Whitman: We'll make a decision on webOS "in the next few months" | webOS Nation
 
 

Whitman: We'll make a decision on webOS "in the next few months" 93

by Derek Kessler Thu, 27 Oct 2011 5:53 pm EDT

Today’s conference call about HP’s decision to not perform a self-lobotomy revealed that the HP leadership had come to realize something the rest of us realized when the decision to split off the Personal Systems Group was announced: it was one of the dumbest decisions in the history of technology, and they’re lucky to have the chance to undo it before the damage gets even worse. HP CFO Cathy Lesjak noted that their analysis showed that by splitting the separated software and hardware companies would suffer a combined annual profit loss of around $1 billion annually due to the required duplication of expensive things like accounting, human resources, equipment, and real estate.

And as was bound to happen, and as has happened on every conference call since HP announced their intention to buy Palm back in April 2010, webOS came up. Of course, this time it was of the “what are you to do with webOS” variety, with Bill Schultz of Goldman Sachs prompting PSG EVP Todd Bradley on HP’s tablet strategy. Bradley responded that HP is going to continue to focus on their current tablet offerings (meaning the Windows 7 convertible tablets) as well as upcoming Windows 8 tablets, which he later noted they are working with Microsoft to create some “extraordinarily compelling” products.

Bradley also said that he, CEO Meg Whitman Lesjack, and former Palm CEO and current HP VP Jon Rubinstein are working “as quickly as we can to make the right decisions about [webOS],” with Whitman adding that they'll make a decision about “the long-term future of webOS within in HP over the next couple of months.”

We know, it’s a new spin on the all-too-familiar refrain of “please continue to wait” we’ve been getting from HP for the past eighteen months. Whitman did note that HP could find use for webOS in HP business other than the PSG, saying that “we have to make a more holistic decision around webOS.” We’re a bit biased, being on the consumer side of things, but we really hope that the “holistic decision” is not to utilize bits and pieces of webOS in servers and printers. That’s no dignified way to deal with a compelling product like webOS.

Source: HP

93 Comments

really!?!?!

in the coming months.... AGAIN!?!?!?!

Translation: Just long enough for Android to come out with a new version which steals the rest of our ideas that they haven't yet with IceCreamSandwitch. As soon as we have nothing novel left, we'll decide to start making devices again!

What is likely happening behind the scenes is they finally have a clue that with the right plan they could have made it work, albeit modestly. But they are trying to see if they can undue the damage to the brand that was done by the Leo debacle.

That whole affair was like a nuclear bomb to an already struggling brand. There is the obvious damage, but there is also the toxic nuclear reside that leaves most necessary partners unwilling to touch anything HP offers to the consumer space. They need to see if it's even possible to rebuild any sort of alliances - not to create hardware but just to keep the OS side viable.

Otherwise, they will be again making announcements that they will not be able to fulfill.

It may not be possible, probably won't be possible given the the level of fortitude at HP, because it won't be easy or quick. But I'm sure they are hoping, and I bet they are making some sort of attempt.

But if you had to bet money on the prospect of a revival... don't. Given the history of HP, they will probably just kill it off. Otherwise, there would not be so many jumping ship. Those leaving already know, but professional ethics, (and payoff packages) prevent them from speaking in public.

I'll but a windows 8 HP tablet, in the coming months... I hope Ruby isn't in charged in the webOS bidding negotiations. We all know what happened when he tried selling us the Pixi.

It's two months too long.

psh.. more like 6 months

please sale it to Apple!

Actually, now that I've been using IOS 5 on an iPhone 4s unit...I wish Apple would buy webOS.

You know how tiring it is swiping on a iPhone and nothing happening. Or how bout swiping down to pull up preferences and simply getting today's weather and stock quotes...ohh that's useful. I think Apple is Smoking Crack when it comes to IOS and has no clue what else is out there. Oh well, what I have to live with or switch to Android which is even worse. Sorli...

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only WebOS user who feels that way in IOS! I'm still a diehard (Pre+), but, everytime I use my Wife's iPhone 4, I feel 'digitally claustrophobic' if that makes any sense (like I'm being boxed in with a much more rigid, limited interface).

Watching the video challenge (for Meg W.), I empathized with the guy who was trying to use gestures on flight check-in terminals, etc..

Unfortunately, much of the 'groundbreaking goodness' that is WebOS is 2009 technology. Now that the other O/S's are starting to pick-up pieces of what made WebOS special -- it's not so unique anymore.

*IF* WebOS comes back from the grave, it would need another dose of 'special / new' to be relevant for everyone else but us P|C readers.

