webOS all-hands meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning - it all finally comes to a head | webOS Nation
 
 

webOS all-hands meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning - it all finally comes to a head 144

by Derek Kessler Thu, 08 Dec 2011 9:38 pm EST

We've just received word that tomorrow will finally bring the answers for which we have been waiting. HP CEO Meg Whitman has weighed the options for what to do with webOS, and tomorrow at 10:30 AM Pacific Time we should finally get and answer. It's been a long four months since former CEO Leo Apotheker made the decision to split HP in two and shut down webOS device operations just 49 days after the TouchPad launched. Whitman has done what she could to undo the damage wrought by Apotheker, and has already un-spun-off the the PC division of HP. With that multi-billion disaster out of the way, she's turned her attention to HP's other multi-billion (though smaller) debacle: webOS.

Rumor and speculation have been swirling for what seems like an eternity. At first the general assumption was that HP would sell webOS to the highest bidder, possibly just for the foundational smartphone patents held by HP. But as time went on, more and more potential suitors publicly backed out. Whitman has taken her time coming to a decision, but recently has been making increasingly positive statements about webOS.

With an all-hands meeting for the webOS Global Business Unit scheduled for tomorrow and Whitman set to attend, we're expecting to finally get some answers. It was exactly one month ago that Whitman stood before the same group, pledging to take the time to make "the right decision, not the fast decision," and that if HP were to keep webOS, they'd do so "in a very significant way over a multi-year period."

What exactly is her decision? Stay tuned...

Thanks anonymous

144 Comments

Lets go ALL IN MEG!!!

Yes go ahead and risk the whole company on the underdog mobile platform. Success in this area is what your company needs to get ahead. Not turning up the burners on webOS again will make HP an also-ran in the computer front.

Risk the whole company? They could invest $20 billion a year forever into webos, not turn a profit on it, and still be solvent just on their last year's numbers, and that was a bad year. I'm not suggesting that they would or should do that, but there's a scale of economies there that you seem to be missing.

It's pretty obvious that HP is keeping webOS at this point. Meg is positive about it, and the future is mobile devices. And printers: we still need printers.

The only question is, does that future include webOS for HP, and if it does how much.

I have been on Android for 7 months now, and have become more familiar with iOS. I would switch back to webOS in a heartbeat if I knew it would last...and I could get it on Sprint.

Did you not read that buying Autonomy took the majority of cash reserves they had on hand? If you really think they HAVE $20 billion to drop much less that they can drop it each year without a huge hit to their bottom line...dunno what to tell you.

They have less than $8 billion on hand, and the only reason it's not much less than that is the printer division - which is actually in decline, income-wise.

If you want to see investor shockwaves, let's see what happens if Meg Whitman announces a huge multi-billion dollar reinvestment into WebOS in the consumer space.

That would be incredibly risky and foolish for HP to do. However, it's the only way they could succeed with webOS.

They either have to go all in with it, keep it around for use on printers & small devices or drop it.

Going all in with webOS though involves turning HP into something else entirely. A company about consumer services & software. This is what they'd have to invest in. And that isn't too bad since they could leverage these things into all their products. But HP has shown time and again that they don't understand what running their own platform involves. It'd be suicide for HP.

People have made jokes about webOS on printers and don't see the need but these are the same people who think computers are about using a browser, playing media, and viewing pics. I got a HP all in one printer in front of me that cost around 1200. It's got a million buttons on the front, etc. It'd be kinda great to ax all that and have a webOS multitouch interface that can multitask.

Again, tho....Autonomy...

I know it's a swear word around here, but the same board of directors that started this whole mess is still there now and they spent TEN BILLION DOLLARS on a.....wait for it...ENTERPRISE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT software company.

HP isn't putting it all in on the consumer space. Far from it. Another indicator are these announcements being made at internal all-hands meetings, not external announcements with lots of fanfare.

I agree. But this is HP. They've no concept of fanfare or what makes sense. Not only should they dump webOS but they should ban use of that word in their company. The further they put it behind them, the better.

I could easily see them stringing everyone along with more nonsense of keeping webOS around.

This is a company that doesn't know what it wants to be. Whitman doesn't know either.

HP took on a lot of debt to leverage WebOS, they took on even more to pick up Autonomy. WebOS bonds were wasted, no revenue for the effort.

So now HP, already burdened with low margin market mix now gets to combine this problem with growing debt service. This is getting bad.

Stop thinking HP is big, stop thinking HP has deep pockets. Years of mis-steps are killing HP. Go look at the vital signs on any finance site, compare them with the industry leaders. HP could be gone in five years.

