HP Dismisses "Rumours" About Shutting Down WebOS Unit Again

HP Still Unsure About the Destiny of Palm/WebOS Division

by Anton Shilov
10/30/2011 | 10:52 PM

Hewlett-Packard has discontinued Palm tablets and smartphones based on webOS operating system, it also closed down Palm retail stores in the U.S. and started to fire webOS developers. Nonetheless, the company is still not ready to tell it loudly that the closure of the division is imminent and that in the best case scenario will be sold to a third-party.


According to an unofficial report from Guardian, the webOS division will be closed down by the end of November, 2011. Nonetheless, when speaking to Bloomberg news-agency, Todd Bradley, the head of personal systems group (PSG) at HP, said that the information was a completely "unfounded rumour". According to the high-ranking executive, HP is still weighing all the alternatives for the webOS/Palm business unit and may choose any option despite of the already made cuts in headcount as well as losses in the executive teams.

"The accolades for WebOS are broadly known. But there are business model issues that we are working through. Our focus with WebOS is how we utilize that phenomenal software and talent in our business. [...] I am leaning the same way as in our PC business. Get all the data we can and then make the right decision,” said Mr. Bradley.

The reason why HP does not want to make any final announcements about the webOS division is because it clearly understands the importance of tablets and smartphones for the future of its personal computer business unit.

Although the company has been offering Microsoft Windows-based tablets for some time now, they have never become popular enough to rival Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab slates. Given the proceedings with the webOS, it is clear that HP wants to tie its tablet strategy to either Microsoft Windows 8 in order to get support from Microsoft and its vast development community or Google Android and also benefit from broad amount of compatible software. Unfortunately for the company, there is no confidence in Windows 8 when it comes to tablets; meanwhile, the amount of Android tablets is high and it will be hard for HP to differentiate its products from competitors.