Frankly, I'm ok with them waiting some time to make a decision. Every day they don't decide to kill webOS is a day that the people behind the scenes still have a job and the work continues.

Hopefully they are moving forward on the current software update schedule. Best case, they are smart and embrace webOS as the awesome and future looking platform it is. Worse case, we get a few more software updates to fix the current issues and add a few more features.

Apparently, Richard Kerris didn't think so.

They don't jump back to Windows products because they are a future with WebOS hardware. This decision is ONLY regarding software. No more WebOS products from HP.

Are we talking about one of the biggest IT companies ... what have they been doing all the time, since they bought Palm?

For sure they missed the apple strategy..."shut up and deliver"...and they missed the slab phone innovation completely...

LTE is some different planet for them and they sure never heard about micro SD...

HDMI...what is this...

This is HP...glad I bought a Canon printer and not an HP one this year...

Options are plenty...

I don't think webos was their first priority since they lost money on it. I think the others that generated revenue they probably felt were more pressing.

That image is amazing.

My congratulations to Jon. Guy is indestructible. He managed to survive every catastrophe he created. Real player. Now he is finding solution for webOS again.

HP writes a bunch of sofetware for Windows PCs. webOS could just be used as the basis of their software packes from now on rather than the TouchSmart skin. Most of HP's current webOS offerings will be coded for Windows 8 but will keep the webOS look about them.

In fact, HP should just tell MS to take the webOS design. webOS looks more like the desktop version of Windows than WP7 does.

"Most of HP's current webOS offerings will be coded for Windows 8 but will keep the webOS look about them."

That doesn't make a lick of sense because Windows 8 has it's own design guidelines and WebOS themed apps would stick out like a sore thumb.

So they didn't do this analysis before making the earlier decision to spin off the group? The shareholders should rise up in arms and sell... oh wait, they did that immediately. Then they should fire the board for malfeasance.

We knew it, I just can't believe how stupid they are. I guess their millions in golden parachutes keep them company at night, but they shouldn't be able to sleep if they had souls!

Same CFO - two opposite analysis in two months :-))

well things can change but i'm not sure it's different. I think the numbers are the same. I think you just have a different CEO saying the cost is not worth it now when the other CEO thought it was perfectly worth it. But i'm not sure the CFO's analysis of the cost is any different.

Totally agree, C "Not" F O. What an idiot she is. I listen to the call during Joker Leo's decision. She said the numbers are bad on webOS devices , like she didn't check them before buying Palm.

Me thinks , HP is scared of Microsoft rightfully so. Half of their revenues come from the PSG, so they better listen to Microsoft. They need Microsoft to fend off ORACLE. On a side note Jon Ruby probably washed Palm/webOS off with the sale. Looks like he saved Elevation partners when he did the deal. Its like , "hey I tried to do something good, didn't work out, so I saved money for Elevation partners who brought me here".

Cowards.

Exactly. The board and few key executives should be booted out.

HP is probably just hoping everyone would just forget about webOS in a couple of months, or they just can't find a buyer stupid enough to pay them what they want for webos.

without hardware or only some kind of certainty about the future development webOS will be pretty much dead and worthless in a couple month.

windows 8 will catch up fast on the tabletmarket and android will become even more webOS-like, so why should anyone try where two companies allready failed?

For me that is bad news.

i do have to question why HP would want to spend the money to develop an OS when there's android and windows 8 out there right now.

Because Windows 8 is unknown and could fail.
Because Android is risky. Too many players, too many lawsuits plus you have to pay the Microsoft Tax.

Its foolish to abandon webOS. If they are cash strapped, they should cut the size and keep making limited devices. May be just "One Phone" and "One improved Touchpad". That would do it. It takes real guts, sort of Applesque to do this. HP is not interested in innovation/improvement they just want to be the middleman collecting the commission.

so far nobody will buy the tablets unless they are 99 bucks so even if they make new ones people aren't gonna start buying them full price.

The reason i say windows phone and android is then they save tons of money because they aren't paying to develop the os or to pay developors and companies to make apps.

Android and windows unknowns? I don't know. Seems we know that the webos devices they put out didn't sell well at all. The pre, pre plus, pre 2, pixi, veer all sold poorly. So that's a webos known. We know the touchpad didn't sell until they slashed the price to 99 bucks. from a business standpoint that's not a sustainable loss. Thats like 200 on every devices. I think the down side of windows 8 and android is slimmer then paying to do webos.

Windows 8 is unknown and Android is known to everyone, we need differentiation, here comes webOS.

Only on a site like this could Windows 8 be considered "unknown" and people talk about WebOS like it's serious competition for it.

