Round Table: HP dumps webOS | webOS Nation

Round Table: HP dumps webOS 138

by Derek Kessler Thu, 18 Aug 2011 7:59 pm EDT

Welcome to Round Table, which is in fact not a table at all. Round Table is a continuing series on PreCentral where we pose a question to the staff and they provide their thoughts and insights. The question could be something simple like “what wallpaper do you have on your TouchPad?” or something a bit more complicated, like “who should take over webOS?” Or maybe we’ll just end up discussing the virtues of a white-colored Veer. Today, however, we have some very serious news to discuss and some rather strong emotions to vent: HP is done with webOS hardware and pretty much wants to get rid of webOS. After the break, we each sound off on the day’s developments.

Adam: Palm never had the money or scale to sell webOS to the public. HP did.  But they blew it. When I hear that sales did not meet their expectations or that the investment needed to make it a competitive OS in the mobile space would be too high, all I hear are excuses. The did no marketing for the Pre or Veer and released a buggy TouchPad that got an OTA update 1 month later and didn't start their marketing for almost 3 weeks. And if they are just realizing that it was going to take a large investment to be competitive, then they didn't think through the purchase of webOS. I didn't think anyone could do a worse job of selling webOS devices than Palm did, but I was wrong!

What they also did wrong was the communication of this information. Just like the news that the Pre and Pre+ was going to get webOS 2.0, they could have communicated this so much better. They have an amazing community who has followed webOS through some really tough times, and they just did not treat them like they should have. At this point, even if webOS does stay around, will the users who have been burned time and time again?  What about the developers?  Are any of them going to stick around? I really hope they do, but I just don't know if they will.  What does the future of webOS hold?  I have no idea. I am not going to jump ship just yet and I am going to hold on to my TouchPad, but my Pre2 needs an updated ASAP. It's buggy, my Yahoo email doesn't work anymore, and it likes to reset on it own every night. Will we see webOS 2.2 on the Pre2?  Will we even see the Pre3 at all?  I just wish we had some of these answers.  I guess we just have to "stay tuned" and will get some more answers "in the coming months".  For now, I am going to take a deep breath, relax, and remember this this is just a piece of technology. There are still some decent alternatives that I am sure I will come to like in the future, even if they are not webOS.  And I would also like to give a big thank you for all the developers both at Palm/HP and of applications for all the hard work they have put in over the last 2 years. Those are the people who we should feel the most sorry for.

Derek: HP failed webOS worse than Palm ever did.

This morning I was planning to write an editorial on how HP royally botched the launch of the Pre3 and the 64GB TouchPad. But as you can imagine, I never got around to that after everything that started this morning and culminated with HP dumping webOS hardware and looking for the best way to make money from the software. And while I’m filled with a dozen conflicting emotions right now (none of them good), I do need to step back and take a look at where everything went wrong.

Palm failed. There’s no question about that. But the reason they failed can be boiled down to one simple truth: they never had the money they needed to properly launch a new mobile operating system and device ecosystem. They had grand plans, a great operating system with enormous potential, and the right people to make it happen. What they didn’t have was the money to develop cutting edge hardware, train customer services reps at carriers, and properly market the devices, among many other things.

HP, on the other hand, had enough money to buy Palm a dozen times over. They simply didn’t have the balls to follow through with it (if you’ll pardon the crudness). HP should have known that it was going to take more than the TouchPad for webOS to catch on. They should have known that it’s cost Apple, HTC, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft billions of dollars to get where they are today in the mobile space. It wasn’t going to be easy, and clearly HP thought it would be.

The emotions coursing through me run the gamut from enraged to depressed to bewildered. How could HP do this? Not from the “how could they do this to me?” perspective (though that thought is running loose in my head as well), but how could HP abandon their ambitions after just one year? Because they could. Because new CEO Leo Apotheker is an enterprise software and services guy. I came out and said it a year ago, and even though Apotheker has made some encouraging statements, there was still that voice at the back of my head that was screaming that he wanted to refocus HP to more enterprise focused. And he’s done just that.

Companies like Apple do things because they want to and because they think that they might eventually be able to make money at it. There’s a reason they’re continuing on with the Apple TV even though it’s not some blockbuster success (and I don’t think they ever expected the iPhone and iPad to be as successful as they have been). HP, on the other hand, is all about the almighty stockholder. And to be fair, the vast majority of publicly traded companies are like that too. I guess I was wrong to expect HP to be different, to stick things out and spend the money needed for webOS to actually be a success.

Jonathan: Whatever ultimately happens, this is a horrendous blow to the webOS user and developer community. Granted, webOS was given an 18-month reprieve from execution last year when HP purchased Palm, but HP has failed even worse than did Palm. Palm at least had the excuse of limited financing, lack of scale and having to start from scratch in developing both webOS hardware and software. HP, which had the cash and the manufacturing and sales scale, bought an operating company, with existing and planned products and relationships, and proceeded to mismanage it if not into the ground then at least heading downward rapidly. It’s a stunning condemnation of HP, and no amount of blathering about “unmet expectations” can change that.

The future? Who the heck knows? For now, it appears the webOS software side will remain in operation, which is good news for our friends in Sunnyvale, but clearly the market for webOS apps just shut down. As for hardware, I have to wonder if this unexpected development might have been triggered by a call to HP from HTC or LG after the Google/Motorola announcement the other day, talking about new webOS hardware possibilities. It’s conceivable that HP, receiving such a call, could have jumped at the chance to rapidly unload the burden of webOS hardware design and sales while still seeing a chance to license and expand the software. I’m hoping so, for my own sake, since I don’t want to have to sacrifice efficiency and change how I work to pick another platform after my current hardware dies.

Riz: It's difficult to frame this news as anything but blindsiding, catastrophic and short sighted. 

Along with the unfulfilled promise of "scale" being the savior of webOS, there was always so much emphasis put on the value of having a vertically integrated mobile strategy. Well HP, it seems, is no Andrew Carnegie. While hope springs eternal for some licensing-based silver lining to this apocalyptic stormcloud, the message at this time is clear: That middle ground for HP as an "open" company running their own OS on their own hardware is gone. 

