NO ONE at HP is selling/licensing WebOS. It's now a little piece of software that will gather dust on the shelves. So sad.

That was with HP's old hardware focus. If HP is going to focus on software and then not use the software, it will see no revenue from webOS and thus is not maximizing shareholder value.

@rahulsood tweeted this a while back, but if #webOS stays with a company (@HP) that has expunged its consumer DNA, it's as good as dead.

Todd - "while we investigate how to leverage the webOS platform and its ecosystem."

So, HP you didn't know what you were going to do with webOS. And now as you clearly state. You still don't.

Might it have been worth 'investigating how to leverage the webOS platform' before closing down the hardware.

These guys are pretty much just shooting from the hip trying to react to what Leo has done.

Here is the key reason why webOS will not be used in the tablets and PCs from the Personal Systems Group:
"Not only because of its elegant, intuitive interface, but because of our strategic focus on cloud, connectivity, services and software, and printing..."

"...The webOS software employees join HP Cloud Services, Vertical, and Business Solutions..."

That doesn't seem like a reason why it wouldn't be used in tablets and PCs. It seems to be a reason why it would be used elsewhere.

Plus something has to access those Cloud Services.

Yeah, Windows, Android, and iOS.

Lets look at the bright side (and hope this is the case)... If they spin off the hardware division (computers and WebOS devices) and make it a separate company, either under HP or after it has been sold to someone, this "company" could produce new hardware and get the WebOS software straight from the source. They would be staying true to there strategy of "HP not making WebOS devices anymore". They could "lease the software to other manufacturers as well, which they have already stated. I read a recent article where a rep for HP was very adamant about them being able to lease WebOS to any and all who are interested, like Google does with Android... Hopefully it some good old foreshadowing... Here's the link: http://www.thestreet.com/story/11237454/1/hp-chairman-well-make-money-of...

It would have to be more like Microsoft with Windows phone...seeing as Google makes it money of ads, not licensing fees.

That's wishful thinking.

Google got away with everybody licencing Android and making it a success because:
a) They did it early
b) It's an open platform
c) They gave it away as a loss leader to protect their ad revenue
d) They are Google

HP won't be able to licence webos to mobile hardware manufacturers. Any future webos might have depends on somebody buying the rights and core assets. Hardly anybody cares whether webos ends up on printers. Nobody is buying a printer because it has a slightly cuter UI on a tiny screen where you mostly just select page size and push a print button.

And the best chance for webos to get bought and be made into a success was Samsung and they said no.

For now hardcore webos fans can keep going for a year or 2 on Pre2, Veer and Pre3 (and TPs). After that either HP finally gives up and open sources webos or it just vanishes as one of many promising assets that linger to death in a big corporation that wasted potential.

Open platform?

Wonder why they're putting Gingerbread and not Honeycomb on the Touchpad?

Primarily because Google recognizes Honeycomb is more a stop-gap between Gingerbread (Phone) and ICS (Integrated). ICS is widely expected to be available to the community, and is one of the reasons many of these Touchpad/Android developers are targeting ICS for the device after getting Gingerbread up and running on it as a proof-of-concept.

I don't think you are reading these memos correctly.

The software group is being shifted. There's basically nothing about what is happening with the hardware group. "The remainder of the webOS team, under Stephen DeWitt, will continue to report into PSG; later today, Stephen will reach out to these teams with an update."

Given that all hardware is being discontinued, I don't see any reason for HP to keep these people at all. Would love to be wrong, and HP has shown a special talent for nonsensical decision making, but I think they will be reassigned or laid off and the hardware section discontinued.

They're not keeping these people. They're spinning them off into their own company.

it's almost like they're purposely trying to destroy it =/

Corporate Bla Bla is a weird language and easily misunderstood. Lemme translate some excerpts:

Bla Bla:
"Earlier this month, I told you about our difficult but necessary decision to discontinue the development of our webOS hardware devices."

Translation:
"Earlier this month I was just as shocked and surprised by the crazy decisions to dump our promising hardware business as all of you."

Bla bla:
"However, the webOS platform that powers these devices continues to demonstrate its ability to improve how our customers look up information, access entertainment and stay connected on the go. As you know, the company is investigating the best ways to leverage webOS software and grow its applications environment."