Windows 8 will sell millions of copies simply because of the upgrade cycle.

Exactly. the great "risky" and "unknown" Windows 8 versus the sure shot of dumping billions more into WebOS.

Sad and funny at the same time....

The devices are still flying off the shelves at $299. It's the $599 that everyone had an issue with.

Case in point: Kindle Fire.

Where are Touchpads flying off the shelves at $299?

I checked Amazon yesterday, and the 16GB began at $199 and the 32GB at $235. That matches up with eBay and Craigslist price points, and it's not like every auction ends with a buyer.

time is of the essence. mobile market are changing so quickly, a few months mean a whole generation. they should restart pre3 NOW!

Pre3 was about right in February. It was stale in July. It's dead now.

June 2036, ROFL!!!
They way HP mentions "coming months", "coming soon", "next few months", etc, etc. It may as well be 2036.

Personally, I hope that Microsoft buys webOS, and puts as much of the best feature of webOS into their Windows Phones and Windows 8!

They already have..

Good point. I mean other features like an improved multitasking and the ability to have a full multitasking. The drop down menu for quick access to thing like airplane mode, silence,etc. So while you're right that a lot of webOS is already there, I'd like to see more. I think it be better for Microsoft if it were official too.

I know some people don't like Microsoft, and I didn't used to either, but I am coming around. I really find the "metro" style aesthetically pleasing.

No thanks on "full multitasking". there's a reason why the battery life and responsiveness on Windows Phones and iPhones runs rings around WebOS ones.

Nothing wrong with full multitasking when it is optional and visible to the user. The "card" model is the best m-t graphical interface by far.... Wish windows and Mac and the dozens of X-windows GUI "shells" would recognize the utility of a "cards" like model to visually represent what is going on in the background (and better, at what priority!) There is much potential being ignored here.

It's like a bad, but somehow still ongoing, joke on webOS fans. In the coming months.

Stay tuned!

retards

Good job, HP - noone will care when you finally make a decision. Every day you wait:
-Android co-ops the best features of webOS (Ice Cream Sandwich has webOS style cards and notifications)
-Developers abandon the platform (how can they hang around when you give them no clear direction? Why develop for a platform that has such uncertainty regarding the number of future users and, therefore, financial returns)
-Users get frustrated and move to other platforms (there are competing choices!!)
-Windows 8 gets closer to release which will be PSG's default tablet platform - the closer you get to Dec 2012, the less sense it makes to try to establish your own OS.

This is a real shame - webOS could have been a key part of HP having control of its own future from a software perspective - webOS gave HP the potential to control their own ecosystem and destiny. Stalling/delay only ensures that HP never will - HP will always be a low-margin OEM of Microsoft or Google software.

It seems increasingly likely to me that HP sells webOS if they can (and a buyer may just want webOS for the associated patents) and, if they can't, they simply switch back to their comfort zone and move to tablets where they are an OEM with MS or Android software pre-loaded.

Way to take a strong, potentially winning hand and blow it. Meg/Tom, you have to get some direction on webOS asap - else the decision will be made for you.

and each day they wait they work harder at HP on new Windows 8 tablets.

WebOS doesn't give HP a chance to "control an ecosystem".

The book/music/video components of HP's "ecosystem" for WebOS were all owned by other companies. For it to run on PCs, it has to run alongside or on top of Windows. HP had no gaming component like Xbox Live for Windows Phones or GameCenter for iOS.

Pouring billions more into WebOS wouldn't change the fact that HP has to partner with a LOT of people and would never be fully in control of their destiny.

They don't have the "billions" to pour into it anyway. The Autonomy acquisition cleared out the majority of their cash-on-hand. All a WebOS revival would do is erase the meager profit margins from their PC business.

Sounds a lot like "in the coming months" like the info for us Pre- users that used to be posted on http://ws.hpwebos.com/WebOsChecker/serialnumberinitial.htm that was intended for us to "Check our options.

I can't see this as much of an improvement over Leo.

I'm limping along with my loved but Obsolete
Pre-, with No option to upgrade. When it dies, I'll be forced to switch platforms (still undecided as to which one) - doubt that HP/palm or Whoever would when me back, Especially if I'm under a 2 year contract.

One can only guess at the number of former webOS phone users there are that currently fall into this position (though I'm sure HP knows exactly how many)

So with in the "Coming months" Oh, I meant to say "in the next few months" they will have a good reason to Shut Down webos.