What's most frustrating for this writer is to see HP moving in the opposite direction from what has worked for the market leaders in this segment. Apple has been a standalone in mobile from day 1. Google, patent discussions aside, has also created this opportunity for themselves through the buyout of Motorola. Even beforehand El Goog espoused the merits of close coordination between hardware and software through it's Nexus program.

So at the end of the day, even with the hope that some bright, broadly-based licensing agreement that takes the fight to Microsoft for the 3rd spot is looming on the horizon, today marks the end of a dream.

Tim: It's been a year-long relationship with plenty of the usual ups-and-downs, arguments, make-up sessions and even a forgotten anniversary, but from the outside we all had hope for what the future held between webOS and HP. It came as a shock to many of us then, and even those who have been with the webOS development team from the first days back in 2009, that HP has decided to make that hard decision and dump webOS devices in the gutter. "It's not me, it's you." Or so they seem to say.

I'm frustrated. Knowing how much work that so many of us have put into this community and platform, only for the whim of a single company to raze it to the ground. Ok, so maybe it's not entirely that dramatic; the webOS Global Business Unit will continue on as a software development team within HP to bring the superior experience to PCs, refrigerators, printers and toasters. Those of us that want to see webOS succeed in any manner know the truth of the matter, though - it's going to take a whole lot of work to make any of this worthwhile to users, and that might not even be enough.

Is there any life left? Maybe. Developers can act with honor and dignity and continue supporting their app customers, fans can continue to look on with hope that the precepts laid forth by the great founders of webOS will continue on in a new generation of digital products, and we here at PreCentral can keep on sharing the latest news on the platform and get excited about whatever good things might be ahead of us. When you've hit the very bottom, there's nowhere left to go but up (or over to another platform).

So there you have it folks. We've unloaded from our chest, now we're going to go curl up with a stiff drink. We're certain you have plenty to add, and the comments are waiting below for you.




It's over.

Great stuff from all you guys..

And I was just about to start developing some more stuff for webOS, I still may, but it won't be the same......

+1... i was working on the promise of a grat app... not sure now. :/

I'm keeping my TouchPad. The only reason I even bought it was because I wasn't sure if I would have another chance ever. Turns out I was right.

There will be plenty of chances. Those unsold ones in Best Buy will show up somewhere, and for a lot less than $400.

But this particular one is mine. I really don't care about the price.

Lucky you. Enjoy your slow azz web browser (according to PC World twice as slow as most other tablets), doc editing and touch to share with your Pre 3. The web browser will always be buggy and slow and the apps aren't coming. HP played you.

In a year you'll want a Windows tablet.

Again, I believe that HP needs to see this as ANOTHER opportunity to raise the price of the touchpad. If they needed to keep the price high in order to be viewed as competing with the iPad in the first place, and keeping the price high creates the perception of value then they should jack the price up even higher as they now have a product with limited stock. Apparently their are at least a few people who don't care how well the product was designed or performs but want to own the last one so just for you .... step right up. (warning this post contains sarcasm and as such may be misinterpreted if your brain lack higher function, hence the need for this warning lable)

exactly right...HP has always felt there hardware was superior...look at there website...the pixi over two hundered dollars...the ancient hp cellphones three plus...they saw the price drop and axed it

well said...them Mother Pussbuckets

the only upside is my pre2 will hold its value....seeing as how the pre3 will be rare in the of now :(

I think I have one day to return the TP I bought for my wife. I think I will do so for now. Maybe in a few weeks they will be available for cheap.

hooray. One of the best phones made is now dumped.

Go pre! I hope webOS will at least be remembered in the years to come...

And yes, I agree with all of the "round table" people - HP failed much worse than Palm did.

I was even thinking of trying to make an app and buy a touchpad again.
Whatever - I'm going to dig through old PreCentral posts to find how to install webos onto a computer (VERY old post....)

It took a few years, but Ed Colligan was finally right!

"PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in."

I think this is why they were talking to Samsung, they could license WebOs and let Sammy build.

When HP talks about licensing, they are lying to us. Don't belive them. If they were at all serious about licensing, they would have negotiated it BEFORE they killed the WebOS ecosystem. Then today's announcement would have been something like "HP continues to innovate WebOS by inviting a world class hardware partner to the family".

HP killed WebOS today. There will be no licensee.

How useful will WebOS phones and the Touchpad be after HP shuts off their servers?

"When HP talks about licensing, they are lying to us. Don't belive them. If they were at all serious about licensing, they would have negotiated it BEFORE they killed the WebOS ecosystem."

You are right. This is what I've been thinking all day.

Wow. You all are right. They took webOS out in front of everyone and shot it in the head.

Then they said, "Oh, yeah, we would be happy to license it out if you want."

If they wanted to license it out, they would have announce a 3-day sale on TouchPads at $299 this weekend and sold out every one of them. Then they could have told prospective buyers, look we just sold a million TouchPads, want in?

If HP were a competent company they would have negotiated it BEFORE they killed the webOS ecosystem. That's a big IF as we've seen.

They've botched everything else, why not the order in which to license the OS too?

Exactly. The reason I truly thinks it's dead, is because they basically diminished it public ally there was no effort to show it was moving forward, no sugar coating, nothing. They basically said they were moving on and will see what options they have. As a user, who will now want it? As a developer, who would develop for it, and what manufacturer would honestly want to invest in it knowing the user base is diminished and the software face is dead. I see a fight over the patents and that's it. If HP meant for webos to stay alive, they would have negotiated something and it wouldn't have sounded so gloomy. That was basically like taking webos and shooting it off in public. Look at the forums. People have and will be returning their touchpads and rightfully so... You invest in a mobile platform... Touchpad is not worth anything more then a high end eReader with no future updates and hope for better apps. I dont think this looks good for office editing and any chance of Netflix or other big companies is gone. I don't see how the way this went down is even good business sense! So many touchpads were sold in the last few weeks and lots of them will be rushing back... Effectively killing webos completely.

Google should buy webOS. This would be awesome !!! Android + webOS = World Domination !

I guess i can now put my poor embattled pre- to rest.