Translation:
"There's no way anybody is interested in webos without proper hardware to run it on. But obviously I can't say that without getting fired myself. As you know the top management is confused and stumbling around without a solid plan - let alone good preparations."

Bla bla:
"I am excited about the opportunity this move creates for all of HP."

Translation:
"I hope for the best - but have been looking for a better job for a week already".

Bla bla:
"... OS&T ... optimize ...incubator ... too much empty bla bla to quote"

Translation:
"No real plan yet, have to fill this with buzz words".

Bla bla:
"Meanwhile, during this time of transition and internal analysis, we in PSG must continue to ensure that our customers, partners, colleagues and friends understand that we remain focused on creating amazing products, winning new business and showing the world why we continue to be the largest, most profitable PC company in the world."

Translation:
"Things are crazy and confused. Everybody fears for their careers and stock options.
Top shareholders are out for blood.
I'm so hunting for a better company to hire me."

This is would be really funny if it wasn't so sad.

.. And true :-(

Will they truly continue to support the platform? I really want to get a Pre3, but I want to be able to use the thing in 12 months - actually use t for my business. I don;t think I will be able to.

What about Palm's servers for pushing mail etc? Will they be closed?

Ruby will run them out of his basement...I wouldn't risk it.

The only place you're going to get a Pre 3 is the aftermarket, because HP themselves (see: the HP folks on Twitter) have stated repeatedly that Pre 3 units are no longer available and will not find themselves in any future firesales.

If you get a Pre3 then the sane thing is to assume that there won't be any future support by HP (or likely anybody else).

Mail is done by your mail provider - not much to do with HP. You only need HP for your profile and Synergy features. HP won't shut those servers down for a few years - otherwise they would risk getting sued and it's not a big cost to keep those servers running.

I'm trying to get a Pre3 myself - because even with the platform being dead it's IMHO better than the alternatives (I don't need large app selections). But I'm doing so with the expectation that what's out there right now is all we'll ever get. And it limits what I'm willing to pay for it. A couple weeks ago I wouldn't have hesitated to pay 450. Now 200-300 is my upper limit.

Reminds me of the final scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Wheeling that box into a massive warehouse filled with thousands of other identical boxes. WebOS appears to be lost in the massive machine of HP now.

Good one. It goes in the same aisle as the iPaq - where once proud technology goes to die.

Then onne day far in the future webOS is going to be raided by crazy Russians looking for aliens.

Yes, and I am the guy who shouldn't look at this insanity, but yer I am still here every day reading this stuff while my face melts off. Remember that dude in Raiders? He is me ans Leo is the member of te Reich who orders that they must proceed opening this thing wider despite the costs.

Shifting webOS software development from PSG to OS&T is best alternative in current situation. Leaving webOS GBU inside assassinated PSG is far worst option. This shift is a clear sign there is no interested parties in licensing or webOS buyout, but also it is showing that webOS have some value to HP. This move will assure support for current devices in form of OTA updates and some moderate OS improvements at least in some short period of time. Again, I think this is a far better option for webOS than leaving it inside grim prospected PSG.

bla bla

Sure it has some value for HP - for now. They'll probably put it on high-end printers. And they'll try to licence it to somebody. Might end up on some TVs.
Meanwhile the devs carrying the core knowledge in their heads are moving on to new jobs and after a while the project gets discontinued and remnants moved on to embedded devices where a cutdon version is being maintained for a while.

HP has been mismanaged for years. They are jumping around for a quick fix to improve the next quarters results and generate more buzz words than engineering products. It's a big concern with no vision and confused leadership. Many a promising tech and startup will get swallowed by it and slowly die in it's long decline.

I expect them to have a new CEO and Grand New Strategic Vision by 2013.

HP, please license out webOS at a ridiculously low enough rate to make it competitive. Even with a free Android manufacturers may go with webOS for the differentiated experience it gives their users and for the patent protection HP's portfolio affords them.

Not really free, given that Microsoft actually makes more from Android than it does from WP7.

Gee HP has only owned Palm for 14-15mos and they started their due diligence for the acquisition, which was done by OS&T btw, 19-20mos ago.