They need to S**T or get off the pot now

I was prepared to jump ship in Feb 2012, when my verizon contract allows me to change phones, but I had trouble with pre+ and they sent me refurbed pre 2. 3 buggy pre 2's later (2 week span) they sent me a NEW pre 2, which works fine, still under old contract. I'll wait a bit.

whats interesting to me is that "HP CFO Cathy Lesjak noted" a spin off would cost "$1 billion annually." And that was a reason NOT to do it.

Well she also said they lost $332 million on webos last quarter and that would rise if they continues. Even at just $332 bill a quarter that puts it over $1.3 billion loss annually. If 1 billion is too much to lose annually on a spin off i have to wonder if $1.3 billion loss annually may spell the same fate for webos.

Well, to be fair, let's compare apples to apples. PSG (PCs) represents a mature market with razor-thin margins - less than 5% - losing supply chain and back-end (HR/Sales/etc) efficiencies could be the difference between eeking out a profit vs a loss.

webOS products, on the other hand, were in the immature, rapidly growing mobile market - which could be considered (and is, by some companies) a growing market where the winners are not decided yet. HP spent a lot of money marketing webOS and then pulled the plug early - basically guaranteeing a loss before they gained any market traction.

Leo said that HP could have continued to invest in webOS but "success was not guaranteed" so they decided not to. Of course, in the same earnings call, he said that "the tablet effect is real" which begs the question of why you want to exit the tablet category in the first place. Either way, highest likelihood is on HP making Windows and possibly Android tablets - that is the lowest risk/most likely bang for the buck decision in what appears to be a cautious HP Board that doesn't want to take on undue risk.

Optimizing the value of webOS = selling off webOS and associated patents and returning to the guaranteed low risk strategy of being a no-name OEM. Now that Meg has announced that PSG is staying, this is the safest course of action.

Basically, HP briefly flirted with the idea of becoming an Apple-like integrated, high-margin player where they owned the end-to-end product (HW and SW) and blinked. I'll be surprised if they reverse that course now. My guess is that HP will revert to where they were BEFORE HP bought Palm once the webOS sale completes. They will then make a slow shift into more enterprise software going forward.

that wasn't leo. That was Cathy speaking at that time. She said "“We would expect a larger loss in Q4 if we continued to operating webOS in its current form,” “Continuing investing in webOS would take one to two years and increase risk without a clear return.”"

That wasn't Leo just talking. That was the same person, the CFO Cathy saying "two years" "without a clear return." Again that's with "a larger loss in Q4."

Sure the tablet market in general is immature but i think there is still a reality that all the webos devices, ever, struggled to get sales. It's not like sales were likely to sky rocket. I don't think devices like phones typically start off with slow sales and then get huge. They they tend to taper off after a big surge in the beginning as i understand. It's not like the longer time went on the more pres got sold per month.

But i mention all that because of the point you make about taking the lowest risk/most likely bang for the buck decision of windows or android. The webos route is definitely costly and not guaranteed a big return where as going windows or android may be a less risky and thus sounder business decision. Especially considering HP does not exactly have a stellar record of management or stylish design to carry them.

people hate to hear it but i still think they'll either eventually go much more the way Leo said because from every thing i read that is where the high margin stuff. I actually think that's why they aren't splitting it. I think even to go enterprise and sell servers and services it probably helps to be able to sell some laptops as well.

I wonder if WebOS will end up in the ARM servers HP announced two days ago.

As someone that deals with Linux and Windows servers every day, I can tell you this unequivocally:

No. No. No. NO.

Sorry, boys and girls, but I'm out. Heading to android, as ICS is the closest thing to webOS that I have seen, and the hardware is like moving from a Pinto to a Porsche. I'll still keep (and love) my touchpads, but I'm through waiting. If something comes up, I can always come back "in the coming months"! Take care, all, and thanks for being such a great community!

Give Meg & HP some credit
I believe her background is such that she can appreciate the importance of smaller, well connected devices for both HP's consumer & enterprise business
I hope she can also appreciate the enormous leg up HP has with webOS
HP reads these forums, I am certain

Meg Whitman,
CEO of HP

Dear Meg,

I hope it’s ok to call you Meg, I voted for you in your run for Governor of California although I’m a democrat.

I am writing to you today concerning webOS, and it’s future, or non future. I must say I am scratching my head at the decision of HP to discontinue building devices using webOS. In a world that is going mobile your company seems to have painted itself into a corner now that you don’t have any possible contenders to offer the public.

Let me explain myself and my background. I’ve used Palm products since the beginning, and waited and waited for the first Pre to come out. Bought mine and those of all my employees on day one, as well as my Touch Pad on day one too. I bought into the dream that Palm started and HP promised to continue; a fully cloud integrated digital ecosystem that wasn’t Apple. It’s really that simple, you guys with webOS are the only contenders with the big white fruit company.