Thanks, guys, for your hard work over the years. I've been with webOS since it first came out.

I'll still use my Pre- and TouchPad because they still work for me (I also have an iPad I bought a year ago, so there's no need to go buy something else).

However, I will be in need of a phone within the next 3 months. I'm going to start "shopping around" and comparing iOS vs Android more, as well as comparing different phones. I don't plan to make a decision until November, so if webOS rises from the ashes, I'll give it a few months.

Like you I have been a webOS fan from day one, and am in desperate need of replacing my Pre- with cracks in the screen, slider that is not so good anymore, SprintNav doesn't know where a contact's address is. The bad part is there isn't really anything on the market that says come out and buy me. I was in this spot when my last phone, a USStarcom PPC-6700 was on its last leg.

If HP wanted to waste $2 billion and not have to worry about laying people off they could have just cut me a check and I would have put it to much better use!

November is probably the perfect time to make a decision. We should have more information about ICS then, and the iPhone 5 would have been outed by then as well.

If you are a big user of Google services, as well as a tinkerer/homebrewer, Android is going to be the solution for you. It has a solid ecosystem that spans phones (Android), tablets (Honeycomb) and even TVs (GoogleTV). You would be well covered.

If you are looking for a device that just works, or if you are an Apple product user, the iPhone would probably also fit well into your needs. Apps aren't an issue, and you will get a solid device tightly integrated with your OSX based computer/laptop, iPad, and eventually AppleTV.

Try out both interfaces and supporting devices to see if they'd work for you. Dont worry about missing the card interface. You'll be mis-swiping for a few weeks after transitioning, but afterwards, you'll be fine.

WP7 Mango has Cards and Windows tablets will hopefully crush the Android ones. I think they're the best option.

Don't forget windows phone 7. Don't let the metro ui turn you off. As a webos fan, it's the closest to webos in terms of functionality and even is far beyond it in some ways which webos should have done.

With the introduction of Windows 8, looking much like the Phone 7, it would not be surprising that Windows phones takes off. Windows PC's with the same interface as phone 7. Keep it familiar.

Personally, I will be fine with finding another new Pre- just incase my current Pre- breaks.

Samsung needs to buy WebOS.. they have the money, they make good phones and they make alot of products that WebOS can go on, TVs and Fridges (all I can think of for now)... But damn.. WebOS in their hands would be sooo awesome ..

please Samsung, be our saviour (quickly!!) and the WebOS world will bow to your greatness (just get a se-xy phone on all carriers ASAP!)..

Please and thank you. lol

I agree. They need something else on their TV's and bluray players. It currently sucks. webOS would rock on their products. I wouldn't mind a samsung made phone either. I think they have excellent hardware design and good quality.

I'm still so stunned by this. HP really just thought they'd release the Touchpad and instantly be #1 without trying? They screwed up the launch and took too long to get going, but they were on the cusp of having a complete device ecosystem - 3 phones (Veer, Pre2 and Pre3) and 2 tablets (9.7" Touchpad, and 7" Touchpad Go), with several feature/price levels for at least the Touchpad.

I just don't understand why they'd throw in the towel so soon. They had the products they needed ready to ship. Why not ship them, put on a brave face and see what happens?

I guess this is just the last in a long line of inept, poorly thought out moves by HP.

R.I.P Palm & WebOS.

I thought they were going to be better than number one... they were going to be "number one plus".

It is Leo's fault. HP cannot be another IBM. Who uses IBM anyway? Look what IBM did with Lotus. Does anyone remember Lotus? Notes, 1-2-3 the best spreadsheet program... no.
HP thinks it is all about enterprise? I will not be buying HP stock anytime soon. Who would invest in a company that just throws a few billion dollars around just for the fun of it? WebOS 2.0 on early Pre, no. No new phones? I wonder how many Pre 3 were already manufactured. That must have cost a pretty penny.
HP, like their printers and integrated software sucks.

What do you think they just threw in the towel today? Did HP ever manufacture a single US Pre 3, which was supposedly coming out in a couple of weeks? They must have bailed months ago and strangled the WebOS team with limited resources until they were ready to make it public when they broke up the company. They had a year to release the TP and it sucked, and HP knew it, they were just doing it so they wouldn't raise any red flags before making it official. They must have given up long ago.

Derek and crew, we love you guys! I for one will still be here as long as you are.

I was THIS CLOSE to buying a Touchpad. We've had a demo unit for about 2 weeks now and i was getting really excited about it.

Yesterday I was at an HP event and they were all about the Touchpad. The salespeople were even telling us that they were getting Pre3's that week and the launch was less than 2 weeks away!

I was a MAJOR advocate for webOS in my area and I feel completely betrayed by this. Even the regional HP manager knew me by name before I even introduced myself. I feel like such a shmuck for spending so much time and energy promoting webOS for HP to just give up like this.

AT this point I'm, not even sure I CARE if Hp licenses webOS. My problem is that I have no idea what's going on with Android, and I LOATHE Apple. Maybe it's time to just go back to a dumbphone.

I need a drink.

"I need a drink. "

I'm on my third... (*hic*)

where were you that you heard of a Pre 3 launch in less than 2 weeks, and on what carrier?

I was at an HP webOS event held here in Buffalo NY. It was a partner training event that I got an invite to because of my "advocate" status.

While the meeting was really all about the Touchpad, the sales guys did touch on the Pre3. They had a pre-production unit there (Probably the same one I saw at an earlier meeting I attended) and said they had been told that their Pre3's were being shipped to them this week, with launch expected by September 1.
AT&T first, followed by Verizon. No mention of Sprint.

Obviously that's all over now.

I got a free HP T-Shirt at that event. I BURNED it last night. ****

Now my only choices are the slovenly mess that is Android, or a dumb phone. Frankly, I'm seriously considering just giving up smartphones and going back to a dumb phone.

I have said to many others before this day came that if WebOS ever goes away I will probably go back to a dumbphone.
After my Pre- finally bites the dust, and after the next Pre- I can find on the internet, which after I decide to finally make a FrankenPre. Then dumbphone here I come :)

WP7 mango.

