Shut-down of webOS "imminent"? Not so fast... [rumor] | webOS Nation
 
 

Shut-down of webOS "imminent"? Not so fast... [rumor] 69

by Derek Kessler Fri, 28 Oct 2011 3:55 pm EDT

Rumors and speculation are a funny thing. It’s very easy to spin an alarming headline out of a speculative quote by somebody who may or may not know anything. Take today’s story out of The Guardian as an example. Nestled amongst the quotes from yesterday’s decision by HP to not spin-off their PC division was some speculation about webOS. Namely, that their sources within HP say that some within the webOS staff expect the “imminent closure” of the webOS Global Business Unit.

One is quoted directly as saying “There’s a 95% chance we all get laid off between now and November,” a move that would affect more than 500 jobs. No description of who this source is and how they would know that, just somebody described as staff (not a manager, director, or executive) offering his/her speculation on the future of webOS.

As with the last time this same rumor popped up a few weeks ago, we’ve checked with our own sources inside the webOS Global Business Unit, and while they admit that there are definitely some disgruntled and pessimistic employees in Sunnyvale, they haven’t heard anything either way as to what officially is happening with webOS.

This kind of will-they-or-won’t-they speculation always runs rampant in any organization where the future is uncertain. The “such-and-such is looking to buying webOS” rumors have far outweighed the “HP is going to shut down webOS” rumors, and though the majority may not pan out (only one can buy webOS, after all), there’s something to be said for the general tenor of the conversation surrounding webOS. Besides, if somebody is to buy webOS, then they’re going to need to buy the staff that know it inside and out (just like when Apple bought NeXT from Steve Jobs back in the day, they also brought on board Jobs and his engineers from NeXT – they knew the product better than anybody else and would be needed to continue work on what eventually became Mac OS X).

Until we have official word on the matter, we’re going to file this one under “rumors and speculation”.

Source: The Guardian

69 Comments

Well you beat me to it.

See what happens when you go for a run? :-)

You know what pisses me off, is that ok HP doesn't want anything to do with webos anymore, but at least sell it, spin off the unit back to its own company basically bringing pack Palm. (it has happened before when 3com aquired palm, then spun it off as its own company again. or at least sell the damn thing.

They are just gonna hold on to this valuable thing that people want soooo bad, and just kill it. instead of letting it live elsewhere.

I tend to agree. Why can't they just spin Palm back of and give it joint leadership under Dewitt and Rubenstein. They bring Palm back from the dead again and HP is free of the liability if it fails.

That would have to be a pretty significant loss on HP's part to give the spin-off even a chance of success, though. If they spin it off it won't have all the resources of HP, so it will need a big chunk of seed money to have a hope of competing. That is not something the money-hungry BOD at HP wants to do. HP won't be free of liability, it will take a loss whether Palm succeeds or fails.

Um...apparently not enough people.

i think they'll sell it if they can get something close to what they paid for it. but i doubt they'll give it away unless someone has an idea of how giving it away will make them money.

But i doubt they'll sell it at a cut rate price. It's kinda like having a second or third string quarterback that's good enough to start for another NFL team. If they paid a lot for him in the draft or a trade most teams will just let him sit their if the offers are way way below what they want for him.

With HP, who knows, but that wouldn't be very responsible to the shareholders. I would expect them to sell it for the most they can get, even if that is a small fraction of the $1.2 B that HP paid.

I can't see why another company would buy it. Anyone wanting to use it for phones or tablets would need to spend a lot of money for years to make a profit. Anyone wanting to use it for simpler embedded tasks probably would be better served writing something from scratch.

Too bad, it is a nice OS.

Let's hope for the best (always).

There was an update to this Guardian story on Gigaom: http://gigaom.com/2011/10/28/webos-nearing-the-end-of-the-road/

Tony Prophet, SVP of operations for the PSG is saying that the discussions are ongoing and that no decision has been made.

Hehe thats not much of an update :P pretty much where we started off

Better than "you're gonna die in seven days" though...

Pre-Central and WebOS Community,

Regardless of what happens to WebOS, today I have made the very, very sad move to a WindowsPhone. I must say thought that it feels like I came full circle as I remember being an early adopter of Windows Mobile and now I am back with Windows Phone. This was sad for me because I put so much personal energy and effort into my Sprint Palm Pre. I really love Web OS. It's not that the iPhone OS, and Android aren't revolutionary, they certainly were, but Web OS was even more revolutionary, it was the underdog, and I tend to go for the underdog. From what I can see in the new release of Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango), it's a very good OS. I noticed that they "copied" WebOS on a few new features. I'm taking it as a compliment, because its better than having a ancient 1st Gen Palm Pre. I wish Web OS and it's community the best. Thank you Pre-Central team for everything you have done and continue to do. I still hope to see WebOS alive and well in the future.

