Print 24 comment(s) - last by kmmatney.. on Sep 21 at 9:34 AM

HP is laying off much of its webOS team.  (Source: 20th Century Fox)

WebOS had a strong contingent of hardcore fans who swore it was the best mobile operating system. Those fans will surely be disappointed as the platform inches closer to its final resting place.  (Source: Gizmodo)
Hewlett-Packard continues to drive the remains of Palm into the ground

All Things Digital is reporting that Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ), currently the world's largest maker of personal computers, is in the process of laying off 525 employees in its webOS business unit.

A spokesperson for the company comments, "As communicated on August 18, HP will discontinue the development of webOS devices within the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, which ends Oct 31 2011. As part of this decision, the webOS GBU [general business unit] is undergoing a reduction in workforce. Today’s actions are part of this initiative. During this time, we stand by our commitment to our webOS customers and will work to ensure that support and service for customers are not adversely affected. HP is exploring ways to leverage webOS software."

The layoffs are yet another sign that webOS is nearing a full death.  

HP acquired the mobile operating system when in 
purchased Palm in April 2010 for $1.2B USD.  At first it continued to develop the operating system and release new hardware [1][2].  But with the arrival on new CEO Léo Apotheker, the company decided to ditch its family of mobile products.

pulled its TouchPad tablet after less than seven weeks on the market, to webOS fans' dismay.  While HP insists that it may still use webOS in other applications (such as printers), the prospects of webOS continuing to be a serious mobile device operating system look bleak given the staff cuts and internal reports that development on the platform is grinding to a halt.

HP recently announced plans to 
spin off its PC business, the Personal Systems Group (PSG). When that happens, there's a slim chance there could be a webOS revival.  Alternatively, the PSG (the HP unit responsible for mobile devices, personal computers, etc.) may opt to adopt a third party operating system, such as Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone 7 or Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system.

A sale of webOS remains a possibility, as well, should a player like Google express enough interest.

Many shareholders are quite upset about HP's decision to kill webOS and spin off their PC business.  A consortium of top shareholders 
have filed suit and are seeking class action status, claiming Mr. Apotheker deceived shareholders by failing to disclose plans of the radical changes in advance.  As a result, the shareholders argue, HP's stock price was artificially inflated.

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The Future
By johnsmith9875 on 9/20/2011 9:39:34 AM , Rating: 2
Well if you had any hopes for your $99 Tablet's future, they've just been dashed.

Apotheker is just going to ride this flaming chariot all the way down, isn't he.

RE: The Future
By MozeeToby on 9/20/2011 10:00:33 AM , Rating: 2
It's a shame too, I actually really like WebOS, with a bit of polish and developer support it could rival iOS or Android easily. Maybe I should go make a Kickstarter project with the goal to raise money to buy out WebOS from HP and release it as OSS. Personally, I'd love to see some of the unique WebOS features ported into Android.

RE: The Future
By johnsmith9875 on 9/20/2011 10:19:32 AM , Rating: 2
What's sad is from this point it looks like HP will hold onto WebOS until it becomes an truly orphan product.

RE: The Future
By drycrust3 on 9/21/2011 9:02:16 AM , Rating: 2
I would expect that whatever they do it will result in a lower share price for HP than before and be a backward step for America.

RE: The Future
By retrospooty on 9/20/2011 10:45:55 AM , Rating: 3
"Personally, I'd love to see some of the unique WebOS features ported into Android."

Yup, the UI and multitasking interface is simply the best that has ever existed. It completely blows IOS and Android away. It was actually designed by the same dood who did IOS's UI. Palm hired him away from Apple. Its sort of his second version. After doing IOS, this is "How can we have done this better for a touch screen interface"

I dont really care about any company, or personalities... But I really hope someone at least adopts the UI and we see more of it, and things like it.