She is risking the PC business with *any* decision she makes.
Betting on webos is a risk.
Betting on W8 is a risk.
Betting on Android carries the smallest risk - but still is risky. Tthe other companies that launched Android Tablets where not too successful so far (measured vs the IPad) - and they have a headstart.

Not worrying about the fast expanding mobile market would be the biggest risk of all.

There is no safe option available. All the options (incl. webos) involve trade-offs and have their pros and cons.

i predict they keep webos because no was else was willing to buy it for the money the asked.
Guess that buy it now price was too high

Keep it, as in eat it. They make stuff, they sell stuff. Despite their logo, they dont invent stuff. They'll keep enough engineers to make a legal token effort to keep the remaining contracted phones supported, but the real development will be over.

Not being able to sell it is no reason to keep it.
If they don't think that webos is their best option for the mobile business and they can't sell it they'll just scrap it.

They won't scrap it outright. Remember her interview where she said they were "working on some innovative solutions that I think are gonna be quite positive"?

I think they will scale it way back so it doesn't cost them much money and keep it on the back burner for a while.

Who's to say we will know?

Even if they keep it, no more phones unless its licensed or open sourced. They won't try that disaster again, and they will have zero support from carriers.

We won't see phones at all if it's open sourced.

webOS 2.x is so far behind the curve nobody would dare license it.

If HP decides to keep webOS, I expect they'll take the Android-route when it comes to bringing the versions back together, with webOS 4.0 marking the reappearance of phones and the convergence of versions between phone and tablet.

Open source = A chance we can port webOS to other phones/devices

I thought that the part that accesses the dialer for all carriers has to be closed source. That's what I've read.

I think webOS 2.x would still work on Virgin Mobile or Republic Wireless. The Pre3 is light-years ahead of the Android devices those carriers are making available.

I don't know if HP would get much money, but it's a way to build market share.

Prepaid carriers use cheap phones because they don't subsidize and not many people woulds spend $600 for an iPhone.
I don't think webOS has any advantage over Android on cheap hardware.

I don't know how big your experience is with FOSS on devices that are not ready for that; Some years back I tried to get into Rockbox development and I don't think that things have changed quite much.

Take a look at Cyanogen Mod on the Touchpad and list everything that doesn't work or doesn't behave like expected.

I'd rather see HP keeping webOS and pushing it forward than throwing a stripped-down-to-the-underwear version of it out into the FOSS ocean.

just the 2ct. of a guy that is deeply devoted to and involved in FOSS development for the last 15 years.

*gasp* Derek Kessler admitting webOS is behind.

Doesn't change the fact that HP does not know how to market cutting edge technology, nor how to build an ecosystem through collaboration. If they need something, they buy it, then hit it with a hammer until it fits, or fails.

HP gave the big **** ff to developers, carriers, customers, retailers, suppliers and even employees. They failed on so many fronts, there is no hope.

Leo couldn't sell iced tea in a desert, and I'm not sure Meg can even make iced tea if she really believes HP could pull webOS out of the grave and try again. Did anybody pay any attention the last 18 months?

Palm fails --> blame the carriers, employees at big box retailers

HP fails --> blame HP

Just don't blame the OS, even if other companies aren't interested in buying it, building upon it, and getting patents to boot.

Right?

Yep.

@stung

Carriers, retailers? WTF, haven't you been paying attention? Take your petty, mis-informed snottiness someplace more appropriate. If you're going to put words in my mouth, make sure they're right. Twit.

can I get some of those drugs you are on?
The only convergence thats going to happen is between a windows 8 tablet and a webos printer

webos - the OS per se - has actually been far ahead for since it appeared.

It's the apps where webos is far behind. That is very important for the smartphone market - but it's distinct from the OS.

And both Android and WP7 prove that the app market can explosively grow and catch up - *given* the right investments and strategy.
Palm didn't have the resources to quickly enlarge the app market and HP didn't have the will.

And the raw number of apps available - while cute for marketing is not really important. Somewhere in the 5 figures it stops being relevant.

There's a small-ish number of must-have apps - probably just a few tens or hundreds. And then there is the long-tail (a high chance to find an app for an obscure purpose) which ill be sufficiently covered when there are a few tens of thousands of apps. Beyond that you get very small actual gains in actual functionality and just ever more redundancy and **** Diminishing returns.

HP (or any buyer) would have to invest heavily into partnering with big-name app companies and bribe developers for some time. But it's doable and has been done repeatedly.
And webos - on technical terms - is *very* developer friendly. It's just not very profitable at the moment.

WebOS has been far ahead in notifications, task switching, and unified messaging...waaaaaay behind in every other aspect.