The idea that I could have a document on my phone and edit it, save it and open it on my pad, save it and open it on my desktop or laptop, save it and… Well, you get the picture. The thought that you were going to integrate touch-to-share into your printers and maybe even laptops and keyboards to be used with desktops was thrilling, I couldn’t wait to upgrade everything when the time came. We were promised a real cloud presence backed by HP so we could access any of our music, documents, files and contacts from any cloud connected device, all tied together beautifully with webOS. And then you killed it.

So I am asking what you have to offer me now? Me, the personal and business consumer. What makes HP any better than any of the others? For the time being you are bigger but I wonder if that will be the case in five years. Everyone is copying the best of webOS, everyone will have something that looks and acts something like webOS except HP, and I’m trying to make some sense of it all, but can find none.

Bring it back, you can do it. You can say “Hey, we think we made a mistake, and we’re gonna fix it.”. I do it as a business owner all the time and my clients really appreciate it. Start by finding a carrier for Pre3. Any carrier will do. Get it out fast, I bought two of them on the web, one from Germany with a QWERTZ keyboard, and one from AT&T that will be arriving in the next day or so. It’s really a great phone and should have come out a long time ago.

Start selling Touch Pads again. Sell them at twenty dollars or so over cost. You’ve already got the number two position and it makes no sense to walk away from that.

Contract with HTC or someone else to build them if you like, but make a slab form factor phone shortly after. I don’t want one but plenty of people do, reference the white fruit company. You see, an HP phone is about the only product besides laptops that your enterprise customers will take home with them, and there’s real marketing mileage there.

My company is due to upgrade nearly everything and I’ve been waiting for the webOS enabled stuff to arrive. I know I’m small potatoes (6 desktops, 5 laptops, 14 printers and 11 mobile phones) but it’s all HP, every piece of it, and I’m trying to stay loyal to you, but you’re not giving me too many reasons to stick around.

Give me that reason! C’mon, bring back webOS from the grave and build that dream where all my digital needs at work and home are integrated and interlaced when I want them to be. Be the company of innovation and thrill us all; the way Apple does, and we’ll all forgive the lapse in judgment and stay where we’ve always been, at home with HP whether we’re in the office or not! It’s a mobile world, be a mobile company!

Thanks for reading this.

Sincerely,

Well said Wade, ditto +++

Indeed nicely said :)

So if HP goes full in on Windows 8, you'll punish them by going to ANOTHER computer and/or printer manufacturer that will be doing the same thing?

I was afraid this was going to be an emotional, irrational screed, but I guess no reason to worry about that, eh?

keyword: "differentiators"

with Windows run-off-the-mill products, HP has none (oh sorry, they have two - they are BIG, and American - which makes them costly, comparing to more agile offshore competitors, and sh*tty for the price - most of the time)

I for one would go with whatever brand offers me the same specification/comparable quality hardware, for lower price, in such a case. As most of other people would. That makes HP a contender (and the biggest - thus least agile one) in a race to the bottom. Having accountants/corporate careerists as leaders, and a huge bloat of American bureaucratic HQ to drag along with them (just to note, I don't think there is anything wrong with HP's HQ being "American" - Google, Apple, MS all have them & are doing fine, and I applaud all of them for their agility/coherent vision, and communicating that vision to all important external stakeholders - but the fact remains, in HP's case it is bloated, bureaucratic, costly, inept, and a huge financial/decision making drag)

Good luck in THAT marathon, HP, you will need all of it...

Did you read his letter? He threatened to take his WINDOWS business elsewhere if they didn't dump more money into a completely unreleated product. In fact, he demands they do so at minimal profit basically duplicating the "race to the bottom" you bemoan on the PC side (of course, he offers no means through which they can recoup this lost revenue, but no surprise there....)

That sounds reasonable or rational to you?

No, you're missing the point: Anyone can build a windows device, only HP can build a webOS device.... That makes them different from everyone else. If they aren't building devices with the os I love then they are just like everyone else. **** at this point I no longer have a HP sales rep to call on me! Levono does, and they're knocking on my door and making some pretty good offers. A while back I just said "No." across the board, I'm waiting for webOS devices.

Now I'm thinking "Why not look at the other guys as well as HP? What has HP done for me lately? And, being more than a little miffed at HP wouldn't it be wise to communicate my displeasure in the only way I can- by not giving them any more of my money that I work so hard to earn?"

