Russell Holly · Dec 1, 2011 at 08:00 am

Is WebOS Only Mostly Dead? We’ll Find Out in Two Weeks

There isn’t a sadder story in the mobile world than that of WebOS. It had such potential as a platform. Multitasking was pretty good, the modders and hackers really took a liking to how much you could play with it, and it really seemed like it had a pretty bright future ahead of it. Unfortunately, it suffered from a sever case of really awful hardware. With the exception of the Touchpad (which has a forum on XDA), which was sadly too late to save the platform, all of the hardware that ran WebOS was inadequate. Having already suffered the blow of being sold to HP, the platform seemed like it was on its was out after the TouchPad failed. With the livelihood of over 600 employees, not to mention my desire to have a fourth contender in the smartphone fight hanging in the balance, there’s been quite a bit of pressure to know what the next step is for WebOS. According to a recent interview with the new CEO of HP, Meg Whitman, we’re only two short weeks away from knowing for sure.

According to an interview in Le Figaro, Whitman plans to announce their decision regarding the wayward platform in two weeks. She was recently quoted saying that HP currently “didn’t know what kind of company it was” and that they were still figuring that out. Since her arrival as CEO, Whitman has already recanted the decision to spin off the computer side of HP’s business, so who is to say that the same won’t happen to WebOS? Plus, there’s the possibility that WebOS could be licensed out? The rumors have been gathering that Samsung and HTC might be looking for ways to escape the Android bootprint should Motorola and Google join forces, could HP be planning to just be the software delivery mechanism to WebOS? Right now it’s all speculation, but what is certain is that this decision in two weeks will do a great deal to shape the public opinion of Meg Whitman as CEO.

Oh, Meg Whitman, I wish I could say that I had any more faith in your ability to direct WebOS than I did from your predecessor. Seeing as how your job was to evict Mr. Apotheker from his former position as CEO and your complete and total lack of experience in either the PC industry or the Smartphone industry, my guess is you would like to make WebOS disappear. You know that dissolving a 600 employee strong department will seriously tarnish public opinion of you early on in your new career, and you know that as of right now WebOS has been nothing more than a tremendous expense to the company you are now tasked to run. So please, for your sake, have an actual plan in two weeks.


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Russell Holly

Russell Holly is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. View Russell Holly's posts and articles here.
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