It does some things, some very advanced things, very well. But it's come up very short on basic hardware and simple capabilities.

Face it, what is good about WebOS, was pretty good June 6, 2009. Palm and HP epicly failed to fill in the missing functionality. Its like they didn't even try.

These "zero" support from carriers is just silly.

Carriers are not emotional about this.
They sell Bada phones too. Carriers don't really care about phones or their platforms. They care about retaining and attracting customers.

There's always a deal to be had - it's all just a matter of negotiations.

In hindsight I believe that the lack of carrier deals in 2011 is not the cause but the result of webos cancellation.
When Leo cancelled webos devices - he didn't make that decision on that day. The decision was likely pondered for some time and rumor has it that the board of directors hired him with that strategy in mind to begin with (not to cancel webos per se - but to go the IBM way, get rid of the consumer business and focus on enterprise).

Think about what happened. We hear that the boss of Best Buy is going to Leo and is angry about the Touchpad. People thought he's demanding from HP to take back all the TPs. But that never made sense to me. Lackluster sales are no reason for any of that. Even if the sales were very bad this would only lead to re-negotiations about sale guarantees, ad campaigns, etc....

I believe Best Buy got wind of HPs plans to get rid of the hole PC business, that's why Best Buy was royally p*ssed and a few days later the bomb drops. The timing and communication of that decision was utterly botched and most likely forced by a leak.

Carriers will offer webos phones if the conditions are right. And carriers *like* competition between phone vendors. It's much better to have healthy competition between a number of vendors than to be dictated conditions by 1 or 2 dominating platform emperors.

Learn the difference between carrier OFFERING and carrier SUPPORT. For the US, iOS and Android virtually have a lock on carrier support. Just ask Microsoft, who is actually IN the game right now with at least one device on each carrier. Ask them how much "support" carriers and their sales reps are giving them.

I think of windows mobile in the early stages much like android was at first. The only way the windows mobile platform will pick up steam is windows 8 devices (including tablets).

MS has to leverage its desktop dominance along with its key pieces of the puzzle like Office.

I think the phones CAN make traction by themselves if Microsoft accelerates keeping pace with the Joneses. No reason why they should be 12 months behind Android in LTE devices hitting the market just because they're concerned about battery life. People more or less accept that modern smartphone battery life isn't great, and placating those that don't aint worth not being on Verizon.

The 800x480 resolution limitation is a joke by this point, no matter how big the screens get (e.g. HTC Titan). Android is already moving beyond qHD to FULL HD on the Nexus and LG whatever it's called. So again, Windows Phone is about to be two generations behind because the OS doesn't support this.

For some bizarre reason, very little work has been done in tying Xbox 360 and Xbox live games to Windows Phone. Aside from Kinectimals and some exclusive titles...nada. They should be giving 360s away with Windows Phone for a limited time on each carrier. There should be companion titles to blockbusters like MW3 and the like. Big waste.

Also need to make CDMA carriers more of a priority. One handset per aint gonna cut it. if Verizon demands LTE, hotshot an LTE handset to them. If Sprint needs WiMax for now and then LTE late next year...make it happen. Pay off the manufacturers.

As it stands, they're giving Apple and Samsung's Galaxy S series free reign to pretty much dominate US carriers. Only Verizon eschewing the Galaxy S II for the inhouse Droid brand and T-Mobile not being given the iPhone buck this trend.

it sounds like they might keep it after all - look at some stuff of late - they offer up refurb touchpads - if they were totally ditching it, why bother to sell stuff from HP-ebay that you would then have to support, why work on webos 3.0.5, why is picsel smart office creating office editing apps for a dead phone and why in the heck is astraware wasting time with a new majong game - they must have inside information passed on to top level dev's like astraware that they are planning to keep it.....all speculation of course

and why does hp blog a story now about controlling an MRI machine with a touchpad if it's a totally abandoned product

None of that is indicative of anything.
Considering how poorly devs in the past have been treated, it seems very _un_likely the devs you mentioned have been told that they are continuing.
As for 3.0.5.. well, if you have a job that you are paid to do, i guess you have the choice between 1) doing your job or 2) twiddling your thumbs.
Since there's no new hardware for the webOS software engineers to work on, it stands to reason that they'd work on updates for existing devices.
Maps update (With secret enyo for all), and hopefully that veer update comes out. I pray for a Pre2 or Pre3 update, but! we'll see..

They already have to support the first touchpads until next year. The refurbs only have a 90 day warranty. Why not make a few dollars off the leftover parts since you'll have a small support team on staff until then. Even if they aren't making any more, these developers can appreciate the possibility of a chunk of 1 million users.

