After HP announced that they’ll no longer be producing webOS products, and after watching people stampede their local Best Buy stores in order to snatch up one of those the newly discounted $100 TouchPads, folks started wondering if webOS, which has some amazing potential, will disappear, never to be seen again? According to two internal HP memos leaked to PreCentral, webOS will live, but now in the way that you’d expect. The first memo, from Todd Bradley, Head of HP’s Personal Systems Group (PSG), otherwise known as the division that is responsible for personal computers and webOS devices, and the division that HP wants to either sell off or spint out, says: “The teams in webOS software engineering, worldwide developer relations and webOS software product marketing join the Office of Strategy and Technology (OS&T) under Shane Robison. This change is effective immediately. The remainder of the webOS team, under Stephen DeWitt, will continue to report into PSG; later today, Stephen will reach out to these teams with an update.”
As for the second memo, this time from Shane Robison, he details how things are going to work: “The webOS software engineering, developer relations, and software product marketing teams will become a part of OS&T, effective immediately. Ari Jaaksi, senior vice president leading webOS software engineering, and Richard Kerris, vice president leading webOS worldwide developer relations, will report to me. Lee Ott, the senior director of webOS software product marketing, will report to Ari. The webOS software employees join HP Cloud Services, Vertica, and Business Solutions as an incubating business group. However, while these teams will be joining OS&T we have decided not to initiate any integration activities. These teams will continue to operate under their current systems and processes until further notice.”
Robison ends his memo by saying that webOS “is still a great asset”, but fails to detail how exactly the company will bring it back to market. Will HP license out webOS and if so will companies want to jump onboard a train that fell off the tracks shortly after leaving the station?
Time will tell.