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HP CEO Meg Whitman  (Source:
Many expect Whitman to address what HP plans to do with webOS, which former CEO Leo Apotheker decided to kill back in August

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has had a bit of a rocky year due to a few decisions made by former CEO Leo Apotheker, but current CEO Meg Whitman has been cleaning up the mess piece by piece, including deciding the fate of the company's mobile operating system webOS.

Whitman is expected to finally announce the company's plans for webOS today at an all-hands meeting set for 10:30 a.m. Pacific.

Back in August of this year, Apotheker made two startling announcements that rocked HP's world: HP was selling off its PC unit (which was later switched to a spin-off PC unit instead), and the company was killing off its TouchPad tablet with accompanying mobile operating system webOS.

HP acquired webOS from gadget-maker Palm Inc. in April 2010. The OS was initially used for smartphones and later adapted to HP's TouchPad tablet. But due to problems like overproduction and slow hardware releases, the tablet didn't sell the way many expected and ended up costing the company $100 million in unsold inventory, according to Apple Insider.

Despite the TouchPad's failure, investors were shocked at the death of webOS as well as a spin-off PC unit and the company's stock took a plunge. Apotheker was eventually fired September 22, 2011 and Whitman took the helm.

After taking care of the PC spin-off issue, Whitman is now expected to address HP's plans with webOS. Last month, Whitman said she wanted to think through the webOS situation thoroughly before making any solid decisions.

Many expect that the all-hands meeting this morning will provide the answers many have been waiting for.

Updated 12/9/2012 @ 1:52pm
HP has just announced that it will be taking its webOS mobile operating system open source. The company still hasn't committed to further producing its own hardware based around the operating system, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't change its mind in the future. Here's the press release:

HP today announced it will contribute the webOS software to the open source community.

HP plans to continue to be active in the development and support of webOS. By combining the innovative webOS platform with the development power of the open source community, there is the opportunity to significantly improve applications and web services for the next generation of devices.

webOS offers a number of benefits to the entire ecosystem of web applications. For developers, applications can be easily built using standard web technologies. In addition, its single integrated stack offers multiplatform portability. For device manufacturers, it provides a single web-centric platform to run across multiple devices. As a result, the end user benefits from a fast, immersive user experience.

“webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable,” said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer. “By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.”

HP will make the underlying code of webOS available under an open source license. Developers, partners, HP engineers and other hardware manufacturers can deliver ongoing enhancements and new versions into the marketplace.

HP will engage the open source community to help define the charter of the open source project under a set of operating principles:

  • The goal of the project is to accelerate the open development of the webOS platform
  • HP will be an active participant and investor in the project
  • Good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation
  • Software will be provided as a pure open source project

HP also will contribute ENYO, the application framework for webOS, to the community in the near future along with a plan for the remaining components of the user space.

Beginning today, developers and customers are invited to provide input and suggestions at" rel="nofollow.

Sources:, Apple Insider, HP

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Planning to be a world leader?
By drycrust3 on 12/9/2011 1:40:06 PM , Rating: 2
the tablet didn't sell the way many expected and ended up costing the company $100 million in unsold inventory, according to Apple Insider.

The big problem for HP is the idea of toting around a computer with you, and it having more or less continual access to the internet, is the way of the future. Whether that is a smartphone, a tablet or a notebook style computer is less important than the fact you're carrying the interet access tool with you all the time.
It's interesting that this concept of toting around a computer with more or less permanent access to the internet is more or less what "The Book" in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" was about (and that was first broadcast in 1978!).
Mark Hurd understood this, and had set up the company so that in 20 years time, when someone went into a store to buy their internet accessing device, there would be a 90% chance that person would buy an HP product!
Even if the latest tablet cost $100M, that is nothing compared to the $11B they paid Autonomy (source = Wikipedia).

RE: Planning to be a world leader?
By johnsonx on 12/10/2011 3:10:29 AM , Rating: 2
Which is why my TouchPad wallpaper says "Don't Panic" on it.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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