HP still not sure what to do with webOS, will take three-to-four weeks to decide | webOS Nation
 
 

HP still not sure what to do with webOS, will take three-to-four weeks to decide 102

by Derek Kessler Tue, 08 Nov 2011 8:52 pm EST

Well that was unexpected, and a major letdown. According to reports coming in to The Verge, HP's still not sure what they've going to do with webOS. Said CEO Meg Whtiman at tonight's apparently unneccesary all-hands meeting, "It's really importatnt to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision," and that "If HP decides to do this [to keep webOS], we're going to do it in a very significant way over a multi year period." She also said that the decision will likely be made in the next three-to-four weeks.

We were prepared for everything from HP selling webOS to HP keeping webOS to HP killing webOS. But HP not doing anything and calling an all-hands meeting to say essentially nothing? We didn't expect that to be the case.

But... if we're going to read anything into what Whitman is saying, they're very seriously considering keeping webOS and giving it another go. Which would complete the greatest reversal in corporate history. First HP reneges on spinning off the PC division after preparing to do so, and them HP decides to start going strong with webOS again despite having effectively killed it less than three months prior. At this point, anything's still possible, though what's likely is another question entirely.

It still makes us wonder: why an all-hands meeting to announce nothing? It's to salve the anxious webOS employee base. News of this wasn't supposed to leak out, but they know as well as you that everybody's eager for any news, just to move on to the next chapter. This meeting served to assuage the flight instincts of the employees and assure them that HP is giving serious consideration to doing right by webOS themselves. "A very significant way over a multi-year period" says it all - HP's not just considering keeping webOS, they're considering going all in and picking up where they left off and going full steam ahead.

Source: The Verge

102 Comments

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nothingreal's "let me handle it..." comment on the verge is the winner.

Dear HP,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=k_QDGdbg-QQ

Love,

the webOS community

George Takei ain't got nuthin' ... compared to this: http://grooveshark.com/s/Jone/3ezfO6?src=5

....

I knew it would come to: "in the coming months"

Meg's still in the 'running for governor' mode. Spinning 'no information' with 'no information.'

HP: EVERYBODY WAIT!

This can't be good. They will not restart WebOS at HP, they were behind and now they've taken three more months off. HP Invent does not have the stomach to invest and grow an "invention" from red-ink up to cash cow. Two probable deals here:

1) They didn't get the bid they wanted (all low-balls) and they wanted a few more weeks to find a suitor and needed to get past the earnings call in two weeks. Most likely trying to bundle patents with the WebOS related IP.

2) They have a suitor, but are working with them to demonstrate what WebOS might look like on the buyer's hardware (ala Kindle).

I blame myself for getting my hopes up. When will I learn?

same here. why do we still even check precentral? :-(

To play with trolls?

.
Tips ... shortcuts... links ...
sanity ... lack of ...

And not necessarily in that order

I don't believe she called a meeting to say she doesn't know..hmm maybe a last minute turn around here of whatever was to be discussed

I wondered about this as well.

I about said it makes no sense then realized what I was talking about...

What the... Why did I sit in suspense all afternoon? Gah I feel dumb.

God, I know - how pathetic are we!

Don't worry, I'll put the astricks in for you

* * * *!

shocker

...what else is new. I'm sure the answer will present itself in the coming months.

This is seriously the most ridiculous thing that has ever happened in tech. Not only will they teach classes on this, degrees will be obtained by studying this debacle.

.
When you're that wise elder, you'll be able to describe to the young tech newbies, how webOS became a casualty of the ongoing Tech Wars.

And not the Kirk series either - TekWar. More so the Original - where some Shatner dialogue could aptly describe the scene

"Spock!! .... I! .... cant! ... decide! .. "
.

HPeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

well it honestly sounds like they are leaning toward keeping the OS..

Could they be waiting to see how the Bundles sell at Bestbuy or Walmart?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCumH8LRo1A

This must be how Meg feels.

They really need Beats Audio on that Victrola.

Isn't it bad news? No one wants to buy it :-( was really hoping amazon would jump on it to get away from google. So it seems like HP is "stuck" with it so they don't know what to do. I guess I'll stick around til the final nail in the coffin :-(

You're just guessing about no one wanting to buy it. They didn't publish anything about that.

And you're just guessing that someone does want to buy it.

My guess? They had someone lined up to buy it, called the meeting and then the potential buyer backed out.

I made no such guess. Perhaps you should read every word I wrote, since it is only two sentences.

Nutmeg didn't say anything other than she doesn't know. I'd rather not guess because I'm usually wrong and left heartbroken.