So yeah, in a way you're right; if no one has webOS then buying from someone else will get me nearly the same product as if I had bought from HP but let me ask you this: Do yo continue to go back to a restrant or even a fast food joint after you've had a bad experience there? If you warned your friends away would it be an "emotional, irrational screed"?

So, go fock yourself jerrydan3! How's that for an "emotional, irrational screed"?

send this to her and cc todd and VJ (printers division head) if you have not already done so

meg.whitman@hp.com
todd.bradley@hp.com
vyomesh.joshi@hp.com

webOS on phones looks absolute BUT webOS on my HP TP turning to windows 8, Definitely a possible solution for HP! I'm still hanging on to hope!

Well, this certainly confirms that none of the interested parties are interested enough to buy the OS.

Since there is no interest, and no deal, HP will have to make some decisions.

This really sucks, I need a new phone. Verizon keeps replacing my Pre+ because of keyboard issues but they refuse to give me a 2.

I may have to go back to Sprint.

I agree, I think this tells me they are mothballing it and didn't get what they wanted from potential buyers.

The test will be if the remaining software engineers are laid off in the next couple of weeks. I believe they will be.

They've fallen too far behind over the past year anyway due to HP's total failure to turn the platform and hardware around after purchasing it. And WebOS innovations (all of which pre-date HP's purchase) are slowly being incorporated into most other platforms, even Meego (another dead OS) has good multitasking on the new Nokia N9.

And HP realizes that Windows 8 will likely crush all non-iPad tablets.

I thought they (HP) acknowledged that the problem with the touchpad was hardware, not software. How are they going to do better with Windows 8?

And while I'm intrigued by Windows 8, I don't see how they will make a version that can be light enough that it won't drain a battery in five minutes.

... then it'll get delayed until Q2 2012, then when they finally say something, no one will want to buy it. Can't keep up with the Joneses if you have no hardware being sold.

Yes, WebOS developers trying for innovation after being fed the scraps from the PSG division... versus the Apple juggernaut and Android's 50% (but at least it's still decent) profit margin. Good luck with that.

am I the only one who thinks Microsoft has something to do with webOS disappearing?

"Whitman says HP will continue to focus its tablet efforts on hardware running Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8" (another source)

did you notice how Microsoft spread tons of marketing on how webOS devs are leaving to go to Microsoft.... hmmmm.... something tells me someone got paid.

Sadly enough, her comments today make no sense. Saying they'll come up with a decision for webOS in 2 months is ridiculous. If someone doesn't buy it, there won't be anymore webOS.

You fired everyone... did you forget that HP?

LOL.....Microsoft paid them off, yeah? Because being the number one MICROSOFT PC manufacturer isn't incentive enough?

Yea, that's the whole point. M$ says "no more windows licenses for you!" And what can HP do? Well, Leo had an idea. "F[you M$, well get out of the PC market altogether then!"

It was a nice try, but M$ has other contacts and Leo was out on his ****

So face it folks, HP is just a division of Microsoft. Now Nokia is too.

And too think Microsoft's anti-trust cases just came to a (wimpy) close. How sweet.

Why doesn't Microsoft do the same to stop Acer, Sony, Samsung, and all of the other PC manufacturers that make Android phones to force them to switch to Windows Phone exclusively?

I mean, as long we're doing this tinfoil hat style......

Microsoft doesn't have to bribe the #1 PC manufacturer. It's already a symbiotic relationship, and if they wanted to do such a thing, they would have done it when the HP Slate was viable and HP was listed as a partner for Windows Phone 7 in the Feb. 15 announcement.

No kidding. This was the best move for HP as was mentioned several times since HP made the stupid move to acquire webOS.

The sooner they dump webOS and officially kill it, the better off HP will be.

Haven't you all put 2 and 2 together yet. M$ is behind this. Just like Nokia. Just like what they are trying to do to Android.

Yea it's true. THE MOBSTER$ OF IT STRIKE AGAIN!

We know, we know... Microsoft makes an exclusive deal with HP to sell ONLY Windows 8 on their tablets in the future for slightly more cash than Dell gets, while HP is stuck with the tab for webOS. Licensure is basically off the table, because even with MS bullying Android vendors out of licensing fees it's still probably cheaper than webOS.

The decision is to sell to another business (if Nikon is on the 'hot list', it's a limping negotiation) or fold it.

I'm not thinking "webOS Suicide Watch" again just yet, but the longer past June 2012 they wait, the less it'll matter. Like the AmigaOS, we'll be a bunch of diehards touting it's benefits, but everyone else will have moved on.

"Licensure is basically off the table, because even with MS bullying Android vendors out of licensing fees it's still probably cheaper than webOS."

