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Leak: HP sees webOS team as an 'incubator'

updated 11:40 pm EDT, Sat September 3, 2011

HP to move webOS group into research

A pair of leaked memos sent out to HP's webOS team has shown that HP may have more of an active role for the platform than first thought. The webOS Global Business Unit's software side will be folded into the Office of Strategy and Technology, where it will directly feed into the research and development section of the company. HP considers the section an "incubator," PreCentral learned, and would be getting some of the added attention and resources that cloud services are getting.

Hardware will remain under the Personal System Group that also handles PCs. HP has already said it planned to wind down webOS hardware in the fall and isn't expected to resume work in the near future.

The viability of webOS is still considered in doubt. Although HP plans to keep it for non-mobile devices, many expect it to lose some of its already diminished profile in the public eye without having phones or tablets. HP may also have difficulty finding a willing partner to license the code. Samsungturned it down, and few others have the opportunity or incentive to choose something besides an in-house OS, Android, or Windows Phone.

For the one-time Palm team, the reorganization is a repeat of what occurred in 2003, when Palm forked into the phone- and PDA-focused palmOne and PalmSource handling PalmOS. The strategy, as it has in other areas, didn't work as it hurt the once well-known integration that gave it Apple-like stature while making it difficult to get back to that level of polish and control. Palm didn't have a truly self-developed OS again until webOS in 2009, when it tried to emulate an iPhone-like strategy and even had former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein as its CEO.

by MacNN Staff



  1. mr100percent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    WebOS is dead

    It's unfortunate, but nobody is going to pick it up. HTC is committed to Android, Nokia is going Windows Mobile only, Samsung already said no. Not a lot of players left...

  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Incubator Means Work on your Resume

    What's happening is that the WebOS team is being broken up. The software team will be moved to another unit where most will polish their resumes and find other jobs. The hardware guys are just in hard luck.

    I've been there where my team was told we were going to be an "incubator for new ideas" which pretty much meant I had no real position in the company. No one cared too much what I came up with and the general drift is that I was pretty expendable. I simply used my incubator time coming up with a better job.

  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I use beans as incubator

    Like HP, guess what comes out?

  1. gprovida

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Count down has started

    Get resumes updated.

  1. brainiac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No, not like beans

    More like how humans were used as incubators in the Aliens movies.

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