RE: The Future
By V-Money on 9/20/2011 12:44:49 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with the multitasking, but UI-wise I still prefer android. I have a nexus one and a pre 2 that I change out every now and then. I love both phones, but I still use my Nexus One as my primary phone because of widgets and the fact that you have to use homebrew software to change the Pre 2's notification alert and make the vibrate last longer than a blip. After missing approximately every text I've ever received on the Pre 2, I stopped using it as much. Other than that I thought it was a great phone and it plays nicely with my touchpad.

RE: The Future
By kleinma on 9/20/2011 1:11:04 PM , Rating: 3
It is good, but its not great. The card system gets a bit unruly once you have a bunch of things open, swiping 10 times to the left or right to get to that app you have open isn't exactly intuitive. If you have 3-4 things open, yes it works fine. They should have added in some sort of screen where all the open cards are lined up in columns and rows, making it easy to jump back to whatever app you want with a single gesture.

RE: The Future
By retrospooty on 9/20/2011 1:57:40 PM , Rating: 3
"They should have added in some sort of screen where all the open cards are lined up in columns and rows, making it easy to jump back to whatever app you want with a single gesture. "

They did. WebOS 2.0 has that. Well, 2.0 it has the ability to group the cards, like you would when playing 7 card stud poker or rummy. Really nice.

RE: The Future
By Makaveli on 9/20/2011 10:33:41 AM , Rating: 2
I'm hoping the ARM version of Windows 8 will work on the touchpad. If not i'm happy with WEB OS its in current state on the tablet for the price I paid, 32GB model which was $169 with a targus case.

RE: The Future
By ChronoReverse on 9/20/2011 11:51:01 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, this got me down a bit. =(

However, seeing this afterwards immediately lifted my spirits:

Thats really bad...
By retrospooty on 9/20/2011 9:40:21 AM , Rating: 3
"Many shareholders are quite upset about HP's decision to kill webOS and spin off their PC business. A consortium of top shareholders have filed suit and are seeking class action status, claiming Mr. Apotheker deceived shareholders by failing to disclose plans of the radical changes in advance. As a result, the shareholders argue, HP's stock price was artificially inflated."

When your top stockholders are filing suit against you, you really must be making some bad decisions Mr Apotheker. It almost seems like this guy is trying to fail. It doesn't seem possible to me to "accidentally" be this bad. Its like watching George Bush and Obama governing. Although totally different styles, concepts and philosophy's neither can seem to get anything right.

RE: Thats really bad...
By xti on 9/20/2011 9:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
neither Obama or bush wants to spin off Texas into its own country...

RE: Thats really bad...
By Makaveli on 9/20/2011 10:36:18 AM , Rating: 2
I agree what the F*** does this have to do with OBAMA or BUSH.

OR the next retard that comes in here and says its apple's fault!

RE: Thats really bad...
By retrospooty on 9/20/2011 10:42:28 AM , Rating: 3
Its called an analogy. Watching Apotheker run things at HP is like watching George Bush and Obama governing. None of the 3 seem to do anything right.

RE: Thats really bad...
By Lord 666 on 9/20/2011 10:43:09 AM , Rating: 2
Rick Perry has suggested Texas spin-off of the US.

RE: Thats really bad...
By kmmatney on 9/21/2011 9:34:29 AM , Rating: 2
Texas has the right to do that - it was part of the agreement when they joined the union. They can also fly their state flag at the same height as the U.S. flag.

RE: Thats really bad...
By drycrust3 on 9/20/2011 3:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
It almost seems like this guy is trying to fail.

