Over the Labor Day weekend, two of Hewlett-Packard's senior execs posted letters explaining that the development and marketing group for WebOS were being moved from the Personal Systems Group that makes PCs (and had made the now-defunct TouchPad tablet) to the Office for Strategy and Technology. This has caused a minor stir in the blogosphere, but it's just the move HP said it would make when it pulled the plug on all its WebOS devices three weeks ago, including the TouchPad tablet and the Pre, Pixi, and Veer smartphones, and said it may leave the PC business altogether, not just the mobile business.
When HP announced the death of its WebOS hardware line just five weeks after the debut of the mediocre TouchPad, it said it would retain the WebOS software and investigate its use elsewhere in the company. Well, the Office of Strategy and Technology is the group at HP that does just that.
[ Learn how to manage iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, and other smartphones in InfoWorld's 20-page Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF special report. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights via Twitter and with the Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]
If anything, the twin announcements by PC group chief Todd Bradley and strategy chief Shane Robison confirm that WebOS devices are dead at HP. Robison's statement is also very clear that his group is exploring ways HP might make money from WebOS. There's no commitment to the platform beyond that exploration.