HP: webOS will still run PCs and printers
'We killed it. But it's not dead'
"We have opened the next chapter for webOS," developer relations headman Richard Kerris wrote in a blog post, putting a forward-looking spin on the mobile operating system's future.
"We will focus on the future of webOS as a software platform but we will no longer be producing webOS devices," he continued, insisting that athough dumping hardware production "was a difficult decision, it's one that will strengthen our ability to focus on further innovating with webOS as we forge our path forward."
On Monday, HP's webOS boss Stephen DeWitt continued the happy talk in an interview with AllThingsD. "At the end of the day, webOS is going to be a popular platform on a variety of connected devices," he predicted.
Exactly how that might be accomplished, however, remains unclear. Will HP license webOS to all comers? Partner with a single hardware vendor? Partner with different hardware vendors in different product areas? Sell the damn thing off and license it back for whatever uses it might find for it?
The oracle is silent.
You might chalk up DeWitt's indecision to a wee bit of shell shock. After all, he has been head of HP's webOS business unit for just over one month, having moved over from the company's Personal System Division – which is now also facing an uncertain future.
But DeWitt has faith. "We are continuing with our webOS-on-Windows work," and saying that HP still plans to put the operating system on PCs and printers.
Earlier this year, HP told The Reg that webOS-on-PC would appear in beta form in "coming months". Whether that time frame has been altered by last week's developments remains to be seen.
DeWitt also says that despite the fact that HP is backing away from webOS hardware, the Pre3 smartphone "is being launched in very selective areas," though he made it clear that "We're not broadly launching Pre3."
In addition, the Pre3's little brother, the compact Veer, will continue not only to be sold, but also to be supported and updated.
Although AllThingsD accompanies their article with a video of King Arthur's battle with the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, saying "webOS may look mortally wounded, but HP insists it's just a flesh wound", we fear that another well-known scene from that glorious retelling of the Arthurian legend might better describe the future of that spunky operating system. ®
Have HP hired Elop??
Sure looks like it.... and they never really recovered from being Carlied.
And I'd give my left nut if they made a decent calculator. My HP48s are getting a bit long in the tooth. Progress.... Bah!
2011 The year HP and Nokia both shot themselves in the foot
Sadly its shaping up to be a landmark year for incompetent corporate mismanagement in the tech industry. The year we lost WebOS & Symbian. :(
Its sickening how both WebOS & Symbian have died through a complete lack of management support, rather than for technical reasons. Both could have done really well if only their brainless management had been any good, but then I can't help thinking their brainless management has been the core problem which has held them back from success for years and in the case of WebOS that rot goes way back to the early days of PalmOs corporate mismanagement (and I say that as a fan of Palm devices and as an ex-PalmOs developer. I was a fan of Palm devices over a decade ago and I still have 3 of them in the cupboard even now, as I can't face getting rid of them, so I'm deeply sickened to see how its all ending when it could have been so good).
I also wonder how many WebOS & Symbian developers have been thrown out of work and into an uncertain future by all this madness. :(
Should other manufacturers use WebOS to create that "variety of connected devices" if HP isn't willing to put its money where its mouth is?
Nice one HP....
In less than a week you've managed to create so much confusion around webos that it's an epic FAILURE! You've done such a good job of killing any chance for webos to be a rival platform the consipiracy part of me thinks you might even have been paid off to do so.
Que webos to become a skin for windows 8 in the mighty HP Microsoft partnership????
I know it's late I'm off....
Los Gatos power station
If they could only attach a generator to Bill Hewlett's grave, I'm pretty sure they could supply the whole of Silicon Valley.