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Device operating systems

HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) will discontinue operations of devices based on webOS, the operating system it acquired from Palm in April of last year. The company announced Thursday, alongside its third-quarter earnings, that it would continue to explore options to "optimize the value of webOS software going forward." (See HP to Buy Palm for $1.2B and HP Completes Palm Buy.)

The company also said it is in discussions with Autonomy Corp. to make an offer to acquire the enterprise software vendor, and that it is exploring strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG), made up of PCs, tablets and smartphones, including a spinoff or other transaction.

The shake-up comes as the company reports third-quarter revenues of $31.2 billion, up slightly from $30.7 billion a year ago. HP expects fourth-quarter revenues to be $32.1 billion to $32.5 billion, buoyed by its restructuring and shutdown of costs associated with webOS devices, like the TouchPad and Veer smartphone. (See HP Veers Into the Future of WebOS.)

Why this matters
Since HP acquired webOS from Palm last year, it has been plotting to bring the OS to its entire range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs and printers. So far, only two smartphones and the TouchPad tablet, which launched to lackluster reviews, have been born of this, but hardware was clearly part of its plans to reinvigorate the OS. (See Palm Plots Beyond Phones.)

Now, HP's options will be to license the software to other hardware makers or potentially put it up for sale. The company's top execs said they were open to licensing the software to "special" partners at various shows earlier this year. (See HP Open to 'Special' webOS Partners.)

The company also recently reassigned former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein to head up the PSG and brought Stephen DeWitt, former head of the PSG, to led webOS's expansion plans. An HSPA+ TouchPad and Pre 3 smartphone were expected to be arriving soon under his lead. (See AT&T to Launch the HSPA+ HP TouchPad.)

For more
Without webOS as a contender, the OS wars are winnowing to just a few key players. Read up on the hole HP's leaving in the market below.



— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:55:53 PM
re: HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz

More to come from their earnings call shortly.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:55:53 PM
re: HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz

... or optical backplanes. Either one.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:55:53 PM
re: HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz

The next time HP says they've reimagined something -- SPIT, cloud computing, enterprise security -- let's all agree to tell them to sit down, take a deep breath and stick with printers.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:55:53 PM
re: HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz

At least we won't have to see that godawful Russell Brand WebOS TV ad again now.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:55:53 PM
re: HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz

I wonder how many hours HP wasted convincing journalists that its WebOS had a real vision behind it.


 

Duh! 12/5/2012 | 4:55:52 PM
re: HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz

Sic transit gloria mundi.  Wonder what Carly is up to these days?

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:55:52 PM
re: HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz

You have forgotten calculators...


 


Too bad the stuff they were really good at is now in Agilent.


 


seven


 

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 4:55:48 PM
re: HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz

They are not good at printers either.  The software that they supply for the AIO's is just junk.  Slow, doesn't work and prone to crashing.


 


Failure is something that HP has a lot of expertise in and does very well at.

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