So OS&T didn't know what to do with Palm 19mos ago but controlling WebOS sw is going to really do it this time? OS&T is where (we don't know what to do with this stuff) biz go to fade away.

OS&T & its leadership team are as inept as the rest of HP's. The market has almost unanimously said HP has lost its ability to innovate - that is on OS&T - but they will save WebOS SW.

Have you heard the saying if you cannot do, teach. Well loosely translated that is who ends up in OS&T.

Dinosaurs who can no longer create products that make money and hit their release dates.

Egg heads who you wheel out for large clients who want to see how HP makes its secret sauce of the future (LOL).

Every old big iron company has some group of shut ins (think of the crazy scientist living underground in the desert from Independence Day)who research but produce nothing.

Modern companies have idea development at their core and fully integrated into their operations b/c the world is moving too quickly to have R&D so far removed from the realities of the market.

Raul is correct in his assessment. Dump WebOS SW into OS&T and you cut it off from the real world.

Bradley is no rose either and should be canned along with Leo and that fossil Chairman Ray Lane.

Lousy senior mgt (across the company) is why Palm turned into a 1.2bb face plant and yet the same brain trust that wasted 14mos of owning Palm & WebOS is going to magically figure it out now by using the classic corporate stall tactic - the reorg.

If I was a major shareholder I would demand that Leo, Lane, Bradley, Shane and half the board be canned by XMAS.

Until that happens this rudderless u-boat is going to continue to move sideways and eventually sink.

VC firms and competitors are already circling as HP's stock falls.

If it hits mid to low teens they will get a hostile bid to break up the company.

Then all this WebOS posturing will be moot.

Don't know how to feel about this one yet. We haven't seen yet what DeWitt can do with webOS. This is the same guy responsible for the HP Envy line of laptops. But this is still HP we're dealing with, the same HP that has been floundering the past few weeks, and they're pushing webOS software deeper into HP.

They need to make announcements about new webOS devices if they want to keep people interested.

as long as the main body of HP wants to keep it's claws in webOS software.. there is nowhere to run. DeWitt, even if he has good plans, will be hamstrung by enterprise drones with a lust for shareholder approval and a fear for "making the necessary investment"

Without hardware to run it on DeWitt (nor anybody else) can't do anything with it.

This is a mobile OS designed (and with the potential) to rival IOS and Android.
It's overpowered for printers and that's the only new hardware it might be run - if even that.

If they really had a plan they would have had a buyer for webos before announcing that they get out of the hardware business. The current propaganda is just damage control.

Hey! I've got an idea! Lets fragment an already decapitated platform! Yay!

Here's what you get when you stuff a bunch of MBA drones into a board room. I'm sure someone is getting a bonus, a pat of the back, and a healthy dose of 'shish boom rah' from leo for this brilliant maneuver. I think HP has vertigo.. they're pushing down when they should be pulling up.

IF we could only harness the power of webOS rumors...we could solve the energy crisis!

:-)

My long rant aside, phew, I love WebOS and my Touchpad.

After selling almost a million of them in a week you would hope for something more articulate and inspiring from both Bradly and Shane.

"Figuring out what we have and how to monetize it" are not very inspiring words but expected from two suits.

Raul - you need to hook up with a VC and take WebOS HW & SW away from the firm that is mucking it up.

PM me if you decide to... A new gig would be interesting and nothing is as fun as working for the underdog.

HP - "Never has a firm with so much done so little" (new slogan after Think Beyond)

As I posted days ago somewhere, if HP is really commited to continue webOS development the only 2 reasons for this is either licensing or seling since they stated they would not build anymore hardware (and I dont think they plan to continue with webOS just to put it on printers, that would make no sence at all, although is HP we are talking about here)

So if Samsung is not buying webOS and it wouldnt make much sence for them to license it either, Nokia is with MS, Rim has QNX, and Motorolla is with Google, that leaves 2 potential contenders for either buying or licensing: HTC and SE

From my point of view, I think SE would be webOS best chance... They are all over the world, they make good hardware, they have the money and resources, they are in phone business as well as laptops, TVs and game consoles... They could get webOS on all these short of devices and create the ecosystem we all dreamt about... Then they could license it to HP to put it in printers

I know this isnt going to happen, I think webOS will more likely end up disappearing, but I sure wish this would come true

Leo Apotheker has no vision beyond his safe zone, enterprise software. When hired, he probably sold the HP Board a story about turning the helm toward profitable software, and they believed him. Hah!