Then again, maybe there WERE several buyers and HP thought better to keep it for themselves anyway.

Probably not. I think HP would leap at a face-saving reasonable deal that limits their loss and initial purchase of palm. But if there are no serious offers then HP has to do something with it or it undermines their credibility to subterranean levels. So that means investment of some sort. But Meg is probably leery about the billion dollar further investment. Numbers can be crunched by accountants but the public perception is something they don't understand. How many future touchpads will sell if hp keeps webOS? If HP does make a good slate or Pre 3+ how many will buy it? That's why I think cooperative ventures with other hardware companies make sense to minimize costs. Why not piggyback off other android manufacturers who are using cutting edge hardware already.

"If HP decides to do this [to keep webOS], we're going to do it in a very significant way over a multi year period."

I find this statement heartening. If they do it, it's going to be long hard slog and it's better if they recognize that fact from the beginning, and be honest about it.

It's still all in the air of course, and she's probably using this publicity to get a feel from the market about how they would take this move. Not to mention advancing this idea that HP is not desperate to sell WebOS, so they can get the price up and set terms. But for all that it is annoying, it isn't dumb, and that's a big step for HP.

Keeping webOS would be for the software only. There is NO WAY they would restart making hardware. Not only did they let everyone go, but they crapped on all their suppliers and manufacturing partners -- how likely would they be willing to get skin in the game again?

Well, yes and no - remember that PSG makes hardware - they could reenter the tablet market easily at any time (yeah, they've jerked their suppliers around but no PSG supplier is going to say no to create parts for a new Touchpad). For phone hardware they would have to buy devices from a 3rd party and slap the HP label on it (at least for now).

Though it means more delay, this statement leaves the door open to HP returning to the original webOS strategy which required a multi-year, multi-hundred million dollar investment. It's a significant statement, though it might not just be aimed at the webOS GBU employees (potential buyers and Microsoft are also interested parties).

Hardware makers are a dime a dozen, but it's hard to imagine who would want to go work on HP webOS hardware again.

lol... here go the armchair experts again... a hardware maker doesn't care about the brand; they care about the orders coming in, and them being paid for, which would happen in this instance whether it was HP or Apple.

And it looks like HP DID pay for their TouchPad orders.. didn't they complete that contract hence the second batch of TPs for the firesale?

So we're all good? Nice.

Yes but if the next hypothetical and probably unlikely webOS product doesn't have great design then it's more than over. So HP or whoever buys webOS hardware rights has to be very careful choosing and working with the manufacturer. Inventec wasn't impressive even if was following HP's designs.
At least, touchpad firesales used up most of the supplies that Inventec would have swallow as a loss. So they aren't terminally bitter.

Yes, speak for yourself armchair expert.

In other words, it's going to be a marathon?

If only the last CEO had thought of that.

Meh, didn't they say that the first time? "We're gonna ship webOS on 100 million devices."

Meh, those 100 million devices were PCs and Printers, not phones and tablets, apparently.

Yes, but that still would have been doing it "in a very significant way over a multi-year period."

Yes, but that still would have been doing it "in a very significant way over a multi-year period."

Does that mean that HP is willing to bleed red ink for a few years to make the webOS a success?

LOL . . Classic HP

whack. Whack. Whack.

sound of head banging against wall.

I guess I can be optemistic and say that atleast they didnt kill off Webos completely . . Close call !

This is absolutely STUPID! This could have been handled a lot more simply, less costly, less humiliation by sending an email out to the GBU saying "We will have a decision in the coming weeks."

Amen , brother

nutmeg likes the spotlight. Don't forget she spent millions to NOT be governor of California.

It says one of two things;
One, you have four weeks to find a new job.
Two, don't anyone leave, we have a buyer.

"We'll be sure to let you know by Christmas whether you have a job or not. That way, if you don't have a job, you'll have time to replace the gifts under the tree with empty boxes. Cheers, and see you in a few weeks" -- Meg

Bah Humbug!

Anyone who didn't expect this... oh who am I kidding, everyone expected this.

HP called an all-hands meeting to schedule the next all-hands meeting (lol).

It's Feb 9 all over again. Have a meeting, to start a new wait session.

I'm reading it in the tea leaves now, fire sale TouchPad 2's $99/$149 next year, haha, can't wait!

This has to stem from the fact that Meg has her own TouchPad - and can see just how neat webOS is.

Best choice would be to bring back the Palm brand - which still has cache in the handheld market - for the mobiles. This means that if this second attempt is just so-so; it doesn't reflect on the HP brand; with the caveat that if it does catch on, then HP can have bragging rights.

They can still bring out the HP W8 pad too.