WebOS is a masterpiece with elegance, simplicity and creativity. Palm and HP failed to spread it and reach the critical mass of users fast enough. Sticking with just one carrier in the beginning was wrong, a mistake from Palm, that tried to clone the Apple business model. Not licensing it to others while they could have dont that was a mistake by HP, and so is giving up early, just a few weeks after the launch of the touchpad.

There would be one last chance for WebOS to really grow and shine. I just read an excellent article about this on techcrunch.

This is the right thing to do. I hope HP will see the opportunity in this and do the right thing. Yet I really doubt it...

The problem with WebOS is that it was originally cobbled together in a very short time, with a "Just make it work. We'll fix it later" attitude. It worked relatively well for the user, but inside there's an horribly tangled mess.

In the 2.x release, the tries to fix the most broken parts, caused everything started to fall apart: for example, they were never able to plug the memory leaks and in the end there was no way to make it work decently on 256M devices.

The Mojo framework is reportedly so broken that it was decided that throwing it all away and starting from scratch would be time better spent than trying to fix it.

THAT'S the problem.

Seems like you have some inside info, but I figured this was the case. Fragmenting the user base with Enyo was a real last resort move indicating the OS was a basket case, and the crappiness of 3.0 reinforced that view. I think they probably decided to bail on it after these problems came up, and just waited to announce it along with the breakup.

Also, Apple had the same problem with Mac OS in the late 90's, which is what brought about the from scratch OS X. And OS X was horrible for the first 3 years and needed better hardware to run smoothly, very painful transition. HP probably didn't have the stomach for a similar transition in the much faster moving mobile OS world.

WP7 was well-funded, executed and planned, and way ahead of WebOS on almost every front. HP fell way behind them over the past year.

What I don't understand is why they shipped so many TP's to Best Buy. Way to burn a major partner.

What will happen to all the unsold excess of touchpads? I would by quite a few for 5 cents on the dollar.

+1 to that! ;)

Would you be able to stomach paying HP for your app purchases? I have no desire to give HP another penny of my money.

And the browser will always be twice as slow as every other tablet.

Just need to figure out how to hack either iOS or Android onto it. It's good hardware, just needs a supported OS.

:( returned my TP today. By far my favorite mobile os from day one. You had a great run palm/webOS. RIP :(

Just want to echo the "thanks for all your hard work" to the folks at Precentral. I have all kinds of ugly words for what HP has done in going this route, but I think we all appreciated your efforts in carrying the torch 'till what is likely the end of the line.

Palm V -> Sony Clie PEG-T50 -> Treo 650 -> iPhone 3g (hated it) -> Pre 2 -> was going to buy a Pre 3

Now we know why there was no announcement for the Pre3 - there was no Pre3.

I'll be returning my TouchPad, since I have 2 days to do so. Thanks for making a $500 paperweight, HP.

And don't get your hopes up for Samsung or HTC to buy out webOS. Why would they when Google's giving Android away?

So once again, the inferior user experience wins because the company behind the superior product couldn't be bothered.

Thanks for the great community, guys. I'll miss it.

Umm...because Apple is winning in it's lawsuits against the Android device makers? That might do it. Not too mention MS seems to be racking up nice hefty license fees as well against Android device makers.

Well, I sold my 1 week old TouchPad..

The other aspect of this that really doesn't make sense is that HP claims they still want to get something out of WebOS. How can they expect to do that now that they've marched WebOS out to the shed and shot it in the head? HP has stated unequivically that WebOS isn't worth the bother.

Why would anyone want to use WebOS for anything now?


I too want to thank all the writers here and all the developers that have done so much hard work supporting webOS more than HP has.

It's a shame they are giving up on webOS so easily. That fact alone leads me to believe HP is just using sales numbers as an excuse to re-align into something else while they can.

But sheesh, is Leo acting alone in this decision? All the other execs (Todd, Steven, Richard) had no idea this was happening. Who else would be involved with making a company decision like this? The shareholders on the call didn't even seem to focus on or care what had been decided with webOS!

All of the round table comments are dead on correct. Nothing else to say. HP is not making anymore hardware stuff. How about the hardware they did make? There must be a bunch of pre3 lying around somewhere. Are they all bound for Europe? Will any of them see US shores? I don't know if I can hold on to my pre-, much less switch carriers to get a pre2. I can't conceive of the notion waiting for the possibility of licensed webOS hardware for another year or so. I might have to go to Verizon and live out the last days of the pre2.....Any advice?

I don't know whether to be angry or sad. I started with Palm when they had their first Palm Pilots thru to the last one. Had a Treo and Centro to the Pre plus. While not perfect, it always worked and was easy for my other half to get to know and use with ease. She always said thatbthe products were the easiest to use and to learn without needed lessons ... I always said just "intuitive."

I am ticked with HP for their total lack of communication and inability to meet commitments. After seeing what they planned to offer "soon" in the February meeting I thought they finally "got it." Instead, they duck and run to the nearest exit after an unbelievably miss-handled launch one after another. For a company with the resources and talent that HP has to thoroughly botch this up to this degree they should see heads roll. And they can start at the top.

Fortunately I bought my TouchPad at Costco so I can get my money back. Not sure I will and plan to wait a couple months to see what happens. I might get an Android and start getting used to that system. No Apple products here .. Not intuitive enough ... And too restraining.

It was a good ride while we had it. Hope this really isn't the end.

The amazing thing is there are still 3 or 4 guys in the forum who are in complete denial about this and are insisting this means WebOS is just going to get licensed out.

Even if it did, given that the developer community has been shafted twice already, are they ever going to trust it again?

Words cannot explain my shock and anger at what HP have done.

Well... I just recently joined the webOS community (though have been a long time fan...) and this just sucks.

I brought back my Touchpad two days ago because I wanted to wait for the faster, whiter, 64GB 3G Touchpad... But I guess I just saved myself a lot of grief... I also have an old Palm Pre Plus I just bought for $60... Not as heavily invested as many of you here, so my reaction isn't as worthy, but it still sucks.


I hate my iPod... But it's not going to be slaughtered behind the shed tomorrow afternoon... BLAGH.