But then he made his announcement last week, trying to turn HP around in an instant, and all he can do is hope the elephant can dance. Personally, I doubt it. HP has already lost a third of its market cap, and it will take a lot to convince investors that Leo's vision is anything but personal and myopic. Is the Board seeing all this?

You cannot simply turn a huge company like HP around on a whim. HP has had a reputation for solid, quality HARDWARE for 60 years. Leo has failed to acknowledge this, and failed to capitalize on it. Instead of dumping hardware as a "low-profit" business, he might have looked to Apple instead of IBM as a model, and looked for ways to leverage HP's solid reputation into higher profit margins.

By the way, astute observers of the computer trade will remember that Dr. An Wang ultimately drove Wang Laboratories into the ground because of a personal vendetta against IBM. Will Leo do the same with HP, trying to outdo SAP, Oracle, and IBM?

The fact that Leo ordered, or at least acquiesced, to the TouchPad fire sale is proof if his lack of understanding of marketing hardware. Let's see--nearly 1,000,000 TouchPads sold at prices MORE THAN $100 below their eBay prices means Leo left over $100 million on the table. That may be chump change to HP, but a $100 million marketing campaign could have turned the TouchPad and webOS into market successes. Successful webOS devices could have been leveraged into even more profits in printer and computer sales.

Dear HP Board of Directors: dump Leo before he drags your company deeper into the mud. At this very moment, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard are tearing their embalmed hair out!

oh look its PalmSource + PalmOne Version 2.suck

why not make a dual boot android - webOS hardware! And pair it with webOS phone? This even an android hardcore when turns on the device will definitely boot up the webOS too and will increase the marketplace for webOS. Devs will make 2 apps and may be discount either android or webOS app..

concourse all this is in my dreams and without any business background whatsoever :-)

in all seriousness, I just think you have to differentiate from the rest of the world to get all the attention and hope to gain users as much as they can..

Where does Rubenstein fit in? I mean which part of HP does he work in?

I suspect he will be let go or will retire again.

Ruby will be the sacrificial lamb and to a degree he deserves it.

He lead HP down the Pre design path with the Touchpad and like the Pre design most people panned the hw and the materials.

He also gave them the Veer and the tweaked Pre3. Both are fireable offenses given what was already in the market or announced.

All that cash and those resources but he kept singing from the same design hymnal that caused him to have to sell out to HP in the first place.

He was given a year, cash and what appears to be free reign and what he delivered was underwhelming.

WebOS is getting better but the 3.02 release should have been the bare min launch version.

The casing issues has been beaten to death.

So Ruby even in a big company may some poor decisions and so now he is gonzo.

My peanut gallery guess at least.

So sad. I guess no more WebOS phones at all anymore. :|

working on an OS without hardware is like building write-only memory: pointless.

if HP plans on only making webos for printer interfaces then they're wasting their time and ours. HP DO SOMETHING RIGHT FOR ONCE!

Give me one day as benevolent dictator of HP and I could increase stock value 10% not lose 20% with idiotic decisions.

I don´t think everything is said at this time.
HP will reboot the hardware in some time, but this time listening the consumer and really watching the market.

I hope they´ll include innovation on new components to go ahead the competition and with lower prices.

Smartphones with no more slider keyboards and with multicore cpu at least.

Tablets lighter and thinner . Not everyone wants the wireless charging at this time.

Err - what?

You really believe that?
I mean - REALLY?

HP was there. They had all the pieces. They had the resources, the OS, the manufacturing capacity, the supplier network, retailer connections, the marketing prowess, the extra cloud features (HPlay, etc...), the 50 GB Box cloud storage deal, etc...

And they wasted it all and decided to go after a totally different business. And then they even botched the announcement. Destroying more shareholder value than they could ever hope to make from a change in strategy.

How can you believe at this point that they make a sudden U-Turn and fix all that?

