In a surprise move, HP has confirmed that it will be shutting down nearly all of its webOS division, effectively closing the doors on both its Pre smartphones and its recently released HP TouchPad. This news would seem to confirm earlier reports that sales of the TouchPad tablet, which debuted on July 1, have been poor despite a huge marketing and promotion effort by HP. In the press release, the company said, "HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward."
HP acquired the webOS platform when it purchased the Palm smartphone company for $1.2 billion in 2010. HP has been promoting its expansion of webOS to other products, including PCs, in the last several months. As recently as last June, HP hinted that it might license the webOS platform to third party product makers. However, this new development would seem to be the last straw for the operating system which could have been a serious competitor to other smartphone operating systems such as Android and Apple's iOS
HP has also confirmed that is is in discussions to purchase the UK-based software company Autonomy and is also "authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG)" which is how HP labels its PC business. HP also announced that revenues for its last financial quarter that ended on July 31 came in at $31.2 billion, slightly higher than the $30.7 billion it recorded from the same period a year ago.