And no matter how HP tries to handle the situation, "We don't want it anymore" won't go over well with potential webOS licensees... They only said they are ecploring possibilities because they didn't want to look like complete a-holes...

Has anyone ported Android to the TouchPad? At least that way the hardware might have a future.

Great point. The specs are decent, WebOS 3.0 is just too laggy for current gen hardware. If it can't run Android they're headed for landfills one way or another.

Another example of a bunch of short-sighted bean-counting middle managers making decisions before a technological advance has a chance to succeed. 6 weeks after sales started you kill a project? You've already invested 1.4B in an acquisition so continuing to invest in a market where you're the last to the game doesn't make sense? Why didn't they pull the plug before shipping the first unit? I didn't even get a chance to order my Palm Pre 3 to work with my HP Touchpad.

HP should donate WebOS to the open source community so we can get it running on all devices, including the Android ones being sold now. That is the only way they could make amends with the legions of loyal Palm followers with myself. Oh, and go ahead and CAN the executive who made this call.

Thank you all at PC for all the work

with this news....maybe the touchpads will drop to under $200

"As for hardware, I have to wonder if this unexpected development might have been triggered by a call to HP from HTC or LG after the Google/Motorola announcement the other day, talking about new webOS hardware possibilities."

This sounds great, but if it were true it would make sense for HP to keep mum until they could come out and say "HTC (or Samsung) is taking over the hardware part of the WebOS business." And that would have gone over great. (Ok, except for the delay.) But now they've cleverly managed to suck any remaining life out of WebOS (just look how many people have said they're returning their Touchpads), how is that going to work? They've mortally wounded it by alienating their customers, their fans, their developers.

I predict WebOS will get sold but it will be for its patents. HP doesn't need smartphone patents anymore. WebOS itself will be a secondary consideration and is probably dead. Much as I would like it to live on.

I really don't know what platform to switch to, though. So many bad options.


Makes me remember the great Voodoo that was bought by HP and kind of lost within HP

sad,really sad, HP will ultimately go the way of the Dodo bird. Enterprise, cloud computing... what a joke. Mobile is the future in computing. Fewer and fewer desktops built and sold. Heck, you can now get a lap top that will do as much as any desktop. anyway, here is hoping,, but not pinning my future on it, that someone else will pick it up..

The webOS community cannot die....It must not!.....It will not!

What I believe happened is that HP has been contemplating the sale of their consumer products business for some time. They decided to go ahead and sell which doomed webOS. Do we keep investing in what will be a money losing business for the immediate future, knowing that we are exiting this market, or cut our losses and move on? Unfortunately they killed the patient to stop the bleeding.

Sad to see this direction for webOS.

"Developers can act with honor and dignity and continue supporting their app customers..."

That's the only thing I take issue with in this article. The parent company just effectively killed their platform. There is nothing dishonorable or undignified If developers walk away from something that has just been reduced in value (by a significant amount).

HP did this with eyes on THIER bottom line. Developers should not be criticized for looking at theirs. That's an unfair burden to place on what has been the only group of people that actually did something right in regards to webOS.

HP should offer their customers big coupons on printers or laptops or just buy back the TPs. They lied to everyone for 6 weeks to protect shareholder value before the big breakup. Now they got their breakup done without any leaks, just take em back and landfill the f'ing things or donate them to India. I hope Precentral and the WebOS community will turn up the heat on HP and support everyone who got screwed over buying a DOA product.

now I know how being a pre- owner on sprint feels...

HP is dead to more more printers.....DELL must be laughing in their boots!

Blackberry too! They have a shot now!

Maybe they can sell their WebOs to cell phone makers and tablet makers. Like Android does for cell phones. No hardware to build, just provide software.

See iDG's comment above on the state of the software.

Can anybody get a pre3 from Europe and frankenpre it on Sprint?

I would pay for this.
Actually I would buy 2 and pay for this.

Another brave challenger to iOS has fallen.

In addition to thanking the website editors, I would like to remind everyone to be respectful. While you are returning your TPs, registering on Android/WP/TIPB, searching on your carrier website for alternative devices, remember there are still members of this community for which the news has not sunk in. Their faith has been ripped right from under them. Allow them the dignity to morn the End, because it has, for all intents and purposes, truly ended.

WebOS, the innovative mobile platform that revolutionized visual multitasking in a mobile device and was based on web standards, was born in 2009 to Palm, and fell into a coma in 2010. It has been kept on life support by HP, during which new life was pumped into it in the form of the TouchPad. The injection failed. On August 18, 2011, life support was pulled. Unless there is further intervention (3rd party licensing), WebOS will be pronounced dead on Jan 1, 2012. It's passing should be pain free.

RIP WebOS: 2009 - 2011

just got an email from HP Business Promotions hawking the 'NEW! HP TouchPad with webOS'...guess they didn't get the memo...

LOL - not sure why that made me laugh, but it did.

Well... that answered a lot of my questions. They had no intention of actually making anything out of WebOs.
HP is a gaggle of bumbling idiots. How do you buy a company for $1.2 BILLION and dump it a year later and they didn't try to license the software?
There are other people like LG, Nokia, Samsung, HTC et al who make hardware. I bet they coulda made something out of this by letting folks who make handsets actually use the best OS system for mobile devices ever made use it.
Nooooo... Mr. Moron, Leo A shoots off his own toes and kills the thing, in public. What a **** businessman. Glad I don't own their stock...

BTW... They suck on the Enterprise side too. The company I work for has them doing our support and supplying our laptops. My HP Elite Book crapped out today with a windows error and they have to send some idiot to my office to run the stupid Windows XP repair on it. Left me stranded for however long it takes for that asshat to show up to do something I can do myself. The entire company hates HP and it looks like we'll be dropping them when the contract is up next year, Smooth Move Leo... Hope the HP board fires you.. it would be fully justified.

Pretty much sums up what I've been saying. Leo is clearly a moron. How do you push an investment this far and pull out and do what they did today just when you have the Pre 3, 4G TouchPad, and TouchPad Go all coming out soon? If the board is too stupid to fire him, then the shareholders would be smart to fire the board.

