HP to discontinue WebOS related devices

by ZimTommy on August 18, 2011 · 13 comments

in News

I’m sure all the avid tech readers out there would have picked up on this already but it’s been let slip that HP intend to discontinue operations in the WebOS device space.  And this is only a short year after HP paid a chunky $1.2 billion to purchase WebOS.  I have to say…

This came as quite a shock to me especially as the TouchPad is currently being promoted quite a lot down here in New Zealand.  It does all sound a bit up in the air at the moment and nothing is quite confirmed yet.  All the regular blog sites I visit seem to have a few different details on each and there is also mention of HP spinning off their PC business which puts a proverbial nail in the coffin of my hopes of HP possibly coming out with a new WHS server at some point in the future.

I personally thought that HP buying WebOS would be a positive thing and there’d be a sudden surge in development and the number of new WebOS devices coming out but this doesn’t appear to be the case.  What are your thoughts?  Anyone got a WebOS device and now feeling left high and dry?

In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward. HP

HP CEO Leo Apotheker confirmed on the company’s earnings call late this afternoon that the Autonomy acquisition is considerably further along than just a “possible offer,” and that it’s expected to be completed by the end of 2011. He also made it clear that any possible spin-off of the PC business won’t happen soon, and said that the company will take 12 to 18 months to consider its options, further adding that he is “taking ownership” of all of these decisions. Engadget

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Hi there, I'm Tommy and I've been messing around with PCs and electronics since before I can remember. I had been running my own WHS "frankenserver" for a good few years before I picked up an ex490 on super special after HP has discontinued them and that's, in turn, how I found this little community of fellow enthusiasts.


CypherBit August 19, 2011 at 2:50 am

I’m thinking that MS/Windows 8 had a lot to do with this decision.

Damian August 19, 2011 at 3:12 am

If they are truly dropping webOS it is particularly sad. I never tested out the Touch Pad but from my understanding it was a half a$$ effort, released with buggy software and very few Apps. That in itself tells me HP truly did not understand where the tablet space is currently. Android got away with it because aside from Apple there was really no one else in the game. Now with both Android and iOS anyone else trying to get into the market is going to have a hard time without introducing a quality product into the market from launch. Wonder how long until Blackberry kills off its tablet aspirations?

UberDave August 19, 2011 at 8:58 am

Didn’t they drop WHS development so they could reassign their Mediasmart team to work on webOS? What a waste.

Alex Kuretz August 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

What I was told at the time of the cancellation of the MSS was that the team would be working on WebOS related products, not that the WHS team was discontinued in favor of WebOS.

Jared August 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

I purchased a Palm Pixi Plus ($50 no contract!) to hold me over till the iPhone 5 or Pre 3 came out. I previously had the Palm Treo and Palm Centro so I’m a Palm fan. While I love the multi tasking ability of webOS there are too many things that don’t work right; podcasts that can’t be played at 1.5x speed (wth), memory leaks, crashes, slow repose, etc. I found myself using my iPod Touch for the smartphone portion and just using my Pixi for phone/text/hotspot.

There is a lot of potential there but webOS needs some strong support ($ and up-to-date hardware) which I though HP was going to give them. It is sad but Palm/HP feel behind in the smartphone game and have never been able to or willing to put in the resources to catch back-up with iOS and android.

Jared August 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

One more thing: I kept asking myself why would I buy webOS over iOS? I could never find a compelling reason to recommend getting a Pre or TouchPad over getting an iPhone or iPad.

580guy August 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Another long-time Palm user here, now with Iphone 3GS. Started using the Palm PDA’s in the late 90′s, then Palm Phones, and finally Treos. Sad story about such a great pioneer. Still going thru Palm withdrawal trying to make my Iphone 3GS into the PDA that palm was. Sorry to see HP dump it. I guess that’s the final chapter in a true legacy pioneer.

Let’s have a moment of silence in respect………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

So long Palm and WebOS. Thanks for everything!!!

Comp1962 August 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Many years ago I used Palm Devices which resulted in throwing my Rolodex Card thingy in the trash. This was the first time I started saying my office is where I was at any given time of the day. I was excited when HP acquired Palm and started working on WebOS thinking that by the time I was ready to change my phone that maybe a WebOS phone would better suite my needs. Well here I am beginning to contemplate changing my phone and looks like the future of WebOS is up in the air.

Its a sad day indeed but what can you do?

Eidos August 21, 2011 at 9:00 am

It is sad to see HP throw in the towel. I own 5 HP computers and have given 3 away as gifts to family members. I made a statement on this web site a few months ago that I would never buy another HP computer. While I love the form factor of the HP MediaSmart Server I hated the lack of spare parts and the fact that HP dropped the server technology for the home server.

I started building computers and servers and it is easy to build a better computer than you can buy and you also can overclock, tune, upgrade and buy spare parts easily. I now build 6 core CPU PC’s and have one built and waiting for the 8 core AMD bulldozer.

That being said, HP will be missed for the average user who cannot or will not, because of time, build a PC or server. They were one of the higher quality suppliers.

I do wonder about HP’s efforts in the software side of the business. They are not noted, in my opinion as a leading software company. In addition, why would anyone trust them when next week they drop software and a user is left with no support.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me!

580guy August 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

My HP EX495 is my first server. While I have always built my systems, I couldn’t pass up the nice little package of power that HP built back then. But now, since HP has abandoned it, I shudder thinking what if the Motherboard or power supply dies? Can’t run over to Best Buy for another one to slap in! As my storage grows and grows, that is becoming more of a scary scenario now. Plus, from what I have learned from owning it for over a year, I know I could build a better one. I see DYI coming soon.

Eidos August 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

That is where I am now. I own 2 HP servers. A ex 470 and a ex490 both upgraded with CPU and memory modifications. They run great but both are 1 year old or more. I built a low cost vail server with an e6500 CPU and a large case. While it is not in the same small form factor as the HP unit’s it is very good and runs WHS 2011. It is rock solid and runs much faster than the old WHS software. I miss DE but there are other advantages. DIY is the new home server market. I find it sad though that both HP and Microsoft failed to really understand the future of the digital home and the long term use of digital media. Two great companies with their heads in the ground like ostriches. Streaming digital media to portable devices and smart tvs and stereos, home security, home power conservation and many other opportunities exist for future growth but they seem now to be at jeopardy. Only time will tell.

580guy August 22, 2011 at 7:56 am

Agreed. I don’t think anyone has really made a “home” server yet, even HP. It was a start, but ashame they quit before they ever developed it further. I say this as I couldn’t imagine recommending my system to some non-techies I know. I am still battling issues with my EX495 (external eSATA & USB drives dropping offline) that has taxed my abilities to the max. It’s still just for us geeks. Sad no one is really stepping up in this wide-open market. When my system is purring along, it’s wonderful! Media access everywhere! Today it’s still up!! Hallelujah!!

Kitty September 11, 2011 at 7:08 am

Anyone get firesale HP TouchPad(s)? I’d like to integrate them into the WHS and WHS2011 LAN.

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