HP: WebOS shut down news an "unfounded rumor"

A few days ago, The Guardian web site said that HP's WebOS division was preparing for the hammer to fall. But not so fast, says HP's PC head Todd Bradley. In a TV interview for the Bloomberg cable business network, he called that particular report an "unfounded rumor". He added that HP still plans to invest in WebOS's software development but it won't release new hardware based on the operating system.

If Bradley is correct, that means that HP still believes that it can perhaps license WebOS to be used by third party companies. The big question is whether or not it can succeed. While there are more and more hardware devices that could use an operating system (yes, even refrigerators can surf the Internet these days) there is also a lot of competition in this field.

It's also more than possible that HP could keep its WebOS division alive for a while longer in hopes that it can eventually sell it off to another company. There were recent rumors that Amazon was in talks to acquire the WebOS division from HP but so far those reports seem to have gone nowhere.

Even though HP publicly says that it is supporting WebOS, the truth is that HP has to make some money as well. If WebOS can't be licensed to a third party and HP doesn't want to use it for its own products, it may soon have no choice but to sell it off completely or shut it down for good.

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Heh...

This is most likely a result of them now having Meg Whitman as their new CEO. The problem with acknowledging that they have now simply changed their minds about WebOS is that they already did so with their PC division. They recently told that "OK, no, we're going to keep our PC division after all". Repeating this once again with WebOS, when their shareholders were confused already, would hurt their stock and trust in the brand even more. It's never a sign of strength and self-confidence to change your mind about huge vision-defining stuff like whether to have a PC division or not, or whether to have a mobile OS or not. This is big stuff that define the company.

So HP is probably just calling this a rumor to save their face. It's easier to blame others than to say you have now changed your minds once again. I'm not sure this will help HP though. People with a brain will see through this, and it doesn't look good. There's no question WebOS was once up for sale; we even know some parties interested in purchasing it!

HP is today a company unsure about where to go next.

They also promised to have a second offering of touchpads with amazing new features and that was what? Damage control? When a company does not do what it says I would believe rumors, psychics, or a vision from god over anything an established liar says. I mean I'm just saying. Forget webos, someone will develop a "how to" with a linux, android, or windows mobile.

this is just damage control. i can assure you hp is done with webos. they will either totally axe it or they will sell it off.

we should know by new years.

smooth3006 said,
this is just damage control. i can assure you hp is done with webos. they will either totally axe it or they will sell it off.

we should know by new years.


how many "new years"?

Idiots who has billions to buy it huh? Who is the idiot? You got a couple billion to take chances on? Oh and while I am asking. When was the last time you invested a few billion on something and just call it quits just like that? ............ That's what I thought.

The OS was seen by many as a very strong competitor to Apple IOS. It still has potential. If HP had released something like the Samsung galaxy 10.1 version 2 and hooked it with Netflix and Hulu from the start then it would have had a better chance. It needed partners early on and they failed to obtain them in time.

The OS is not bad for being semi complete. I think they rushed it. Hardware wasn't bad but it wasn't great for an alleged iPad competitor.

Besides its hard to match Apples marketing genius and their direct to consumer model with the retail stores that is always gangbusters on the weekends. They get to keep most on the profits early on. They have right control over supply chain and can tell manufacturing what to do and when to do it. They command it and get it. HP at one time had that authority.

mrmomoman said,
Idiots who has billions to buy it huh? Who is the idiot? You got a couple billion to take chances on? Oh and while I am asking. When was the last time you invested a few billion on something and just call it quits just like that? ............ That's what I thought.

Just because they had the money to buy WebOS doesn't make them any less of idiots for buying something they had no real plan for, and no commitment to. In fact, they are idiots exactly because they spent an insane amount of money on it, only to let it die off less than a year later. That isn't good business sense, and I can assure you that their shareholders will want to hold someone accountable for wasting that money.