Anyone in business knows that if you want to get out of a venture, where you've built up a lot of inventory, at least sell the inventory at a small loss first, before you announce you are getting out. They didn't even try selling off their inventory at a slight loss first to see if they would pick up a lot of sales and shares, and try making a profit on the next version of the device. I just can't stop shaking my head at the stupidity.

I went with WP7 on the samsung focus last month. I was planning on keeping it until the Pre 3 came out, and was just about to buy a Touchpad. This news is beyond shocking.... All that being said, I guess the question of whether the Pre 3 will be launched on Sprint or not has been answered.

FrankenPre 3... I am a little to hopeful...

Even though hp has failed the users here I know for sure they'll stay with webOs knowing they won't get help from hp anymore.

If they stop supporting it won't email go away? If the email will still be supported and your needs are fairly basic I kind of still want the damn thing (touchpad), no other tablet is that interesting.

As a pracaution to my current Pre - and TouchPad I will be finding all the IPK's for all my purchased apps and keeping them on my PC.

While this obviously is the worst day of my life (lol) it is really cool to see the entire tech world pissed off at HP for cancelling WebOS.

WebOS really was that cool product that everyone in the tech world wanted so badly to succeed, its really nice to see everyone (minus the insane fan-boys of other platforms) really sad to see it go.

good going HP.

Yeah, HP had a lot of the media and even a lot of apple fanboys pulling for them. Too bad.

Wow, I haven't been sucker punched like this since Sony gave up on Beta. Still have my original pre on Sprint from October 09. Glad I waited on the TP. We're an Apple household, so I guess the iPhone is in my future... poor reception at home will make the move to Verizon bearable. Thanks PC for keeping us up to date.

thanks to Derek and the entire former and present precentral crew...

for the O&A fans out there, its time for webos, precentral et al to say:

Your Mom's box....

bye bye pre i havent been in denial. hp screwed up a month or two ago. It was only a matter of time

US: HP, HP... HP, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do?

HP: Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

HP, the worlds largest tech company failed miserably more than tiny Palm. So much for "HP Scale" HP needs to unload webOS with PSG. They are going to **** the pooch if they keep it. Wasn't it HP who said repeatedly through their talking heads that HP was in it for the long haul? I like how HP liveS by it's words.

This makes me and countless others feel like idiots for (1) sticking with PalmOS and waiting while Palm retreated and eventually announced the Pre, and (2) continuing to wait ridiculous amounts of time between the time each product was announced and it was shipped. Most of all, I regret waiting for the release of the Touchpad before buying a tablet. I understand the responsibility to maximize value for shareholders, but this whole thing was mishandled on more levels than I can count. I will never buy another HP product, and wish I could return the printer I bought 6 weeks ago.

What a sad day... I really feel as if I have been sucker punched... Traded my HP dv6 for a Samsung R580... Hopefully, and I know the chances are small, I will be trading in my Pre- for a Samsung or HTC webos phone... I guess I'll take my HP printer out back and do an OfficeSpace on it... On another note, even though the market performed poorly today overall, the market has spoken on Leo's recent choices. Dropped ~6% in day trading and almost 10% in afterhour trading... Fuq you HP!!!

Of course, there were plenty of people on the forums who said things like "HP didn't buy Palm to get into the smartphone business", "There won't be a super phone", "The TP reviews are pretty bad", and so on but these posts and usernames were banned by the moderators.

These moderators stifled any dissent that would have served to warn others that their $600 TP purchase may have some risk of turning into abandonware.

That's too bad. This place could have used a few more naysayers to counter the HPologists. Perhaps some people could have made more cautious purchase decisions. Precentral failed to offer fair and balanced user opinions and users are now stuck with orphaned hardware as a result, not to mention a couple years of wasted waiting.

So how long will precentral continue to be live. Start the count down clock. Off to androidcentral. see ya later. or not.

I'm so sad I can't express it. I can't return my TP, I don't know if my profile will keep working. What do I do? I HATE android and I don't like how closed iPhones are. MEH!

Locate/backup all IPK's of your purchased apps onto PC.
Keep webos doctor available.
be sure to read up on
(bypassing profile sign-in)

Thats my plan :D


It's SEGA all over again. :/ Well, a GOOD thing is I enjoy many SEGA games on my Xbox & 360. Irony is SEGA had to get out of hardware to survive as well.

(Yes, I had Master System, SEGA CD, Genesis, 32x, Saturn, and Dreamcast.)

Don't forget another "victom" of HP, Voodoo

The only thing left is those patents, and make no mistake, they are valuable to any company.

Not billions of $$, but, maybe a half billion - the mobile wars have heated up and PALM patents (1400 of them) are a significant IP portfolio for any of the OS companies or hardware mfr's to own, to protect themselves (read: sue me for this, and I'll sue you for THIS, THIS and THIS).

Unfortunately, I agree with most of the above posts - a licensing deal to HTC or Samsung would be great, but, today's announcement not only devalued the WebOS as an asset, but implied that there is something inherently wrong with it and that's why it couldnt succeed twice in the market, which further devalues it.

Unless HP literally gives the license away ,I believe they will wind up selling the patent portfolio rights and OS to a company like RIMM, who can finally use that IP to make QNX into what WebOS really was, without punity.

Very sad day.

IF we dont hear about a licensing deal within the next month, I doubt HP will spin off the company - too little to gain from it - at that point, I believe it will go onto the auction block for the bits and pieces.

A very, very sad day in mobile OS, for sure.

I am sure I know the answer but does this mean quickoffice will not be releasing an editable version for webos?

OK guys, serious question. I was very close to buying the TouchPad and greatly anticipating the release of the Pre3. What do I do now? Wait and see what happens? Buy anyway? I think it would be best to wait a bit as most likely the price will come down, but even with that, what about tech support and app development? Will those things continue? What do you think the chances are of the Pre3 being released in the US?

BTW, not buying an Apple produce. I had considered the Samsung Galaxy, but as I already use the AT&T Pre+, the TP seemed like the best fit.

