webOS GBU moving across the street next week, here's a first look at the new digs | webOS Nation
 
 

webOS GBU moving across the street next week, here's a first look at the new digs 15

by Derek Kessler Thu, 13 Sep 2012 9:27 pm EDT

 

webOS moving across the street next week, here's a first look inside

With all of the layoffs and departures that have hit the webOS Global Business Unit, the headcount in Sunnyvale isn't nearly enough to justify the three whole buildings that had previously been home to Palm, Inc. There are the two big photogenic buildings on Maude Ave in Sunnyvale, California that we've come to know over the years. They're pretty traditional office buildings, with decent-sized lobby spaces, a number of small and large meeting rooms, open atrium areas with trees, and other assorted Silicon Valley niceties. But those buildings were formerly home to around a thousand employees at Palm, and now the webOS personnel number closer to two hundred. Something had to give.

When HP purchased Palm, the buildings on Maude Ave came with the deal. In its day, Palm was a successful and profitable company, so instead of renting some nondescript office buildings, they built their own. And now HP owns them and they fall under the Printing and Personal Systems Group, headed by former Palm CEO Todd Bradley. Way back in February it was revealed that HP would be moving the webOS GBU out of Sunnyvale and into the former office space of HP acquisition ArcSight in Cupertino. PPS would move into the former Palm offices. The move was expected to happen around this time, but it never came to pass, and Todd Bradley still hasn't gotten his old office back.

webOS moving across the street next week, here's a first look inside

Instead, the single-story building across the street, a nondescript concrete and steel building known affectionately as SV3, was renovated to house the webOS GBU, or Gram, or we're not really sure… but next week everybody's moving across Maude Ave. SV3 has undergone months of renovation to prepare it for its new tenants. As for what happened with the move out to Cupertino, word has it (and this is just rumor), Apple was none too pleased when they heard that the webOS GBU was going to be moving to just over two miles from their main campus at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino. The webOS GBU's current digs are just over seven miles from Apple HQ. Apparently Apple was so concerned by the possibility of having webOS in their back yard, they opted to pay HP a healthy sum to stay away, and some of that money went into the renovation of SV3. We haven't been able to confirm that, and we doubt we ever will, so take that with a grain of salt (it could be that Apple just complained and HP graciously acquiesced).

webOS moving across the street next week, here's a first look inside

Today the staff of the webOS GBU got a tour of the new space they'll be calling home, and they're certainly leaving behind the comfy and traditional confines of the two buildings across Maude Ave. The newly renovated SV3 is an odd mix of open work spaces, cubicles, and industrialist design. There are bare concrete floors and awkwardly-shaped lounge chairs. There are open clusters of work tables, eschewing the traditional desks for decent sized open tables and rolling file cabinets. And while there might be cubicle walls dividing the spaces, they're either covered with a whiteboard or contain a decent-sized window pane into the neighboring space.

webOS moving across the street next week, here's a first look inside

Overall it seems a lot more open than some of the cubicle-farm type spaces that can be found in the current Palm buildings. And, of course, there are power ports everywhere. The renovation of SV3 is definitely in keeping with the current progressive office design practices, allowing for more collaboration and free communication between coworkers, as well as greater versatility in how the space is utilized. It's not quite Valve's awesome "your desk has wheels so you can move it" style [pdf], but it certainly is more flexible than the current layout. We haven't been there personally, but it seems a lot more open than what we've seen of the old Palm buildings, though in some ways it also seems colder (bare concrete) and maybe even intentionally incomplete (exposed framing). There's also a whole lot less window space than across the street - SV3 has been described as bunker-like, fitting given the 'stealth mode' approach being taken by Gram.

webOS moving across the street next week, here's a first look inside

How well will the new SV3 space serve the employees that are soon moving in? We really can't say, but maybe some fresh digs are exactly what the team needs. The Palm campus hasn't changed much since HP's purchase nearly two and a half years ago. Those buildings carry a lot of memories, and thus a lot of weight. There's a lot of good and a lot of bad that went down at 950 Maude Ave, and maybe it's time for the webOS GBU to literally move on from it.

webOS moving across the street next week, here's a first look inside

There's one burning question that we haven't been able to get quite answered yet: is this space dedicated to the webOS GBU, or is it Gram? From what we've heard on the ground, no identifying signage was visible anywhere inside or out, so maybe HP's opted not to invest in HP signs on the building when they'll be replaced by Gram in a relatively short time.

webOS moving across the street next week, here's a first look inside

Thanks to anonymous for the pics!

