HP TouchPad with webOS 3.0

While HP has discontinued production of webOS hardware including the Pre and Veer smartphones and HP TouchPad tablet, the company has made a point of saying that the webOS operating system itself isn’t dead. HP is hoping to license the software to other companies for use on their devices, and webOS software could still find its way onto HP printers, PCs and other products.

But without any current webOS products on the market, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether the software platform really has a future. This week webOS suffered another blow as HP confirmed it’s laying off workers in its webOS division.

All Things D reports that as many as 525 employees could be on the way out. HP hasn’t confirmed that number, but does acknowledge that some layoffs are underway.

WebOS certainly has its strengths as far as mobile operating system goes. It does an excellent job of handling multitasking, and the unified search function makes it easy to search the web and your device right from the home screen. But there aren’t as many apps available for webOS as for competing platforms including Android and iOS — and at this point there’s not much incentive for developers to continue writing apps for the platform.

It’s probably too early to eulogize the operating system, since it’s possible we could still see someone license the OS from HP in the future. But right now it sure looks like HP is digging a grave.

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