HPs recent behavior doesn't tell us much either way.

webos is one of their options and they kept their options open and viable until a decision is made.

They haven't done anything that involves large extra cost.

All we know from the recent past is that Meg weighs her options (and probably negotiates with MS and Google and potential buyers etc...). Which is the rational thing to do.

After HP decided to cancel the spin-off they are back to needing a mobile strategy. You can't be in the PC business in 2012 and not have a mobile strategy - it's where all the growth is.
And there is no easy obvious right decision. They all (Android, Wp7/W8, webos) have their pros and cons.

Let's hope she makes the right decision and keeps the little OS that could. HP needs a mobile OS solution and they need to nurture it, not scrap it.

don't you release bad news on a friday? I don't like the timing.

That's what I was thinking. I'm hope I'm wrong.

On the other hand firing a bunch of people two weeks before Christmas seems like it generate poor press.

It has never stopped anybody. And half of Palm is already in the street without much fanfare.

True bad news would be after stock market closes on friday. Not on friday morning. But anything is possible. I expect phones to be gone for now since it costs too much to promote and is outside HPs expertise. Maybe a dark horse will pick up the phone. I think HP will take a crack at tablets, printers, again. Tomorrow will either be a very good day or really bad day!

This is webOS not the PC division. Investors could care less about webOS and they might be happy if HP decides to get rid of it. Investors don't like money losing ventures and at this point I don't see how any company could make any money from webOS. It is so far behind what other mobile operating systems are doing right now.

Hp is takign another stab at tablets and it is called Windows 8. Only a mad man would make another webOS tablet.

You talk like W8 is a safe option- but it is not.

For starters it's not even out yet. The analysts expectation (based on past beta periods etc...) is that W8 devices might just be available for xmas 2012 - a full year from now - and it could be as late as early 2013.

Until then only W7 would be available. And so far any classic desktop focused version of Windows consistently flopped on mobile devices. There have been attempts long before the Ipad and it never took off.

Furthermore - Windows has only 2 advantages:
* Dominating PC platform with - by far - greatest software selection
* Familiarity

Both get lost on W8 tablets. Nobody knows whether the Metro UI will be a success. So far it isn't on smartphones.
And while MS has ported Windows (and a variant of Office) to non-X86 chipsets - that is not true for all that zillion Windows programs.

When it comes to the mobile market MS Windows is far far behind IOS and Android.

So from HPs point of view things are not so easy. MS is a strong partner (on PCs) - but they are not a safe option on tablets (Android beats them there by far) and it will cost licence fees (unlike Android or webos).

webos would be very costly to make a success out of - but *if* successful would be their own platform. And that brings great advantages.

I can't say which is worse, take a chance on something unproven or take "another" chance on something that failed. I think most will lean towards the unproven if only because it may be harder to overcome a failure than to start fresh. Don't know.

I do, however agree with this line:
And while MS has ported Windows (and a variant of Office) to non-X86 chipsets - that is not true for all that zillion Windows programs.

That's my biggest concern for W8 on tablets. If the windows programs people are used to don't work on a windows tablet, will there still be a significant advantage to choosing a W8 tablet over the market leader? It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

I agree, it will be interesting. Microsoft has great developer support and it will be pretty straightforward to port .NET apps to ARM/Metro.

I predict Win8 ARM tablets will have a lot of application support early on from Windows developers.

cmon! Please, please, please!

keep the outststanding webos users & convert all mobile & HP TP products to windows 8 or buy RIM/Blackberry & give Android & IOS a run for their money!

Not gonna get my hopes up. That way I can't be disappointed, but can still be pleasantly surprised.

Probably relagated to a secondary language function with minimal support for those with Touchpads and phones. Might show up in printers, but who cares. The bright spot would be the Ares development tool and the Enyo framework.

I already lost all my hopes.

I don't like the fact its on a Friday. . . That's not when good news is normally released . . . I'll be waiting Impatiently ~

this will be another black friday

It's true that their last meeting was scheduled for a monday, the meeting that was expected to deliver the news of the new suitor.
Interesting..

It's probably neutral news. If it was embarrassing, they'd wait until after the markets closed on the east coast.

This is the kind of thing that needs a press conference. An all-hands meeting doesn't inspire much confidence that it's something they want everyone to know.

Waiting so very long to announce another all-hands meeting doesn't seem encouraging to me. Obviously if any kind of deal had been made with another company it would have been announced earlier. It's also hard to imagine that a decision whether to try Palm's vision all over again, hard as that might be, could take so long to make either. My guess is they'll keep it for printers, and maybe later for some kind of proprietary communication system among servers or whatever. If it were anything big from our point of view, I think we would have known it before now. I sincerely hope my pessimism is all wrong.

