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

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

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