What she realizes - holding that TouchPad in her hands - is that the os was crippled by hardware that was out-of-date even before it arrived. If one is to play this game, then need to pull out all the stops at least for the Palm brand. They can then do more economical models as the HP brand - and partner sale like they are now doing.

Palm will be the **** trendy hardware (i-killer), HP products can be the business side - more stately colors, etc. the BB-killer.
Best bet to get back into the game is to undercut their pricing for at least for the first year - getting a good base.

There IS room for a better product. Just like in early printers, spread sheets, word processing, photo editing in the computer world, the initial "leader" sets the stage but not necessarily gets the final word.

webOS was built on a kernel by folks - Palm - who lived and breathed handhelds - that's why it is so good.

the ios is cumbersome and not really intuitive and certainly not designed to be elegant on a handheld - phone or pad - it is just a shrunken down system.

Meg is lining up her ducks.

This meeting WAS needed - and by having the CEO there meant EVERYONE was going to be paying attention.

Yes, hold onto your hats. But, with Meg holding a TouchPad in her hands, it's not too hard to see which way the wind is blowing.

What? No the Palm brand does not still have cache in the handheld market. This is 2011, not 2007.

WIN!!!!!!!!!!!

Look, we were all ready to sell it but nobody wanted to buy it so now we don't now what to do. The HP operations manual says that if you don't have anything to announce then that's the time to get on stage. That's what all of our execs do. Give us a break, we're sell trying to figure out what to do with the iPAQ, also.

HAHA, funny thing is that the iPaq is STILL on sale at the HP website, but now not even the Veer is available.

HP has quite possibly gone bat s**t crazy, good grief.

"It’s really important to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision"

Isn't this the same person who said "It's not fine wine, it doesn't get better with age"

She would have made a good politician. oh wait.

I wonder if Meg has her very own Pre 3 with that Touchpad. If she did, she would realize how fantastic of a product the Pre 3 is.

Seriously?? Even if they decided to keep it and give it another go, all of webos' goodness has already been stolen by android and ios.

Android 4.0 = WebOS 4.0

And by the time they have hardware ready to go, it'll be outdated. Again! I have my TP, so I'm good there....my pre minus on the other hand is dying a slow death. Waiting for an ice cream sandwich phone to hit sprint and I'm out.

Interesting no-news.

In other news, I finally got off the pot and activated my Pre3 this past weekend and I'm loving it. Said goodbye, for now, to Sprint after 14 years of loyalty.

Let's hope Meg & Co will send us some OTA update lovin' during these 3-4 weeks.

Stay classy webOS Community!

HP should keep supporting webos, and PSG should ship triple boot tablets preloaded with webos, android, and windows 8. Of course, I'm out of my mind.

That way one out of three of those operating systems will have apps.

Yeah, the best we could hope for is the sum would be greater than the parts.

Of course, no one will triple boot.

When you get meetings like this in corporations this side, it tends to be a feeling out/calm the natives type meeting. Clearly, Meg seems very likely to actually restart the mobile campaign. Quite frankly, since mobile is where computing is going, they were idiots to even drop out at all. She likely wanted to make sure the employees felt that the company was looking to make another long term stab at it and doesn't want a mass exodus, or a drop off in production (i.e. on-going work on webOS software).

While it's annoying that they don't have the final answer today, the signals are VERY strong that they do indeed plan to give it another try. If they are smart, they'll hire HTC to build their phones and offer a complete patent umbrella for minimal investment, cost-wise, in that hardware (i.e. HTC makes the hardware and eats a chunk of the cost to get the coverage, while also being able to sell the hardware for and keep any money made above the agreed cost - and this could work for another maker, including Samsung). HTC is starting to slide, and they would be the best fit, having already made phones for Palm in the past.

I guess we'll have to wait a few more weeks to find out.

If HTC were smart, they would take that deal. HP does the work of developing the OS, and HTC gets to leverage its already-existing hardware business for more phones and gets a patent umbrella as a bonus.

I think they are considering open sourcing WebOS and need time to determine if that will be the best (not cost much) way to still some how make money from it and have a competitive (in the market place) OS

If webOS comes back - it will one thing that takes longer to shutdown and restart than my Pre :)

But seriously, this would take a huge reboot and be hard from a PR view. They would need world class hardware and software performance and be seriously committed. Nothing they've done indicates they are capable of it. Really, do they have the stomach to go after it and slog it out? They have the resources, but the will is lacking.

As long as they keep Rubi as far away from webOS as possible, if they restart webOS there's no way we won't get better hardware.