Sincerely,

A HUGE WEBOS FAN THAT HAD TO SWITCH :(

Chris V.

Take care friend. Sorry to see you go. Things will work out for all of us one way or another!

mango wasn't out when i had to switch. so i moved to android.
and i swear my new phone spends time learning new ways to annoy me. im really hoping that i can get some extra money and switch to something else.

Maybe Ice Cream Sandwich will ease some of the pain?

here are my gripes. just a few widgets will make the launcher laggy. silent mode doesn't actually mean silent, it not very smooth even with root and there is just so much my phone could do without but motorola is convinced that people want their rubbish added on.

the nexus series is a lesson in less is more.

using a DX2 cuz we don't even have 2 carriers where i live, chances i will get 4g are close to none.

That's what i'm doing now. Have a year+ Evo4G here with CM7.1. When CM9 comes out I'll slap that on this phone and have ICS goodness. Bring back the warm and fuzzy of WebOS. Would rather have had a new 4+in Slab Pre4 but that's not gonna happen anytime soon. Who knows? Maybe Sony will buy it and we can have a new round of Clie's. Now that would be full circle. Seeing that Sony Clies wer some of the best PDA's at the time.

even thought the droid X2 may be the best 3g android phone on vzw it just doesn't seem popular enough for people to work with it.

I know how you feel, Chris. I bought a Samsung Focus v1.4 (stay away from this version of the Focus until Mango is released for it) running Nodo and I love most of it's features. It lacks severely in anything related to Multitasking, but everything else is what dreams are made of. I cannot beleive the world is so full of Android users with WP7 as a viable option out there. Andorid is an utter joke compared to WP7, and while iOS is compelling for many, it is a dead-end path that I am unwilling to take AGAIN.

It is hard to describe how much I love WP7 (I haven't even had a chance to try Mango, yet) but webOS is STILL better. I ordered a Pre³ today just so I can put this issue of whether I am going to finally let go of webOS and move on with my life. I just have to play with one, one more time. I used a Pre² for the last 6 months and miss pretty much everything about it. I miss my webOS apps and the app developers most of all. If webOS does die (it does seem imminent), I don't really want to put the nail in the coffin until everyone else here moves on with me...to Windows Phone 7.

The openness of WebOS is much better than WP7's walled garden approach. WP7 is a nice OS, I've been using it for a few months, but there are some things that are just painful on it, like loading files or media or sharing videos.

If I had to switch, Mango would feel pretty natural to me. Refuse to switch to Android+ICS. Waiting to see if RIM actually does anything with BBX since that will REALLY look like webOS (like the Playbook does now).

Yes, I"m researching Windows or Blackberry phones, although my choices may be slim with Sprint.

Are you still w Sprint? If so then you went with the Arrive. I tried that phone horrible cameras on most of the windows phones with that buggy two stage camera button. (May be better now with the mango update on screen and theres a self timer app). Plus the phone is bulky.. Anyway was wondering have you tried ios? Because im a newbie with my Sprint iphone 4S & find it much more similar & easy to use to webOS then windowsphone is.. :)Not to mention the better hardware.

I would take a look at the iPhone 4S, but I"m a physical keyboard dinosaur :)

You made a smart move - Windows Phone is a great mobile OS.

I read the Guardian too and was appalled again at these so called writers and their rumors that they probably think up themselves. It shows their true character. If they want to right about our family then they should talk to the family. Its really turning my stomach to see rumor garbage in print. I for one thank you Derek for being right there on the spot to put out the fires.
Let Meg sort this **** out and then it will land where it lands and we as a family will go from there.
You are doing a great job Derek and I'm glad you are here to stand up for the family. WEBOSOS!

" their rumors that they probably think up themselves. "

Charles Arthurs is a solid journalist, if he says that is what people inside HP are saying to him, then regardless of if it's actually true or not, that is what has more than likely happened. The Guardian is a reputable newspaper, it's not Precentral where they report anything as solid fact (or misquote people like they did the Chairman of Sony a couple of days ago).

Of course you get downranked for this...

How could Palm employees NOT be thinking this after the last year? HP proved themselves to be dishonest and fickle, they cancelled all the products and nothing seems to be happening on the sale front. Any sensible employee should be assuming the axe is going to fall soon.

i'm actually think this "rumor" is probably valid. So i'm not mad.

