In the wake of HP’s controversial decision to stop production of webOS-based devices, the company is now giving pink slips to its employees who developed these smartphones and tablets.
HP said in a statement to AllThingsD:
“As communicated on August 18, HP will discontinue the development of webOs devices within the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, which ends Oct. 31, 2011. As part of this decision, the webOS GBU [Global Business Unit] is undergoing a reduction in workforce. Today’s actions are part of this initiative. During this time, we stand by our commitment to our webOS customers and will work to ensure that support and service for customers are not adversely affected. HP is exploring ways to leverage webOS software.”
There is no official number on how many HP employees are being laid off, but an unconfirmed report said it was over 500. Many of these people had worked for HP for just over a year, as they were brought on board with the purchase of Palm, Inc. — a purchase made specifically to acquire webOS.
The Light Is Dimming
As HP has said repeatedly, it is considering its options as regards to this operating system. It is apparently looking for other companies to license webOS or to purchase it outright.
Some people have looked to HTC and Samsung as possible buyers. Samsung has made it clear it is not interested, but HTC says it is at least considering the idea.