Isn't this a repost. Maybe even a repost of a repost?

They're not going to fire people this close to Christmas, so my money's on something positive.

3 years ago both me and my friend were laid off from our companies at exactly this time..

That being said, I pray ur right - I just love WebOS

Were your companies in the public spotlight like HP is? It probably makes a big difference.

OFFICIAL ZHEPHREE PREDICTION:

A final decision gets announced. HP stands by its decision to cease hardware production for webOS and decides it will keep webOS and its employees. No promises other than that will be made. We will be hopeful, but in the dark, again.

6 months from now, we'll repeat.

I fear you are correct. Hope I'm wrong.

This is probably exactly what's going to happen. They'll keep on a skeleton team to work on bugfixes for the TouchPad, and not do anything else - including shutting the thing down.

How sad.

My money is on this.

In an effort to increase HP's portfolio of industry patents, will Meg put rumors to rest and be announcing the planned acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent?

bye, webOS.

My Reactions:

1st: Agh, I'm scared!!! - excited!!!
2nd: Same picture again? is there really no other pictures of this chick?
3rd: there is a 99 dollar sale happening on the re-furbished touchpads this sunday.. Why not wait to see how they sell? or, is this a thing for you to come out and say.. Once sunday is gone - they are all out and it is over.

I am a bit worried .. call me dramatic

"Same picture again? is there really no other pictures of this chick?"

hahaha :D

The refurbished TouchPads will sell out quickly. I don't think anyone thinks they'll stick around and not be sold.

They have the picture of her in the blue eBay shirt. I think this is Derek's favorite, although I can't explain the 6 inch gap she is demonstrating.

But why do they use only those two?
There are a lot of her on Google :P

6 inches? lol. any woman will tell you, that's NOT 6 inches.

I guess everyone was too busy taking pics of Jerry Brown.

Or she'll announce they will need several more weeks to make a decision.

It's about time...

No more phones, streamlining down to just tablets. My bet.

maybe they found a buyer and were just doing a good job of keeping the rumor mill quiet while they worked out the details.

Keep it and start selling bad **** android tablets and phones with WebOS installed in dual boot. WebOS boots first of course! People will buy it because of android but like it because of WebOS.

The whole debacle 4months ago was them hitting the pause button on webOS knowing that the same-ol strategies were not going to fly and tomorrow we're going to get a glimpse of the new plan. Most likely going all out on the next tablet with smartphone development TBA later since the carriers ATM are involved with the war between Android and iOS.

I'm just having a hard time believing Meg is going to pull the plug on webOS even though it is a strong probability. It will do VERY well as long as they don't try to compete with apple again.

"It will do VERY well as long as they don't try to compete with apple again."

Proper understanding, "know your place, learn how to utilize your place"

I agree

Also look for Meg to announce the re-design of the HP site so that the "Shop for Products & Services" link brings visitors to the HP eBay site. This will effectively eliminate the online sales and fulfillment division, reduce costs, and establish a more effective and efficient means of getting HP products to customers. And finally, look for Meg to make a much anticipated announcement regarding the professional services part of HP to increase their industry presence in that area. Heads will start to roll!

I predict webOS will not be sold, not be kept as a consumer device OS, and be supported only for the minimum legally required period by HP.

The only question in my mind is whether any of webOS itself (or the Enyo JS framework) will be open sourced in the process ...

-- Rod

This is what I'm thinking too..

I do hope that they don't lay off anyone, both because its the holiday season, and also because i'd love to see updates come to the pre2, pre3, veer and touchpad..

HTC came back with a counter offer. HP for 2.0B, and WebOS is Meg's golden parachute.

please open source all :) free software it's better :D all mojo, enyo and luna all GPL :D

TGIF

Well I hope so come tomorrow. With another "fire sale" for the touchpad, HP could possibly keep webOS around and give people the opportunity to get a touchpad, experience the OS, get familar with it and expand it's user base.

Or HP could just be getting rid of all of their inventory with the "fire sale." I sure hope Meg goes all in as was planned when HP first bought out palm.

Friday will be judgement day...

Guys no matter what it will be a long time before Sprint see a new WEBOS device and for that matter all carriers

Simple, keep webOS, drive new tablets and the before mentioned use on PC's, then license, at little cost, the OS to phone companies like HTC with the incentive of shielding the with Palm patents (so long as the company/companies produce phones and push them to the carriers).

This would be quite doable as the carriers don't really care what OS the phone has, just that dependable wireless phone ONE's are making and supporting the phones and that they are desired by customers.