..I bet they would be able to fire up some patent troll lawsuits against webOS as well, if it was ever worth it.

Secondly, NO ONE will license it off HP, after that tragicomedy of utter incompetence, they have displayed in mobile space, since acquisition of Palm.

Would you buy bricks for building/investing into your estate from a company that have demonstrated time and again, that they have no clue about building trade, just because they want to sell them, and they are BIG?

Here's what I don't get: people are happy that they're keeping the PSG....because it makes sense to stay with a lucrative Microsoft-based business.

But it's bad that they're using that for tablets too?

Umm...why?

...I would not necessarily call a high-tech company/branch making a what, 5% profit (? correct me, I am not sure about the figure) "lucrative". "Profitable", yes, but "lucrative"?

Again, I am not a native speaker, but you can get similar margins by selling potatoes...

Fantastic letter Wade! Make sure to send it to Meg and team.

M$ is probably pulling some strings in fear of WebOS.

As someone mentioned, if HP just created a few WebOS devices and let the consumers decide, we'll take it from there.

I think WebOS will survive, whether at HP or somewhere else. See, HP will either make a decision to invest in it or sell it off. Either way, WebOS will live on, but it will be a bumpy ride.

Some mobile phone company will at least pick it up, and then, low and behold, in addition to their smartphones, they start making tablets with it, and hey, while we're at it, why don't we make some printers to interact with it all. :-)

I guarantee that 1 year from now, if it isn't HP with the Pre3, then some other mobile phone company will have it.

Hang in there, it will be a long and bumpy ride, but if you believe in WebOS, it will still be around to fight for life another day.

Sadly, you all are missing the point. Go read zerohedge for a month. Read it religiously, not closely. Everyone that has done this at my behest has started to understand the issues that are truly facing the planet. Yes there is a whole lot of stuff there that is complicated, but there's lots that isn't. Over a 30 day period of just scanning the front page you will begin to understand.

The HP board are members of the global elite and they know what is coming (see zerohedge) and they are/were simply trying to get into a defensive position. I'm sure it makes sense viewed from their position that the unwashed masses will rise up, while at the same time not spend. So it makes sense to bet long on enterprise as they are 1%ers and will pay their bills. Hence exit retail and try to replicate what IBM did. Sadly, it's too late. IBM was smart and got out before the crash suckering the Lenovo folks out of their cash.

It's the same sort of "fencing of the commons"(wikipedia that) that was behind the acquisition of Palm. Yes Hurd shared Ruby's vision, and ours, of WebOS as a playah, but the elites of the board simply wanted to make sure the patents didn't find their way to the 99%. The Nortel patents sale, the Googorolla deal...again all defensive maneuvers as monopolists "plunge their blood funnels" wildly to stock their larders for the coming winter.

Take this as a warning and a fact. If they thought we were just going through a minor speed bump they would've stayed the course on WebOS. They know the future, and they are just battening down the hatches and hoping to ride out the longest darkest storm in a century. It is going to take a long time to unwind six hundred trillion (yes with a T!) in derivatives and other toxicity, plus bankruptcies by every organisation from hamlets, to nation states, PLUS the collapse of most, if not all currencies. When you see the facts they are faced with, you can imagine these board members see themselves as visonary protectors of Dave and Bill's, their fellow swells, legacy.

Uhm... dear Meg,

would you *pretty please, with lots of cherrys on top* consider to make a decision regarding those poor lobotomized monkeys that signed Leo's plan to split HP, too?

Please don't send them back to the test facility. Instead, go and buy some nice Zoo for them to live there, with tons of bananas and maybe some typewriters or old computers to keep them happy.

Otherwise, stupid ideas like that (regarding the whole market, not only webOS devices) might pop up every few years, ruining your business (and therefore mine, too).

"in the next few months".

Hmmm, sounds a lot like

"in the coming months".

Been there. Heard that.

Two executives connected to webOS gone in one week, layoffs in the webOS unit. The handwriting is on the wall.

Way to go HP. WebOS is already dead. You announce a decision to cut making the Touchpad and WebOS phones. You fire everyone on the hardware side, you make it uncertain on what you'll do with the OS, software side. So what are the engineers, product management, marketing,etc going to do with uncertainty? LEAVE! Bottom line, I think the intellectual property which is in the head of the engineers are gone. Even if you try to save it the creative minds are gone. Give the technology away to Google so they can improve their andriod OS. I'm tired of waiting.

Only hope for webos is a new player.. HP is to dedicated to Windows..

We need someone with an ecosystem.. and from what I have read, WebOS has the basic underpinnings of androuid and therefore should be able to run android apps in an emulator like rim, but better since it is more compatiable..

