Palm Inc, a smart phone manufacturer that was responsible for products such as pre and pixi smart phones announced a new OS in 2009, the webOS which replaced the original palm OS garnet in their new devices. In July 2010, HP acquired Palm for a whopping $1.2 billion. By June 2 2011, Palm, which was considered as a genericized trademark for “mobile computer” was officially redirected to HPwebOS.com. However, last month, HP announced that it would discontinue production of all webOS device including smart phones and tablets.
And now, for the second time in the long and tumultuous history, Palm- the webOS Global Business Unit (GBU) has been split into two. Precentral.net, the world’s largest palm community has two memos detailing how the hardware and software portions of webOS are separated. Putting HP’s transition to a competitive text, Ray Lane, the Chairman of HP, said it will be easier for HP to move more deeply into information management software. He also said that the transition was much more dangerous because, “they acquired a flagging server company and they are trying to use the clout of their database to tell customers what to do“.
By separating the webOS mobile operating system from the individual hardware system, the software part of webOS that is moved from the personal systems group to HP’s “Office of Strategy and Technology (OST)”; assuming it will be able to take an advantage of what Lane describes as ‘Best Platform in the World‘ for commercial application development. This essentially means that HP is going to hang on to webOS after the PSG (Personal Systems Group) spins off or gets sold. Moreover serious portable applications cannot be developed in Android; but the web application platform behind webOS can port applications to Android, AppleiOS, or windows as well as webOS. The VP of OST, Shane Robinson, will oversee webOS along with Ari Jassaki and Richard Kerris. These three will work together to find home for webOS as Samsung and HTC are not interested in getting involved with it.
However, the hardware division will remain under the supervision of the new Vice President, Stephen DeWitt of Personal Systems Group. The entire group is up for some hard times as HP has discontinued all its hardware which makes the probability of getting laid of employee’s at some point in near future. Though all the experience in building the Touchpad Go and never announced Windsor not Keyboard less EVO Competitor will make finding new jobs much easier, it’s even possible that many within the division will end up being reassigned within the PSG.
HP has started a new campaign to signal its strong desire to spin off the division into a new company. According to the details from the website, HP has preferred course to harness the vision of the future by building a more separate and agile company. They say, it’s time to be nimble and revolutionary for a world changing innovation, and finally they have realized that they are in the cross roads of an evolving HP. Unfortunately, the market is not responding well to HP`s message.