15 Comments

oooh thats nice...

So what does it take to get a job there?!?!!? That place is NICE!!!!

You can find out! www.webosjobs.com

Whats so 'nice' about the layout? Looks like my garage - except colder. I dont see how it will create an atmosphere conducive to creativity and growth. Productivity will be further stifled.

So there are 200 people working on webOS now at HP? Is that what I read in this article? This is just me thinking about it outloud, and I have little-to-any knowledge of the level of effort and work it takes to maintain, develop, and manage webOS or any operating system...much less transferring it to an open source OS, but it seems like more results would come from 200 people's efforts. It seems like the productivity of webOS internals and homebrew folk, which I understand is something done part time, and which is a smaller number of people, it seems like their productivity is much higher than 200 HP employees.

I don't mean to say that this observation is interpreting the true nature of the webOS efforts here, but it just seems strange to me that a small group of highly interested webOS Internals people are doing so much more than 200 employees of hp. I know that if my company had 200 employees, the volume of effort and results would be massive! We are less than 30 people, and we do field investigations, prepare reports and respond to regulatory agencies for hundreds of operations/facilities and are responsible to support over 1500 client operations/facilities. It's just confusing to me that more isn't happening. I do want those who are more aware of the OS 'environment' or 'world' to explain this apparent lack of productivity. As I said, I am ill equipped to know enough to even be dangerous!

200 aren't just all coders. There's cloud management, there's developer relations, there's the Enyo team, and so forth.

Well, 200 is a pretty huge number, but maybe out of 200 employees only very few are computer programmers. However, being a webOS fan, I'd love to see more results, too. I'm not complaining.

Open source community includes people inside and outside the company. While the webos-ports guys are making great progress they are working in conjunction with the core engineering team, there is a combined effort going on.

"there is a combined effort going on" - for example?

Gotta say I saw these pictures and was (sadly) reminded of what *isn't* visible: webOS hardware, as with this old article:

http://www.webosnation.com/hp-touchstones-boardrooms

and this accompanying image:

{Jonathan}

I like that picture...

Derek:

I love WebOS nation, I come to it often for updates and the buzz about my touchpads.
( I have two of them and I love them ..... I even have a White Touchpad)
I appreciate the community feeling here, it's one of the best on the web.
You guys are awesome on the support.

But why do you guys continue to cover every minutiae about HP.
They have obviously abandoned and continue to remove themselves from WebOS.
HP has destroyed Palm and continue to break it up into little pieces.
Which in the end will have nothing to do with WebOS or Palm or Preware or our community.

Why don't we concentrate our energies on guys like Rod W. or Jason R.
Why don't we talk more about the Phoenix guys and preware
What to do with Enyo

How do we get WebOS on the Nexus 7
Can we get the WebOS on other tablets.

I mean the guys at WebOS internals are doing incredible things.

... Right now the gestures we can do with the new LunaCE are unique
to WebOS far far far ahead of iOS and Android.

These advances in WebOS are happening and continue.
Let's look forward

That HP-Board are just a bunch of dysfunctional brats.
Forget HP .... They have forgotten you!

In the end the HP-guys are only hurting themselves and their company
But it will be too late for them by the time they realize it.

BUT WEBOS LIVES ON !!!!!!

I imagine the all 200 people team will work officially for Gram and that this company it's going to release a Gram OS based on the open sourced webOS, much like the coming Jolla OS is based on Meego.

and maybe 200 people will use it if it has as much wild popularity as Jolla...

Not to be disparaging too much, but I feel for the last 200. I love my webOS phones and TouchPads; they are far nicer to use than my iPhone4s. But I only know 1 person who has one, and few people who remember the Pre and webOS. However, when I say "It's what Palm became when they changed from Palm" there is instant recognition. Every doctor I know over the age of 40 or so used to have a Palm.

HP blew it when they killed off the Palm brand. Whatever small amount of recognition was out there with TouchPads and Pre's is even further tanked by "Gram". Good going HP! Another monumental milestone in how to shoot your employees and products in the back....

and now you put them in a glorified warehouse!

"... so instead of renting some nondescript office buildings, they built their own":

No they didn't! They subleased some buildings from Philips, who actually leased them (on a ten year lease) from someone else, but moved out several years earlier.

Fact check much?!