HP Delays Decision on WebOS Future

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The future of webOS continues to be in flux after HP CEO Meg Whitman held a meeting with HP employees yesterday, including the Palm division, informing them that the company doesn’t know yet what to do with the troubled mobile platform. 

HP webOS“It’s really important to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision,” Whitman said, promising that a decision would come in the impending weeks. The CEO claimed she had to first figure out what to do with HP’s PC business, which she ultimately decided to keep, and manage the acquisition of Autonomy, before making a final decision about webOS. With the focus of her speech primarily on tablets, it is reported that Whitman said that things become more complicated when adding phones to the equation. 

This decision comes as a bit of a surprise as recent reports suggested that HP has been in discussions to sell off webOS to the highest bidder, with Oracle, RIM and IBM being among the rumored contenders. Whitman was sure to declare her faith in HP’s ability to keep webOS, stating that if HP decides to maintain the platform, the company will have to do so in a very significant way over a multi-year period, as it is a very expensive proposition, but she’s sure HP can rise to the challenge. 

While none of the aforementioned companies have confirmed such stories, it is said that HP is considering selling its webOS unit for “hundreds of millions of dollars.” Yet, if true, the TouchPad maker would not break even on the $1.2 billion it dropped to acquire the platform from Palm more than a year ago. 

It would not make much sense for RIM to purchase the operating system with its latest BBX platform in the works, however, Oracle could have more to gain from the rumored sale. With an Android patent trial pushed off until 2012, Oracle could gain more patents with the purchase of webOS, which could possibly aid its suit against Google.

Source: The Verge




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