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The leader of HP’s WebOS business insisted in a meeting with employees today that the company is not abandoning the software — it’s only getting rid of the hardware.Joshua Topolsky at This Is My Next reports that WebOS head Stephen DeWitt — who took over for Jon Rubinstein a few weeks ago — emphasised to employees several times that “we are not walking away from WebOS.”
He also hinted that WebOS only works on Qualcomm chipsets today, but that phone makers might like to see it ported to other chipsets.
This sounds like fantasy.
WebOS has never been popular. Today, it has less than 1% market share. It faces huge, powerful competitors in Google and Apple, and a growing threat from Microsoft and Nokia. The only reason it survived this long is because HP was creating devices with it and promising it would ship on HP PCs next year.
Those devices flopped. On the earnings call, HP CEO Leo Apotheker had no answer when asked if HP still plans to ship WebOS on PCs.
In other words, the writing is on the wall. WebOS may have been a fine product for its time, but nobody ever bought it. It’s like the Betamax.
How long will HP throw good money after bad?