If they got a good emulator to run the apps smooth like it is native, then that would suffice for those app heads..

I think the biggest mistake is hoping you could be a huge tablet success without a nice userbase on smartphones..

so goal # 1 should be: Release 2 new slab phone (3.5 and 4.0), and a 3.5 verticle slider (pre 3 but slimmer and better hardware to compete). Get a nice userbase and then goal #2, shortly after goal #1, release 2 tablets touchpad size and touchpadgo size.

Also before you release the phones make the phones run webos 3.0 so they all share the same native apps.

But sadly.. as someone else mentioned webOS was hands down the best mobile user interface in 2009.. now almost in 2012 it is still the best IMO, but the other OS' have caught up greatly in terms of UI and multi-tasking.. and sadly, webOS UI is just not as much of a beneficial differentator from other OS to the masses, since other OS' are copying aspects of what made webOS great..

I seriously sat at a table with my friends who are a mix of android and apple users and showed the how webOS UI is better, easier, and more efficent in its multitasking.. but they can't see it.. I got them to admit, Flicking an app to close is easier then iOS double tap home button, hold app for a few seconds and then tap a small x. But that is all I could get them to admit...

Once someone, like google, makes a bulit-in inductive charger for their phones, the take over of webOS differentiators will pretty much be complete..

Spend billions to run WebOS as a glorified Android emulator when you can simply make Android devices with minimal initial investment?

I'm befuddled as to why HP doesn't consult this board more often for advice on major business decisions. You guys have all of the answers to make WebOS successful. Odd that no one at HP or any of WebOS' countless suitors will listen...

Nobody can understand that when you start next to nothing and then discover you can do most anything in time. WebOS fans have been deprived of quality hardware and a vast selection of apps. So those of us who prefer webOS have had to find every little thing it's capable of despite its limitations.

I have not retired my Pre+ but it is no longer my primary phone. I've gone with iPhone 4S and I keep the Pre+ handy to fill my needs where the iPhone can't. In the meantime, I will be watching Matias and what he's doing with Android. If webOS were to be reborn into something else, I would prefer it be at the hands of a webOS veteran.

I can't think of a compelling business rationale for HP to develop webOS hardware at this point. As you can see with Windows 8 and Lion, the move is towards a unified PC/mobile experience. Now that Google has merged the phone/tablet OSs with ICS, I would expect them to merge Android with Chrome soon. WebOS has no PC counterpart. And even as a standalone, its almost impossible to see them breaking into the market in a meaningful way. Microsoft has had a critical success with WP7, has several hardware makers onboard, has substantial developer support, and a massive marketing budget, yet they have been struggling at 5% marketshare for the past year. WebOS has none of those things. Even if you prefer webOS to WP7, its just that - a preference. both have pluses and minuses, and one is hardly superior to the other.
It saddens me b/c I prefer webOS to the others, but the truth is evident.

I think webOS probably has spot #2 as the highest amount of tablet users out there. "Over the next couple of months" from now, that may not be the case, so they better act fact if they want to "optimize the value of webOS software going forward".

Been reading P|C for many many months now, but haven't been compelled to comment until now. I think if you look at the whole situation, you will find that other mobile OSes are closing in on all the great features in WebOS. After my Pixi died, I upgraded to a WP7 phone to find that (with the latest software update) it has over 90% of the stuff I liked in WebOS (including card views). Another update or two in the coming months might just take that closer to 100%. Look at Android too - with Ice Cream Sandwich (awful name, really) they are also bringing in cards and WebOS style multi-tasking.

Point is that given maybe 6 months or less, both android and windows platforms will probably have just about all the features we love(d) in webOS. With HP not producing devices, and even if some manufacturer picks this up, by the time we might see another device, there will be no reason anyone would buy those devices if they can get the same or better with another phone/OS.

Sorry to say, but I think HP might have put the nail in this coffin (yes, simply by saying "wait a couple months") Just sad really... here I was waiting to get my hands on a Pre3, but nope... can't have it they said. Really sad story, but you know, I've moved on. And to those of you holding out, I know it sounds hard, but it may be time to let go. Don't mean it in a bad way, but webOS looks like it's on life support with no chance of recovery. I love it like you do, but it may be time to let it go.

I looked really closely at windows phone and I really liked what I saw. I went with the Pre3 anyway because I could get my hands on a couple for not too much, and I really liked the idea of being off contract... But WP7 looks pretty good...

Pre3 for Sprint please.

This doesn't sound good:

HP to hold on to PC division – but sources say it will finally kill webOS
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/oct/28/hp-psg-keep-webos-kill