It is crazy how damaging these kinds of Rumors can be to a business or product... I especially find it nerve racking regarding WebOS as I'm rooting for this operating system. I own a device for each of the major platforms because I'm a gadget geek to some degree, but I root for the underdog. And I do not believe that WebOS cannot make it in the market now just because they don't have enough apps. HP can put enough wait behind it, and if the most common activities can be done on the devices that run WebOS, then it should do just fine. There is an opportunity to get in the enterprise while RIM struggles, and they others are content with consumer concerns. Give me access to all the ePub and digital documents, a rich web, email, rich multimedia and messaging, and a competent development environment - I'm sold. An App store/market bustling with software is just icing on the cake. If you want developers offer incentives.
It is a shame that we force a measure of success based on how many apps or downloads you get per month, when it took the competition a year or more to get to that place.

mranderson1st said,
It is crazy how damaging these kinds of Rumors can be to a business or product... I especially find it nerve racking regarding WebOS as I'm rooting for this operating system. I own a device for each of the major platforms because I'm a gadget geek to some degree, but I root for the underdog.

Couple of things...

They are 'rumors' only in semantics. When the company that owns the OS halts internal use of the OS and selling devices using the OS, it is true that WebOS isn't shut down, but it is true that HP is done using it as previously planned. This is something HP and the underlying businesses it has consumed have done for years, literally destroying technologies because they can't turn a profit fast enough or are in a ****ing match with a company.

As for WebOS, I agree that it is a bit sad, as it is a far better OS model design than Android. It actually uses more of the Linux kernel, and even though this makes it a bit 'heavier' than Android at the kernel level, it performs better than Android because of Dalvik OS platform trying to make up the unused Linux features end up making it slow and heavy overall.

(A tight VM on the Android version of the Linux kernel would make sense, but Dalvik and Dalvik taking over kernel level features is more than a bit crazy, and shows Google's engineers have little understanding about OS theory and architecture.)

There are problems with WebOS though, and this is why it was for sale, and why Palm knew it couldn't do what the wanted. Sadly this is not a conclusion that people understand, or like to hear when they do understand. WebOS is trying to use Linux, and more than a stub version like Android.

However, this brings along problems that are inherent to the Linux kernel and the UNIX OS model that are good general purpose technologies, but can't focus or break down to give optimal performance.

A dedicated OS built for a platform is faster than a general model OS like Linux trying to adapt to a platform. So when targeting tablets and 'phones' that need to use as much of the hardware as possible, the world flips around a bit, as the old days of a general UNIX model could adapt and work reasonably well, but today, newer OS technologies surpass this generic approach.

If you compares this to iOS which also has a generic OS model, it is also heavy and slow, but Apple has an advantage, they can mangle iOS anyway they need, and they can code it directly to a single platform, with a lot of non-portable code. So as Apple developed iOS away from OS X, the first things they did was rip out a lot of constructs that are traditional UNIX and they also targeted the base kernel operations for ARM. This locks Apple, as moving away from ARM, won't be 'hard' but it won't be seamless either. It also breaks and changes fundamentals of the iOS kernel so that it is no longer the Darwin/XNU kernel and it is no longer a traditional UNIX OS Model either, as they had to specialize portions of video, memory, and other I/O that are not how the UNIX model works.

In the end iOS is faster than Android on most metrics, and a bit faster than WebOS in some areas, but because of the 'specialization' it limits the extensibility of iOS, and these areas are where WebOS can and does take a performance lead over iOS. When you specialize too much, things outside of your design become impossible or require more processing to compensate.

In a way this like the old RISC versus CISC arguments, that depending on the parameters of the architecture needs, both can be the better solution.

Linux is too RISC like and iOS is becoming to CISC like, which sometimes is good and sometimes is bad.

Since you are talking about underdogs, these issues are what shaped WP7, and also have shaped its future. Right now WP7 is based on WinCE which gives it a performance edge over Android and iOS, as it doesn't have to deal with the same overhead that Linux or iOS does on a device. WinCE was designed to run 'light' on hardware that was light back in 1998. So it doesn't have the complex kernel overhead, can have really fast and tight drivers, giving it a GPU advantage, but it is coded very specifically to the platforms it runs on, even though the OS is technically portable. So it is kind of like what iOS wants to be, but without the heavier kernel model overhead iOS drags with it.

In the end, there is a better OS architecture theory for both devices and higher end computers as well. This is where things get weird, because what is needed seems to contradict what is possible in 'accepted' traditional OS theory.

NT is the OS that is capable of doing what iOS and Android are trying to do, and can also be more flexible than WinCE, specifically the NT kernel technology (ignore the Win32 subsystem).

However, why is something out of the scope of this forum post.

...

WebOS days as a consumer or general OS is limited unless it gets a big supporter and can unseat Android, as it is the better Linux device technology.