I am not very happy about this.

have to admit, I feel like we were all suckered by the most incredible short-term ponzi scheme HP could have ever thrown at us.


Class action lawsuit for defrauding the general public. I am sure they knew this was coming and wanted to release to the marketplace to try and recoup some of their money.

Kudos to everyone on PreCentral, past and present, for doing such a great job bringing us information in a timely manner.

For those who want to (HP claims) contact Apotheker directly, here's the link from their site:

I can see it now:
"Dear HP and Mr. Apotheker- **** YOU!"

I have an iPhone sitting on my desk just being an Music player because I much prefer using my original Pre.

Maybe if HP had actually released a product that was an actual upgrade, myself and others could have bought it and helped with the whole "revenue" thing.

Instead HP chose to go small on the phone and break the development environment and the UI benefits to release a tablet device (unproven category unless you're Apple) and fail to put basic titles (Netflix, Kindle) on it at launch.

I still want a Pre3. I want a physical keyboard with "Just Type" and gestures on improved hardware, even if it isn't the fastest CPU on the planet. I still get things done faster on an original Pre than my friends with iPhones.

As I understand it the android software is (relatively) free. If this is so, why would anyone want to buy a license for webos?

It's been a fun ride folks.... Thanks to both the community & P|C staff for a great couple of years with WebOS.

I guess my Pre+ is heading to the IT wasteland occupied by older PalmOS devices (running without any updates, new apps or excitement). This is, I suppose, until it dies or I find another device/platform to get excited about. I have no regrets in getting my Pre+ : I know WebOS was the best & could have made it if not for all the mistakes, etc....

What a shame.

So long & thanks for all the fish.

I am very sad about WebOS. I am very furious about HP's leaders.

Palm was bought before Apotheker's tenure. Obviously, Apotheker does not know how to lead and run the consumer PC/smartphone/tablets business. Everybody knows that the future of PC is in smartphone and tablets. He does not dare to enter the market and fight. Fundamentally, he is a corporate software man.

I can predict that the old HP is dead. No one know about the future of new HP. Some of the executives in US corporations just do not have enthusiasm in running real businesses. They just use share buybacks, spin-offs or other financial tactics to make non-sustainable profits. You can check, how much money (Billions) was used in HP share buy-backed. They did not invest in R&D, not buy new technological companies for the future.

WebOS and palm hardware team should be sold to Amazon. At least, Amazon has its visions and is doing what it thinks correct though keep losing money in first many years.

WebOS is really good. I do not have a feel that TP is cheap in construction. It is pretty. The accessories are also good.

I agreed with some of the comments. HP lacks a plan to develop and market the phones and tablets. Initially, it should let Palm to run independently. Take an example. AMD is such a small company and had its many own problems. However, it handles ATI merger very well. The GPU division is doing extremely well even better than the CPU division itself. Now ATI is totally embedded to AMD. Fans/developers of ATI are now those of AMD.

I am not running a big company. But I can see there are severe problems in HP's board and top leadership.

Who will buy HP's products or services any more? What are the thoughts of its channels?

If the board members are not overhauled in this years, I think the CEO's days are numbered. Actually, is days should be numbered. He has made such large damages to WebOS community, HP's channels and even HP's employees. The damages cannot be measured by $$ or EPS. Very short-sighted!

It's the end of an era.

But something will happen to WebOS.

It's not getting tossed.

It may not fit HP's needs but there's a place for WebOS somewhere.

In my dreams I imagine WebOS in the public domain, the Linux of mobile UIs.

That's unlikely to happen but let's wait a few weeks and see what comes after the bomb that was just dropped.

I would be interested to see what the Open-Source Linux side of things would do with this kind of operating system.

Wildest hopes and dreams of many many more linux base software being ported than already has.

First: HP's current management reminds me of Apple under John Sculley. Sculley was a marketing guy, who declared Apple to be a marketing company, not an innovator. The results were a company in stasis, and he was eventually (10 years later?) forced from his job. It's sad to see history repeat itself...

Apple had Steve Jobs, who does HP have?

Second: WebOS is a great system, and is now effectively history. Those who believed it is great are not wrong, and it may yet rise from the dead, but let's face facts, an OS without something to O is an artifact, not a viable platform for growth.

Third: For most of us today is the day of reckoning. Just as I ditched the betamax for the vhs (though professionals continue to use beta format and vhs is now history) so will I move on to the consumer item that I can purchase. My computer is an Apple, ergo I'm now forced to the iOS universe. That's not bad, it just doesn't meet my needs as elegantly as WebOS did.

So we pause for a moment of silence and tip our hats, and then we move on. Life is for the living.

Had to join just to comment on the massive delusion field at play here.

I know you guys all love WebOS and there is much to love but you are kidding yourselves if you think that this was not the right decision for HP. PCs are a millstone around their necks and WebOS is an expensive distraction.
HP are competing with 3 companies with near monopoly positions to support their OS habits - MS with desktop software, Apple with hardware profits and Google with online advertising. HP owes the Palm faithful nothing - in fact you guys owe them 12 months of life since Palm was dead and no-one else would have taken them on as a going concern. The wider uses and value of WebOS were dependent on the broader PC business and when that was rightly set aside by Leo, WebOS had nowhere to go.

It was a fools errand to go up against companies who make more profit in a 4-6 months than HP makes in a year. Why should they fritter away the profits and cash they have against asymetric competitors. HP could never be Apple or MS or Google - they have a chance to be IBM (who are 2.5x more profitable than HP). Sorry guys but those are the cold hard business facts.

Sad face. That's about all I can muster op at this point.

However, I was thinking.. Matias Duarte left palm to go work on android. Google now has motorola mobility.

On a creative, positive note, I wonder... What would happen if google licensed webOS, had Matias work some magIc integrating some key features of webOS into android? I see that as viable and adding synergy and cards into android would be awesome. I'd go from hating android to semi-liking it.

