HP May Be Considering Bringing Back the webOS

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HP webOSJust when you think the webOS is gone with the wind, there’s evidence it might be coming back. HP is hiring dozens of engineers with experience in this operating system.

Two years ago, HP decided to make a major push in the smartphone market, and rather than using Android or Windows Phone it purchased Palm, Inc. to get access to this company’s webOS. After mediocre sales, however, the company dropped the product line just over a year ago.

While it stopped offering smartphones and tablets running webOS, HP didn’t completely abandon the operating system. Instead, it released it as open-source software, allowing interested outsiders to participate in continuing its development.

A Surprising Development

This week, there was a surprising change: HP put out job postings for over fifty full-time positions that specifically mention webOS experience, such as “webOS – Sr Linux Software Engineer (Graphics)”.

Of course, these could simply be HP putting some muscle behind its webOS open-source project. Still, this is a company that’s really struggling. It doesn’t have money to throw at projects that aren’t going to add to its bottom line.

And HP’s CEO Meg Whitman said last month that  “My view is we have to ultimately offer a smartphone.” Apparently, she’s strongly considering that this be a webOS-based device. 

Fans of webOS shouldn’t hold their breath that new models are right around the corner, though. Whitman revealed this week that her company doesn’t “have any plans to introduce a smartphone in 2013.”  This means any new device is close to 1.5 years away.



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