And even if they tried - nobody would take them seriously. What carrier would trust a deal with HP now?

I'm an optimist - but webos at HP is dead and done for. Any small hope we might entertain rests on the vague possibility that another player might buy webos. And after Samsung said no this small chance got very very tiny.

rahul sood says that webos should have been under robison from the beginning. We'll see how this lays out.

I saw that as well. Problem is he has no power and is too low key to drive anything internally.

Right now Leo and Ray Lane are making all the decisions and that is not a good thing.

I think Robison is the lessor of a pile of evils but not necessarily someone who can get WebOS out of the cellar.

The best place for it would be in a PSG spin off - OS and HW - complete ecosystems model.

Let HP PSG license WebOS back to HP Software if they have a use for it.

It shouldnt be the other way around.

WebOS needs to be as close to the consumer as possible to evolve. Having it aimed at enterprise cloud users will kill it.

Consumerization of IT is here to stay and you must sell to the individual first then where they work.

HP doesn't get that. Not one bit.

Leo and Lane are running a 1990s SW company playbook hiding behind words like CLOUD to appear current.

They have no idea what they are doing.

I agree with everything you said. Ray lane actually told the financial times that hp was operating with one hand behind their back because they couldn't use andriod. He actually said that. I sent precentral the link but they didn't do a story on it. He makes no sense and doesn't know the consumer industry at all. As with leo.

Ray Lane is a fossil who is still bitter that Larry Ellison matters and he doesn't in the SW industry.

HP has an arm tied behind its back b/c leadership (up to and including most of the board) is beyond incompetent.

The raw materials for success have been there but the brain trust managing them is not up to the task - not even close.

At least Hurd got results and up until the end seemed to know what he wanted to do.

He had resolve and focus.

Leo and Lane - are all over the place and look horribly out of touch.

Someone needs to relive them of their duties soon.

I suppose this could be a face saving maneuver. The webOS software goes to OST, allowing HP to license it out to a newly spun off PSG. This allows HP to say "we're licensing webOS" without any real licensees. The newly spun off PSG can revive webOS hardware and repair relations with the hardware OEMs that HP screwed when it killed webOS hardware. If this revived webOS hardware business fails, Leo gets to say, "I told you." If it succeeds, this can encourage other companies to license webOS and by that time Leo will have found another company to destroy.

Everybody wins or so the Germans (or in this case, the German) would have us believe. Todd Bradley gets to prove he can run a company. Ruby gets to return to the beach with enough material for a juicy tell all book. And webOS? Well who cares about webOS? We've got stock options.

I'd say that anybody who thinks this is good news for webOS is an eternal optimist.

This is simply a move to split off the piece that HP want rid of (hardware), leaving the software (or more precisely the Intellectual Property) with a unit more able to exploit it. I guess those poor hardware guys will be out unless they can find something else inside the PSG.

Turns out Palm have some pretty fundamental mobile patents that Google, Samsung, Nokia and MS would really love to have - which in themselves would probably allow HP to recoup all they've spent on Palm thus far, if they sell the IP outright.

I doubt HP actually care about webOS anymore, there's no value there for them - this is all about leveraging the IP.

Make webos free and open so we can hack it onto an android tab that would be sweet! I don't get why people want to put android on the TP, wasn't the hardware the biggest knock on the TP? Webos software IMO is the best but it's kind of like the A2 vw gti great motor and gearbox, great handling but everything else sucked and was cheap plastic that broke and warped. Give webos internals the code and let people go wild with it. Sucks that after 2 years of loving webos and trying to convince my friends and family (wife also) to give webos a shot it has to die like this, getting swallowed by a whale and digested then **** out to sink. :(

Palm/WebOS is DEAD, and this is the next logical step for planning the burial. As you know, Ruby sits on Amazon's Board, and was likely trying to convince Amazon to embrace WebOS for their future devices. We all know how that turned out. The remaining 4 players are Apple, Google, RIM, and Microsoft. I think RIM will be the next casualty.

Ok, face it, kids. No one's going to make new webOS Hardware, just because two companies did and both fell flat on the face.

Ok, not exactly, but who cares in the end, when everyone knows Android and that fruitbox thing and webOS stands there without a clear vision?