Unexpected? Sadly, this is exactly what I expected. Can anyone confirm that Jon Rubenstein said a decision will be made "SOON"?

Josh on The Verge also said Meg wasn't focusing on phones as it gets "complicated".

If HP does go back in I think they really need to make a strong effort to build back consumer trust because this is just plain torture.

They put webOS on ho-hum hardware in terms of the Touchpad and Veer then promptly killed it off despite emphasizing the last time that it was a marathon.

They also said they couldn't compete with Apple and it was too costly.

Again it's just more spin. Even if they said they were back in with full force...what exactly has changed???

Until I see and experience in hand a webOS revolution...Morton is the only name I trust in all of this.

The sound of man punching self in face, over and over again.......

I may be too pollyanna about this, but I actually think Meg is doing what a reasonably intelligent person should do if they take over any kind of situation, including a multi-billion dollar corporation. Gather the appropriate data and make the most prudent decisions.

The narrative is pretty straightforward. "The last guy was a **** (And German) We fired him. We're re-examining his decisions and it turns out he was wrong about pretty much everything. We believe in webOS. We know we made crappy hardware. We'll keep working on the software and find somebody else to make the hardware. I may even decide to go out and ....wait for it.... pay people to develop applications for our phones and tablets which will run the same OS. We know there are people out there who still want a phone with a keyboard. And the Touchstone thing is still a unique feature. we may even include them in the package. We'll also make sure we add some voice-to-text features..."

Perhaps too hopeful... But it's obviously not dead yet...

Hopefully next on Meg's plate is suing the pants off Apothecker for criminal neglect of HP.

Really? **** is an unacceptable word on this forum? Lay-O was Ray-O Tarded... RE-tard. SPED Case. Mentally Challenged. Anencephalic. Idiot. Moron. Pretard.

It looks like HP is going to keep webOS alive, and bring new models in 2012. It would be totally foolish of them to dump it. The current models, TPs, Pre 3, and Pre 2 are good working models. HP has plenty of time to improve on. In the coming years the trend is on mobile computing, and to give up on their own system and use someone else's is a pure dumb move. Look at other companies who are busting their behinds to develop a workable mobile OS. HP got rid of their own CEO who proposed to dump webOS, and no way now it will dump webOS. Also selling of webOS outright is not in the cards, they could have done that already if they were seriously interested in selling webOS. Have faith in TB and JR, they will see through that webOS succeeds .

Had a feeling nothing would come of this meeting. When does HP decide on anything anyways hahahahaa

They seem to act quite fast when it comes to getting rid of things, just ask the last couple of CEOs, so the extra life seems like a good sign.

I think we've seen the last Pre. Welcome back TouchPad (well, provisionally.)

It would only come back if Rubinstein comes back to control webOS.

How did you not see this coming? Only a few days ago did news come out that they were going to BoA to check the finances. And at the shareholders meeting, they said it would be over the course of a couple months to make the decision.

Come on, Derek. You should know as well as any other webOS follower, nothing with this software has come easy or quickly.

PreCentral is becoming a joke and assuming way too much, and all other sites are just following their lead.

Becoming a joke? It's been a joke for months. It's a good place to get a laugh.

well, this was not a press conference, just an internal meeting - they happen all the time. Too bad so many people from the Palm/webOS GBU like to leak stuff to this community, which more times than not sets false expectations. At least Meg his keeping her webOS GBU employees informed and showing that she actually cares - night and day vs what Leo was up too.

I suspect the meeting was called to let BOA know that webOS maybe worth more as part of long term strategy than a quick shot of cash to the quarter's profit.

Another punt from HP. If I was a competitor, I'd be poaching key webOS team members like crazy - who can afford to loyally give an indecisive employer the benefit of the doubt in this economy?

"they've going to do"? "unneccessary"? "importatnt"? And all this in the first paragraph? A little spell-checking and last-minute review never hurt anyone. ;)

So over two months ago, HP announced they were stopping production of all webOS devices. They STILL don't know what they're going to do with it.

You would have thought they might have had some sort of plan from the beginning. This limbo along with CEO/PC business shananigans is making HP look ridiculous.

They should kill Leo Apothecker first before killing WebOS。

While its a big undertaking for HP, they must realize a few things. First, webOS is a great platform. Then there is the direction of computers. Its obvious the the personal and the biz markets want products easier to manage then laptops. The downside is the catching up on software development, and who knows what Microsoft is up to. I think HP should embrace this opportunity.

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3-4 weeks?! Well, I guess I'd better hold off on my next webOS device purchase until this gets sorted out.

Oh wait, I forgot, I can't hold out on something that doesn't exist.

Fingers crossed!

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