I sincerely hope Captain Picard, oops, I meant
to say Captain Whitman donesn't announce:

"ALL HANDS ABANDON SHIP! ALL HANDS ABANDON SHIP!"

or

"ALL HANDS ABANDON webOSHIP! ALL HANDS ABANDON webOSHIP!"

(like what Captain JLP did on Stardate 45652.1)

Great ep.

I could see them keeping webOS but renaming it and completely starting over with it. All new devices (probably not phones). They need people to think they are coming out with something entirely new and fresh. Since relatively NO one knows what webOS is (outside of the tech blog followers) this would be pretty easy. I am hoping they don't ditch it because I am strongly considering trying to get a refurb Touchpad on sunday.

Hope for the best.
Prepare for the worst.

Any 'real' news is better than no news .. She did say WebOS was good but didn't get the chance it deserved (something along that line), so I'm genuinely interested in what she has to say.

I predict: WebOS purchased by a car manufacturer, to be used in touchscreen dashboards

GM mixed with Onstar!
:D - I kid, I kid

Hey, no bets?

I'm betting LG. Random draw

they are going to announce 'filing for bankrpted

they might cancel all current production of old touchpads for the new lines of version 2.0 the HiPad line of webos devices......:)

My prediction - HP will split the difference with a decision that won't satisfy any of the hard-core webOS fans - I predict a partial commitment to webOS in the near-term (6-12 mo) with a focus on enabling HP to keep their printer roadmap intact and allow HP's hardware developers to gain experience with tablets (both design and support).

I predict HP will:
-Keep webOS going for printers (probably fairly far along already and too late to alter the roadmap there - hence why this was a sticking point in sales negotiations).
-Use webOS as their 2nd OS for tablets in 2012. Android does not have a strong presence in tablets (still) and Windows 8 isn't available yet. It makes sense for them to continue to refine their tablet designs while waiting for Windows 8. If webOS gains any success by the end of 2012, HP could continue with a model of one HW design supporting 2 OSes once Win8 is available (similar to Palm with PalmOS and Windows CE). If webOS is a continued flop, they could switch to Window 8 only or switch to Win8/Android.
-Remain software only in regards to phones. HP will use a licensing strategy for phones but not find many takers - filling the gap with a co-branded phone a la the Google model (Google partners with a vendor who sells the phone). A new phone OS based on webOS 3 will be used and will be available on slab style phones only (which are most phones these days anyway).
-They will not push any webOS devices hard with marketing support (where most of the losses came from). Device volumes will be low (see Win7 Slate for an example).
-Attempt to push webOS into vertical niches like healthcare (see PreCentral's recent Stanford University article)

Possible Wildcards:
-Whether HP will port Android's application layer to webOS. webOS could support Android applications but HP would retain control over the OS UI and over which backend services are used (for example, webOS uses Bing Maps instead of Google Maps - this could be expanded to Bing search as the default, partnerships with music/video streaming services for a cut of revenue, playing Amazon and Barnes & Noble off one another to be the default eReader, etc).
-webOS on PCs. Work was done on it - if HP keeps webOS, does that have any part in the webOS strategy? A webOS instant-on BIOS could be a possibility for touchscreen ultrabooks, for example (a configuration that Win8 will make mainstream).
-Enyo - if the Android app layer is ported to webOS then Enyo becomes unnecessary. It is solid technology but has no mindshare in the overall (non-webOS) developer community thanks to a lack of webOS marketshare. It could continue as webOS's internal API, be open sourced or just be abandoned.
-Win8 APIs - given that Win8 will be using HTML/CSS/Javascript in Metro apps, can these somehow be made portable to webOS (on tablets)? Palm made Apple iOS games a straight recompile to webOS - Win8 Metro apps wouldn't necessarily need that much work (no recompile necessary).

That said, I'm not expecting too much - there's still a good chance HP might just bail entirely and write off the whole webOS adventure - getting out of consumer software and sticking to hardware and enterprise software.

Scotland,

yup - pretty close to what I'm thinking.

here's a wild idea

HP will announce its plans to purchase a hardware company that does make tablets, and then force them to make tablets of their own and support their webOS software there.

I hope that HP continues to develop webOS. But i guess they are only going to continue with tablets from now on. If they decide to keep it.

That's not a viable mobile strategy.

I agree that HP is mostly interested in the tablet side of things.
But they'll won't have a successful tablet without a solid smartphone offer available. The platform counts and the platform needs smartphones.

IPhone + Ipad + ITunes is a strong combo.

Android phone + Android Tablet is also a strong combo.

Tablet only + smartphone from either of the above + a mixture of markets is weak in comparison.