I think this guy is just in it for the severance pay he'll get when they fire him. Why else would he be undoing all the hard work done to secure a long term future for HP? It looks like he is trying hard to ensure that his removal from office is so urgent that shareholders would pay any price for him to leave.
Look: PC sales are amongst the best in the world -> being sold, having tablets and smartphones in stores for this Christmas is almost essential for a long term future in the wider mobile market (which is expected to grow by hundred's of millions of users within the next few years) -> binned and stock sold off at below cost, webOS avoided Microsoft and Apple's patent wars and is highly respected -> shelved and staff laid off, gets HP to squander money that should have been spent making the tablets and smartphones world beaters -> buying into a software company that has little to do with anything they currently do. That company would be a better fit for Oracle or IBM, which is how they make their money.
For the last 20 years HP has worked and strived to be where they are now, and then just at the dawn of a new era he turns up and every action he has taken has been to ensure that HP isn't the early bird that gets the worm, but secures the destruction of HP, not just as a supplier of end user computers, not just in terms of damning their share value (which people bought anticipating HP would be the early bird in the field), but the whole lock, stock, and future.
Why? Why does every decision seem aimed to destroy a company that has everything going for it? The only logical reason is he wants the shareholders to pay him to leave.
It would not surprise me if the smell of vomit hangs around the corridors near his office.
I'm glad I am not an employee of HP because I honestly do not think I would be able to restrain myself from venting my feelings if I saw him.

Microsoft Should Purchase WebOS...
By Arsynic on 9/20/2011 11:18:52 AM , Rating: 3
...and include its best features in the next version of Windows Phone.

By Mitch101 on 9/20/2011 11:29:23 AM , Rating: 2
Actually that's not a bad idea just to establish a consumer base. Later they can allow you to flash to Windows 8 or continue down WebOS path whichever you choose. There are what 500,000 sold that's not a bad jumping point if you get it for the right price.

By p05esto on 9/21/2011 12:08:03 AM , Rating: 2
I love my touchpad, it's literally the best tech purchase I've made in many years (for $99). The email app is fantastic, web browsing is good (flash works fine), I've got a couple dozen games (some with amazing graphics), a handful of prductivity apps, some tools/calculators/utilities, rss, news, weather, etc etc...I've got it fully loaded with everything I need. There's no other app I ould even be interested in. I can use my $99 TouchPad for another 5 years and be perfectly happy, what do I care if it doesn't get any more updates? It doesn't need any, not for what I use it for. It's a done deal.

RE: love
By retrospooty on 9/21/2011 8:48:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yup... WebOS has to be thr least sucessful great tech of the decade LOL.

By buckwally on 9/20/2011 1:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
The Kobayashi Maru is a famous test in the fictional universe of Star Trek. It is a Starfleet training exercise designed to test the character of cadets in the command track at Starfleet Academy. The mission is to rescue the civilian vessel Kobayashi Maru, a disabled ship, on the wrong side of the Klingon Neutral Zone. The approaching cadet crew must decide whether or not to attempt rescue of the Kobayashi Maru crew – endangering their own ship and lives, and possibly starting a war – or leave the Kobayashi Maru to certain destruction. "there is no correct resolution, it is a test of character."

Stardate: Last October. Cadet Leo Apotheker, former exec from the lawsuit riddled SAP takes over the Starship HP, which has spent $2B on a phone and tablet bid to take on Apple with the avowed goal of becoming #2 in the i-market. You do a big show to launch the Touchpad and Pre, but fail to take the market in 2 months. The Klingons (Apple) have fallen in behind the Romulans (Droid) and have you surrounded, cut off, and are ready to eat your customers.
His response? Separate the Saucer section (HP's PC Group), ram it into the Kobayashi Maru (the webOS/Touchpad), and run for the border with the main body of the ship. Oh yeah, and blow $10B (x4-16 its value) on Autonomy in a bid to become #2 behind SAP, as a smokescreen.

Character test: FAIL. and we the customer will not soon forget it.

I despise Léo Apotheker
By Dug on 9/20/2011 1:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
He is an arrogant asshole. He does not have the ability to lead and make decisions that are required for a company the size of HP. He failed at SAP and he will fail at HP for the same reasons. Not one person can figure out why they hired him.

By Dennis Travis on 9/20/2011 2:19:03 PM , Rating: 2
I really like Web OS. So SAD HP is destroying it.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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