Whitman: HP Needs More Time To Decide On WebOS' Future


In baseball, a no-decision is an anticlimactic result for a pitcher, one that can drain the life out of a crowd. Anyone hoping for a decision on the WebOS business unit may have had a similar reaction when CEO Meg Whitman said Tuesday that HP needs more time to figure out what to do with WebOS.

In a company meeting held to discuss the fate of WebOS, Whitman told employees that HP is going to need three to four more weeks to think about the best course of action.

"It's really important to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision," Whitman told HP and Palm employees, as reported by The Verge.

Whitman told employees if HP chooses to keep WebOS, it will do so "in a very significant way over a multi-year period," The Verge reported.

On Monday, Reuters reported that HP was considering selling its WebOS business unit for "hundreds of millions" of dollars, or significantly less than the $1.2 billion HP paid to acquire Palm in April 2010.

HP laid off an unspecified number of WebOS employees in September and closed its WebOS hardware operations last month, but has been exploring its options for WebOS software assets. IBM, Amazon, Oracle and others have reportedly expressed interest in WebOS, presumably for the patents such a deal would bring.

HP killed the TouchPad in August just six weeks after launching it, and since then company executives have sent mixed messages about the future role of WebOS in HP's business. Stephen DeWitt, vice president and general manager of the WebOS business unit, told Bloomberg in August that HP would "continue to evolve it, update and support" WebOS.

Last week, Stephen DiFranco, senior vice president and general manager of PSG, held out the possibility of WebOS playing some sort of unspecified role in HP's business.