For HP possibly the best option (if they decide for webos) would be to concentrate on tablets and partner with another corp (HTC, Sony, Dell, ...) for the Smartphones. Problem would be that the partner corp would also want to be in the tablet biz.

But think about what's going on the tablet space now (I know it's still early). Android tablets are just not catching on all that much in marketshare, unless you could the Kindle Fire.

Think how awesome the Asus Transformer Prime is and I doubt that will catch on with would-be iPad2/iPad3 buyers. The funny thing about tablets is that serious techies and business users recognize that current tablets are limited in functionality compared to a real computer or laptop that they use everyday anyway (that's why I don't have a tablet yet and wonder if I would even use one). Casual users are perfect for the iPad and it does the easy work well of light web surfing, short emails, facebook and looking at pictures of your grandkids (that's all I ever see people doing with them on planes it seems). I think the tablet market might be stuck now that all of the casual users seem to have bought their iPads.

If HP goes back with WebOS and TouchPads, I sadly just don't see it taking off and I certainly think WebOS is the best OS (or could be) out there.

If it happens, I don't have a good feeling about HP heading back into WebOS and I was really hoping to get a Pre3 on Sprint until this mess hit the fan.

I miss the device use efficiency efforts that Palm kept as their focus and I will never understand how so many people put up with looking at a big grid of icons every day.

My prediction? Veer 2.

My prediction: Announcing they won't continue to develop the software, in addition to already abandoning the hardware. Time to cut their losses. Next news article with HP will have 100+ comments from angry fans saying 1. HP does not know what they're doing. 2. They will keep their launch day Pres until the bitter end. 3. There's always homebrew.

HP will spin-off PALM and give them back webOS. Along with some pocket-change.

How's that for a refresh?

Not gonna happen - total waste of money.
Would be cheaper to just kill webos.

I think Meg sees the incredible potential if the original dream could be, but the risk is way too high after all that has happened. If she cuts it loose, the mistake will always be Leo's. If she goes for it, now it will become her mistake. Its probably best for the company's risk and hers at this point to let webOS go and take the write-off and the employee reduction this calendar year, even though it sucks from the human side of it all. It's like your wife smashing your classic dream car and its totalled. Is it fixable? Maybe, but it will never be the same and it will cost more than it would to buy a new one, even though your memories of that car and what could have been will haunt you forever.

HP to let webOS go open source

heh I was right

she wouldn't tell her webOS employees they would lose their job on a friday, right?

In my experience companies don't have a big meeting to tell people they're losing their job. Instead they have the layoffs then have a meeting with who's left.

My Prediction:
Meg announces they're keeping webOS period.
Then next year they announce new synergy servers for businesses that allow them to control corporate apps & data on mobile devices without affecting users personal data. They also release a webOS tablet to showcase the ability. They develop a synergy app for android and get Microsoft to do the same for win mobile devices in exchange for selling the servers on windows servers. They make their money selling companies a mobile strategy solution.

Well that's what I'd do anyway.

My guess is keep webOS and
For Tablet:
Continue develop Touchpad 2. Due boot with Android/Win8.
For Phone:
License/Joint venture with HTC/Sumsung/LG.
For PC:
Due boot with Win8 or application in Win 8.
For others:
Be the GUI for HP Unix servers, Printers, etc.

I'd be satisfied by any decision which means that I'll get to own a Pre 4 along the way :D

However, I do really hope that either HP, which could be great because they really have the resources to do so, or any other major company, gives WebOS the chance it deserves... Really would be awesome if it could get to be a real competitor to iOS and Android. Cause it so has the potential to be!

I'll be surprised if she'll say anything other than "we will continue to build on the critical success of webOS in any and every way that does not involve buiilding new devices or developing new versions that aren't minor bugfix releases. We are proud of webOS and will not cease to publicize boilerplate slogans about its future because words come cheap and we are absolutely not putting another dime into this that we haven't already dedicated to keep the skeleton team working slowly on those bugfixes in bread through 2012. We pledge not to pledge a damn thing." -- of course she'll say it in PR speak and not as openly as that.

That said, I'd be happy if she did surprise me; a positive surprise of undoing Apothekergate (Apothekergeddon?) and going back to building webOS would be most welcome, of course, but even an open announcement that webOS is being laid to rest would be OK. Sad but OK because we'd finally have certainty.

Of course, even if HP pledges to return to where they were going before Apotheker pressed HP's stock value self destruct button, that wouldn't mean that whoever will be HP's CEO in half a year won't simply kill it again.
No, I don't have a lot of faith in HP's management and board of directors anymore.

I honestly think they will put WebOs on top of Windows 8. That way windows can still use its operating system to make its own branded tablets, but WebOs can differ itself. This would allow WeboS to be used for consumer and business purposes. Also with Microsoft and HP teaming up no one could even dare challenge them over patents.