It needs a guy like Steeve Jobs, who still does what he wants and likes, despite having the whole press and "experts" out there laughing at him when Apple released Mac OS X or those first iMacs.

That's clearly no Job for Apotheker, whose only Interest in HP is to split and downsize them to separate Hard- and Software Companies so they then can be acquired by SAP in parts without disruptive interventions by the German Kartellamt.

With the firesale of the Touchpad we are seeing a lot of new users of webOS. It looks like there will be about a million owners when this is all said and done. That is a enough of a market to entice some developers to work on some apps for webOS. I would think that for no other reason than to be able to stand out in a relatively small marketplace versus trying to compete in the Apple app store. The make of Glimpse recently tweeted that he had made over $35k in the last two months. The majority of which came from individual sales, not HP giveaways.

It seems to me that in the current marketplace the PSG will need a tablet. Make them competitive and cheaper than the ipad. If HP were to sell them directly through hp.com they could do so quite reasonably.

"Reorganizing the webOS software teams under OS&T allows us to fully investigate how we can utilize the webOS software platform." - Todd Bradley

"With our focus on business and technology strategy, OS&T will be able to provide these teams with the resources and support they need as we define the best monetization model." - Shane Robison

Ummm, so what has HP been doing with Palm for over a year now??? I thought HP had a plan for an ecosystem and connected devices, blah, blah, blah... and here we are learning that HP is just NOW trying to figure out what to do with WebOS????? C'mon... if this doesn't say clue-less, I don't know what does. HP: Everybody on (cause we have no idea what we are doing, so one of you must have a good idea... please?).

word is the new PSG company won't even license WebOS they are going to focus on windows tablets. Such a perfect ending and another step in "how quickly can Leo kill a company."

guy is an absolute ZERO

Ah the logical *illogical* next step.

Oh oh...how about some more irony...PSG is renamed Palm Computing after it is spun off...is so successful while HP flounders that Palm buys back HP and integrates it into a new company called Palm.

Palm would be One again and Palm would have won!

Palm...PalmOne...hmm it sounds vaguely familiar.

Meanwhile Leo isn't fired (too easy) he's relegated to a position to train BB employees on HP hardware...nothing to communicate...nothing to botch up.

We can only wait to see what the freak show at HP cooks up next.

As many have said HP just gave almost every ivy league school a pile of "what not to do" case studies for the next five years.

When HP is broken up in 12 mos and the brand dies we will remember the small part WebOS GBU played in the wheels coming off this wagon.

As a reporter from the WSJ put it - HP getting out of the hw biz is like McD's getting out of the hamburger biz - it makes no sense & is near impossible to do.

The PC era could be winding down with tablets the clear successor and HP is punting at the apex of change before they know what will happen.

As Ned Flanders would say diddly, daddly dooddly dumb.

Don't have a touchstone yet, but winning this might make me get one. :-)

I'm a bit late in replying, but, here goes anyway.

HP (former Palm) employees still in Sunnyvale: if you haven't done this already, brush up your resume's ASAP! Unless some surprise great-news arrives (ie: a 'hail-mary' situation), I suspect most of you in the SW side of the house will be out of a Job by 2012 if not earlier (I suspect HP is only willing to fund 'WebOS Development staffing' for 1 additional quarter while hoping for licensees). Those of you in the HW division: I give you less time if you haven't already been let go.

Don't get me wrong: I'm with everyone else on P|C & sickened by this whole situation -- and I'm thrilled that the WebOS Internals team and P|C staff are still holding out hope.

BUT: Former Palm Employees: this is your career & income. Make no mistakes about it: you're in a temporary holding pattern until one of two things happen:
-WebOS becomes profitable (ie: it gets licensed)
-WebOS gets sold (something HP says they don't want to do)
-HP gives up, just like they did with the HW (they refused to carry a loss through a single quarterly review).

If you don't believe me: re-read Shane Robinson's eMail:

"...However, while these teams will be joining OS&T we have decided *not to initiate any integration activities.* These teams will continue to operate under their current systems and processes until further notice. ..."

--> In short: they're not spending money bringing you 'into the fold' because you might not be there long.

Good luck & thanks