Ok here's my British options and thinking - when I buy a phone they last around 12 months - my pre 2 is working just fine and was/still thinking about pre 3 - not interested in a Touchpad. Think I will wait for a price drop and snap a pre 3 and that should last for a while ...nobody is shutting servers off for a long while yet. ..........then I will see what is out there late 2012 - HP a getting rid of their hardware not their software and webOS is software. Best solution is Samsung et al buy webOS. Nokia is doing the same with the N9. Just letting it out in the long grass. Nobody lets go on a Thursday and shuts down on a Friday !! ....still this is HP with Leo the clown in charge.

i wanted to thank all the crew and editors behind preCentral. View the site mulitple times a day, excited on the next webOS news. been rocking my Pre- since launch. very disappointing blow from HP. gonna return my TP also. think i think im going Nexus.. :/

Dear HP,

F*** YOU.



That's really bad news for the consumers.
The competition is shrinking - first was Symbian - now WebOS.
Really sad.

This really makes no sense, if HP just wants to stop building webOS devices because they don't sell as good as they hoped with no marketing they would have made this announcement AFTER more Touchpads and Pre3s sold.

Why kill these products so soon after they have been launched, this means they won't make ANY sails at all. They just produced a pile of Touchpads and Pre3s that no one is going to buy.

Of course, it could simply be incompetence, HP has proven it has endless supplies of it outside the enterprise environment. This all feels like the initiative of a few closed minded, slow thinking managers at HP. They look at Steve Jobs and probably despise his marketing strategies for being outlandish and fail to realize that it was those strategies that put IOS in the lead.

They think the enterprise environment is far more profitable, and to them it probably is. Too bad they fail to realize that having a tablet and a phone to ago along with enterprise products would have been an unprecedented advantage against the competition.

I never really liked HP, I was sad when I heard they bought Palm, HP is a very different company and we just saw how bad that was for webOS, the system that showed the most promise in the mobile world.

Even today my Pre Plus holds it's own against an iPhone 4, browsing is almost as fast with only half the processing power. Synergy is still unique to webOS, no other mobile OS does it as well, the calendar is still the best and the list goes on.

Too bad, I really wanted to buy the Pre 3, I dreamed about it for a long time but now I'll eider get an iPhone 4 or wait for Blackberries new line of Treo form factor phones (with both keyboards and touchscreens and no slide).

I always loved the Treo line, they should have never killed it.

Everyone is angry and sad. Most of us stuck by Hpalm and WebOS til the end. Even we Sprint customers, who make up the largest collective group of WebOS users, and who had already been so obviously passed over in favor of larger, sexier carriers, where still holding out hope for a surprise WebOS device.

But, I have to say I saw this coming a year or so ago, when HP bought Palm.

Larger companies, by nature, don't buy other companies in order to preserve the staus quo. They do it to dismantle them and absorb what they can use.

In tests, as in life, first answers are usually the best. HP was VERY clear, from the beginning, that they did not buy Palm to get into the smartphone or even the tablet business. They did it to harvest WebOS to run printers (really? Who even uses printers that much anymore that they need a complex OS running them?) And other, undisclosed products. But, when they discovered thousands of webOS users hunkered down and waiting, and felt our anger at their dismissal of smartphones, they cobbled together some poor PR campaign to assuage us, offering the best political campaign since "just say no!"... "Just bear with us." "Wait and see". They didn't expect to find us, and they didn't want to walk away from the potential revenue stream.

Then iPad took off, and subsequent tablets met with some modicum of success, and HP decided to jump on the band wagon, obviously thinking WebOS would mostly sell itself (and, frankly, it should have).

But, they never planned to be in the Smartphone business OR the tablet business. In their minds (I am supposing) it was thrust upon them. So, they never planned on being in it for the long haul. For having to weather the lean time before they met success.

But this should appear as no surprise. HP has always been a PC company and a printer company. But, they have tried, in recent time, to buy their way into different aspects of the IT industry that are basically owned by other companies. Their CEO, Leo Apotheker, is a software and development guy, who wants to spin off or divest HP of their PC business, in order to focus energy on enterprise solutions and development. Basically areas that are NOT HP's expertise and are "owned" by other companies. If they couldn't stand the heat launching a new product and a new OS, they sure as heck can't stand the heat redirecting the entire company.

Having worked for companies such as IBM, I can safely say, large companies often succeed in spite of their efforts, not because of them.

HParsons where are you know, hahahahaha

Perhaps HP will now have time to update their direct purchase consumer info...

Customer rating and reviews for Palm Pre 2
6 out of 8 (75 %) customers would recommend this product to a friend.

It would be better to see these go to 0% for all HP products.

HP management is a good example of the Peter Principle. They have risen to their level of incompetence.

As soon as HP Bought Palm, my "Spider Sense" started tingling. I bailed from AT&T and the Pre + to Sprint and Android and just watched and waited, especially to see what the Touchpad would do. None of this surprises me. HP didn't put any real effort into hardware development, software updates or real marketing. This makes me wonder if they bought Palm just to ultimately kill off WebOS as a competitor to... Apple, for instance? After all, who has the most to gain from a 3rd competitor that had the OS features to be competitive with some solid hardware and real Marketing? Apple. So if HP just kills off WebOS without even being willing to sell it to anyone else, there's probably a "good reason for that" which will never become public knowledge.

R.I.P. WebOS.... :-(

I have had my Pre- since day one, and several replacements as they wore out. I recently tried HTC Droid for one month but returned it and reactivated my Pre. Interface was too kludgy and did not find any killer app that made me want to keep it. I will get one more replacement Pre this week. Then keep it till it dies or WebOS comes out on another phone. It is a great interface, easy keyboard, easy one hand operation. I am hopeful they license the OS.

I have a tablet too and will use it. Only missing app is one for editing Office files. But I have a laptop for that.

What can one expect of a company that invented a term like "Mopier"?

HP, good job there! I wonder what your agreement with Google was.

The other possibility is that HP could just sell the patents and kill the OS. A bidding wore over the patents alone might get HP back all of the money they spent buying Palm, if not more. RIM might be the most likely buyer and put those patents to good use catching up with everyone else in the smartphone business.

Its funny saw the HP commercial for the Touchpad with Russell Brand last night still at the msrp. Why still spend the money promoting it when you've killed it obviously communication is not HPs strng suit.