That being said i take all British journalism with a spoonful of salt as journalists there are allowed to write stuff that without a ton of proof. Kinda like blogs do. Where as some of the more reputable publications in the states tend source check and corroborate better. Like they'll report a rumor with no sources. The New York times or Washington post tends to get called out on doing such a thing. It's really bad in English Football journalism. The always say "insiders" say "manchester united is going bankrupt on Saturday." Then Monday comes and they aren't bankrupt and nobody says anything. United has been going bankrupt for like 4 years according to the papers.

Pre-Central and WebOS Community,

Regardless of what happens to WebOS, today I have made the very, very sad move to a WindowsPhone. I must say thought that it feels like I came full circle as I remember being an early adopter of Windows Mobile and now I am back with Windows Phone. This was sad for me because I put so much personal energy and effort into my Sprint Palm Pre. I really love Web OS. It's not that the iPhone OS, and Android aren't revolutionary, they certainly were, but Web OS was even more revolutionary, it was the underdog, and I tend to go for the underdog. From what I can see in the new release of Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango), it's a very good OS. I noticed that they "copied" WebOS on a few new features. I'm taking it as a compliment, because it’s better than having an ancient 1st Gen Palm Pre. I wish Web OS and its community the best. Thank you Pre-Central team for everything you have done and continue to do. I still hope to see WebOS alive and well in the future. I'll still continue to follow the WebOS community and see what happens. Thank you all.

Sincerely,

A HUGE WEBOS FAN THAT HAD TO SWITCH :(

Chris V.

I like how this story is denoted with a "[rumor]" tag while the stories about HTC/Samsung/Sony buying or licensing WebOS were not.

We treat those as rumor as well (and they're filed as such). The [rumor] tag is reserved for the "set aside a copious amount of salt" type posts.

Hey look a Porsche.

Is this even relevant? It's dead already, and these employees are no doubt looking elsewhere. God bless 'em.

I sure hope, WebOS continues. Sure I didn't discover it until the Touchpad fire sale but I have enjoyed it so much I bought an HP Veer. If played right, the Touchpad fire sale could turn out to be a huge success story for HP, it has introduced WebOS to a million new users.

Don't blow it HP, keep WebOS alive!

"Look, Cows."

-Quit down voting you haters. It's a line from throw momma from the train

Don't make me post more!

Chip Chipperson for President tss tss

squirrel!!

Just got my new iPhone activated. Sigh...

Ask Siri if webOS will come back.

Meg Whitman just overturned selling off the PSG group... and, she was pretty steadfast on following the BOD's original plans,so...

Its possible that WebOS is truly being evaluated at various levels.. maybe even for a possible revitalization.. goodness knows, they didn't put anywhere near enough effort into real product design enough so that their hardware would compete with current offerings.. if they are smart (and I don't know that they are), they MAY see the huge upside potential with all the IP already in place behind it, to gain a significant portion of the smartphone and tablet market, if, IF they go at it full force, this time.

The good thing is that they have 1 million touchpad users now, plus all of the 3 million original WebOS purchasers who they can start with as a base to build on.

On the other hand, they could just trash it, and move on to "better opportunities".

:(

How many of those 3 million are still around, though? Plus, those that left are now using the latest phones, and they won't leave them for a nice UI.

I mean, it's all rumor & speculation until an official press release or announcement is made by HP; however, some rumors turn out to be true.

Just like when leaks got out that HP would be laying off the hardware guys. It was confirmed not too long after.

With HP's track record for dealing with webOS, it's more likely they will do something irrational like kill off webOS completely, rather than sell it or license it.

I hope no more layoffs happen, but if I worked in the webOS division, i'd be looking for other opportunities like Richard Kerris did.

Well, Best Buy just announced a big TouchPad promotion for November.

For everyone the link is:
http://pr.bby.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=244152&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1623378&h...

So if the goal is to sell TouchPads in November, even if they are being sold as accessories, doesn't that infer an ongoing need for development staff and some minimally longer term strategy.

Its nice now someone is thinking of bundling. That should have been the strategy from day 1.
My brother the other day texted me about his cool new HP printer that he could email to and it would print. The point is the Touchpad was and is a natural companion to the printer (why email when one can hit a button). I am amazed that HP just didn't get this concept. The Pre 3 and the TP and a Printer would have been a perfect bundle...amazing but at least Best Buy is being creative. The more out there...the more alive it remains...

Like I said in the other thread, bundling is a great strategy for a company willing to eat short-term losses to seed long term customers that they have a plan to get multiple revenue streams from (like Microsoft and their free Xbox 360 w/ purchase for college students.)

