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.