updated 11:05 pm EST, Thu December 8, 2011
HP all-hands on webOS fate to finally come
HP's definitive answer on webOS should come at an all-hands meeting on Friday. Leaked details from staff to PreCentral have CEO Meg Whitman briefing the webOS Global Business Unit at 1:30PM Eastern. The outcome itself isn't known and will likely be a secret until Whitman's presentation.
Whitman has been more receptive to webOS in recent weeks. Whether or not that translates to renewed webOS hardware is still uncertain, if not doubtful. Rumors have swirled around possible negotiations with Intel and others over a sale of the division rather than just closing it down.
Publicly, HP has put its faith in tablets into Windows 8 and has suggested it wouldn't have a webOS tablet on shelves in 2012 even if it kept the group in place.
WebOS built up anticipation in 2009, when many saw it as Palm's chance at becoming the second real alternative to the iPhone. After a brief spurt of sales in mid-2009, it quickly tapered off as Palm's estimates were found to be too optimistic. The company eventually sold to HP for $1.2 billion, but HP isn't believed to have invested significantly more into development and led to crucial devices taking too long to ship.
As a hardware platform, webOS was possibly killed off outright in August this year, when then-chief Leo Apotheker decided HP couldn't compete in mobile. He was promptly fired, however, and despite promises of continuing the basics of his strategy, it's thought that his attempt to exit hardware sped up his forced departure.