Uh, HP is NOT that company. Would've been the same result here.

Yep - obviously their source is the person that says that it is "95% certain" that it will be shut down. Anyone that is 95% certain doesn't know for sure - and if they don't know for sure, then they don't know, are speculating, and are not the decision makers.
This is no more than any of the other WebOS rumors that have been going around.
Think about it - what is the chance that the Guardian in London would get the scoop on this?

yeah still hope. **** i was 95% sure that after her embarrassing joke of a political campaign Meg Whitman would no be trusted with anything by anybody. How wrong I was.

wow. I can't believe this site censors the word "h" "e" double "L"

Yeah it actually makes it seem like you said something worse.

Think Multi-Platform

I too invested a lot of time and money o WebOS, use to attend to conferences and the like, since the August announcement I felt that I had to switch my development strategy, and I did.
I still have my Pre, Pre2, Pixi and Touchpad, and I still develop apps for that platform, but I started to work with a development tool that allows me to deploy my apps on iOS, WebOS, Android and others.

This month I got my iPhone 4S (because I am a Sprint user) and I got a MacBook Pro, because you cannot compile for the iPad / iPhone without a Mac.
I miss the WebOS features on my iPhone , but after all it is just a matter of renting used to it.

You have to think multi-platoform because any company tomorrow can face the same fate.

With or without WebOS, life goes on!!! HP like other company don't give a flying f... about the developer community!!!!

If you don't want your app to look like it works well on any platform then think multi-platform.

That is why apps like Evernote, Angry Birds, Asphalt are such a failure!!!

Obama should swoop in and bail out webOS. Then he can brag he saved a thousand jobs (the 500 who work on webOS and the 500 developers).

i don't trust them. When they bailed out the banks "people" fought to not have any strings attached to the money. So the banks got bailed out from the bad mortgages but didn't use the money to loan to the people buried in mortgage debt.

If a loan for WebOS is the same they'd take the darn money, and not make any webos devices, then just go to vegas.

That is a great idea!!!!

All HP has to do is to include then as a financial institution, like Chevrolet did, then WebOS will be powering Chevy's dash devices. :)

Gang, this is great news, if true! A lot of big companies, when selling off a division/part, will typically bow to buyers needs/wants. If I am Amazon, or equivalent, looking to negotiate for a low purchase of webOS, then I would ask for HP to lay off the division, prior to sale. This way the buying company can A) filter those that want a job again with webOS and have better HR/money position when hiring these employees. It's just a cost cutting request from the buyer. With my limited knowledge of what's going on, with this extra news, I'd put my money down on a purchase of webOS from one of the rumored 'gentleman callers'.

What's going to happen to PreCentral when webOS is finally announced dead? Will it stay to support the community?

“There’s a 95% chance we all get laid off between now and November,” a move that would affect more than 500 jobs."

They need to recoup that money from somewhere.

Well, RIP WebOS. It was a great OS for mobile devices surrounded by incompetent management at Palm, then HP. If you think back objectively over the past two years, nearly every mistake possible was made in marketing, selling, and supporting WebOS. A great product, managed by mediocrity will always result in a failure.

Paul

Why is everybody talking about alternatives and other mobile OS ?

I have a Pre3. Its technically with the time, the OS is fantastic and I will sell my Galaxy S with Android. Email is working, the browser also and the navigation. **** about new development. It works now and in future. I have no problems.

By the way, make it open source! (I mean really, not like android)

Where is Rubenstein in all this?!? Have anyone seen or heard from him??

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Bring back PALM!!! That's the brand we felt in love with since PalmOS and now WebOS. Personally I didn't and don't like HP (well, now I hate it!), so I would really appreciate Palm WebOS back! LONG LIVES WEBOS!!!

I dont care WHAT HAPPENS TO WEB OS. IT WILL ALWAYS BE BETTER THAN EVERYTHING ELSE AND I WILL CONTINUE TO BUY THEIR PRODUCTS EVEN IF ALL SUPPORT IS DISCONTINUED. CARDS WILL ALWAYS MAKE WEB OS SUPERIOR NO MATTER WHAT OTHER FEATURE COME UP. HP 4 LIFE.

Everybody needs to get real here - webOS will be closed down and HP will work with Microsoft on Windows Tablets. Far more traction in both the Enterprise and Retail worlds.

Think about it - double down on a risky $1.2bn investment in webOS or for a quarter of that, get behind Windows and reap the marketing money that MS will throw at you?!

Even Apotherker could have made that easy decision.

Total fail - yes, but the shareholders and Wall St aren't going to tolerate HP spending another cent on webOS.