Still, there's a strain of thought out there that somehow WebOS will rise phoenix-like from the ashes, despite the bullet to the head it took from HP's top leadership just three weeks ago. There's zero evidence to support this belief. In fact, the formal transfer of WebOS out of the PC group makes it much more unlikely that if the PC group is sold or spun out into its own company that it will be able to use WebOS in its mobile products. I believe that if the PC business decides to reenter the mobile business, as Bradley says it should (and he's hoping to run that spun-off business), it will use Android or Windows 8. Those are the only two real options for licensable tablet OSes -- assuming Windows 8 actually delivers on its tablet aspirations, of course.
Trip Chowdhry, the canny analyst at Global Equities Securities, said this weekend that the "harsh" statements made by HP and its controversial CEO Léo Apotheker when HP killed the WebOS device business may have been designed "to wake up the lazy executives" at HP to the fact that real change is needed. Chowdhry also noted that since the shocking death of the WebOS device business and the decision to explore dumping the PC business, "the sprit of survival is picking up at HP, which may be a unifying force for HP, which has traditionally been heavily influenced by internal politics."
If true, that's a shocking way to run a company, indicating a bureaucracy out of control and/or out of touch, a civil war among senior managers, or other Shakespearean dysfunction. No wonder my colleague Bill Snyder argues that the entire HP board should be fired, along with Apotheker, and why he likens the management at HP to the doomed Hamlet.
Whatever game is afoot at HP, WebOS is at best a pawn, an easy sacrifice to make by the top executives as they try to reshape beleaguered HP. It's not likely to survive this drama. Pawns rarely do.
This article, "HP transfers WebOS from the PC group: The game's afoot," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.