Other option is HP invest money into Sprint/Clearwire for LTE and they get to be the only phone for the first 3 months on their LTE network. Then HP can even put cellular radios into other products they have. Imagine HP branded UltraBook with LTE modem built in.

C'mon, Meg, my birthday is Sunday; give me a nice webOS present!

Just another unfounded rumor?!

As a proud Pre-, FrankenPre, and TouchPad owner I'm hoping for good news this morning. I recently took advantage of a Cyber Monday deal on a HP OfficeJet 8600 AIO printer that features HP's ePrint Technology which is quite innovative and makes me understand why HP would like to have webOS as a superior foundation for this architecture.

BTW, as someone who's owned numerous color inkjet's and lasers throughout the years, I must admit that this printer is truly amazing (blazing fast speed, duplex scanning & printing) for under $200 shipped.

Well let's see what Meg will tell us today.
Just bought a TP, VERY cheap, almost firesale.

And to be honest, since the cyanogen Team announced great progress in the CM9 (ICS) Rom for the TP, it's not too important for me what happens with WebOs the next Month, since a new WebOs Version, not to mention new Devices will take far longer than the developement of a stable ICS Rom for the TP.

Is there a way to 'listen in' on the meeting? Will there be a live feed...or someone there tweeting or blogging the main points of the meeting? Inquiring minds would like to know as soon as possible what is said!

So Judgment Day for webOS is finally here. Will it be Life, Death, or a Fate Worse Than Death....

May the circus never end. I can't wait to see the threads about the battle of the iPad killing zombies, TP or PB. :D/

Anybody tweeting anything? Surely some word has leaked out!

I'd like to be positive, but I hate to be disappointed *sigh*

10:30 Pacific time? But i want to know now!! That is 1:30 Eastern for me.... :-( LOL

Aaargh . . Woke up early cuz I thought it was Eastern Time . . Then I remembered that HP's HQ is in California . . Ok back to bed for me for one more hour . . Please let me wake up to god news !

Guess you'll be in a loooooooooooooooooong coma.

Well, I happen to think the God news IS the good news...read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in the New Testament of the Bible for more.

But, if you were actually talking about news on webOS...just a little longer.

HPQ is up 1.8% so far this morning...

Make a new webos phone, please... I finally ditched my pre classic for a Galaxy S2 and my eyes are bleeding from how horrendous the android interface is.

PLEASE!!

Thanks to the fire-sale saturation, there's new love for the OS from consumers,tech pundit's and share holders, this continued story of webOS could have a happy part 2... 3,4 not sure what version we are on at this point.

Meg is in a good position to give the thumbs up here. There's plenty of room for webOS if the stated goal isn't to dethrone iOS on its second iteration.

MEG WHITMAN - "HAPPY HOLIDAYS WEBOS! THAT IS ALL FOR NOW!"

Well, I must admit, I gave up before Meg showed up. But I do think the fact that she's taking her time is much better than Leo's capricious and foolish handling of everything.

Today it's Web SOS.

By any measure, Apotheker was an unmitigated disaster.

As for WebOS, I'd love to see it return, but maybe in a form that could run Android apps.

> run Android apps

That would be v. nice.

Until that happens, dual boot via cyanogenMod is quite fine, will be getting better, ICS should be here by snowmelt in the spring.

Yikes, spinning the nerdal prayer wheels, programming Enyo to feed some karma to the fires.

What will HP do with webOS [the BEST tablet/smartphone OS, imo] this a.m. ? Punt, call another time out, short pass over the middle, or Go Long. My head thinks they'll punt, my ♥ hopes for Go Long, none of my multiple personalities wants to think about the rest.

C'mon, Meg, surprise us, shoot for the Win, no other reason to play the game !!

"shoot for the Win" !!!???

Are you suggesting that HP should focus
on Windows 8 tablets from now on?

> Windows 8 tablets

I'm hopeful, but something tells me it may be a failed snap... more info later

Any news on the meeting? Is it via video anywhere? Anxious to hear...

Its time!!!

I know I'm kind of late to the party here, but how did the WebOS meeting go? I think Meg Whitman has done some amazing things since she's taken over as CEO of HP. With that said, they still have a long ways to go if they want to maintain a profitable business. The fact of the matter is that PC parts are becoming dirt cheap, and manufacturing companies like HP need to reflect these price reductions if they want to keep customers buying their products. Anyway, I talk about it a little more on my blog here, so feel free to stop by and drop a comment if you'd like. I always love to hear other peoples' opinions, whether they're good or bad!

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