During a conference call this afternoon HP’s executive team explained the decision not to spin off the company’s PC group as a new company. The thinking basically comes down to two things: HP experiences a billion dollars in cost savings each year due to synergies, and it would be expensive (and risky) to start up a new PC business.
New CEO Meg Whitman also confirmed that HP has no plans to bring the HP TouchPad tablet back from the dead… at least not with webOS as its operating system.
Whitman said the company “needs to be in the tablet business” and will make another go of it… but with Windows 8.
As for the future of the webOS operating system — no decision has been made yet, but Whitman says now that a decision has been made to keep the Personal Systems Group (PC business), one of the next orders of business is to evaluate webOS.
HP has already killed off all of its webOS hardware including the HP Pre and Veer smartphones and the HP TouchPad tablet. But HP is still working on webOS software and has even pushed out software updates for the HP TouchPad.
HP has been exploring the possibility of licensing webOS to other companies, much the way Microsoft does with Windows Phone 7. No company has stepped up to the plate yet — or at least no announcements have been made yet.
In other words… HP could still kill webOS altogether. HP could also announce a licensing agreement. But right now HP has no plans to launch any new phones, tablets, or other devices running webOS.
Fortunately even if HP stops supporting its hardware, there’s already a community of independent developers supporting it. The CyanogenMod team recently released an Alpha version of Google Android for the TouchPad.