Print 26 comment(s) - last by ChronoReverse.. on Dec 12 at 4:16 PM

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

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

What a difference 10 months makes
By TakinYourPoints on 12/9/2011 5:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
What a difference 10 months makes.


RE: What a difference 10 months makes
By johnsonx on 12/10/2011 3:28:07 AM , Rating: 2
It could have been big. But Apotheker couldn't see it that way. To him, webOS was a fiddly consumer toy that didn't fit with his Enterprise Services vision of HP.

So he saw to it that HP didn't try very hard with webOS (failed to allocate sufficient software engineering resources to have webOS 3.0 ready for the touchpad and have webOS 2.x ready for the next phones after the Pre3, so the TouchPad launched buggy and slow, the Pre3 was delayed for months, and the carriers said 'no thanks' to the future phones), forced choices that spelled near-certain doom (the TouchPad was a re-cycled year-old design already in the dustbin at HP that had little chance competing head-to-head with iPad2), and pulled the plug at the first sign of trouble, with finished retail products ready to launch (Pre3) and a new better touchpad ready for full production and launch within a month (TouchPad Go).

It wasn't all Apotheker of course, the BoD was in internal disarray and disagreement too. But the abrupt death of the TouchPad and phones on August 18th and the UGLY way it was handled was all Apotheker, in part a panic reaction to some news leaking prematurely to bloomberg.

By retrospooty on 12/10/2011 6:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
There was probably more to it than that. They were dealing with Ex-Palm. Slow as hell to act, react, change and resolve. They may have looked at the speed in which Ex-Palm was able to move and looked at Apple and Android and said "these people arent up for the challenge of competing in the modern mobile arena".

For example. Treo 600 released. 1 year later Treo 650 released with higher res screen, 1 year later 700 with EVDO, 1 year later 750/755 with 1mm thinner phone and internal antenna. 3 years after TReo600 they still had the same damn phone... Look at hte Pre, Pre2 and Pre3. Not a whole lot of movement there either.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki