webOS Fate Still Up in the Air

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HP’s new CEO held a meeting yesterday with company employees — many formerly from Palm, Inc. — in which she said HP might hold onto the webOS, rather than sell it off.

HP webOSCEO Meg Whitman inherited a company in disarray after the abrupt departure of her predecessor, Leo Apotheker.  In short order, Whitman had to decide if HP should reverse or stick with a number of controversial plans, such as whether to spin off or keep PC division. These have taken up so much of her time that she hasn’t yet had a chance to look at the webOS.

“If HP decides [to hold on to this mobile operating system], we’re going to do it in a very significant way over a multi-year period. It’s a very expensive proposition, but HP can make that bet,” the CEO said during the meeting.

The other option is to sell the webOS off for some other company to develop devices with it. Among the companies supposedly interested are HTC, Oracle, RIM, Amazon, and IBM.

Whitman decided to hold on to HP’s PC division, but only time will tell if she’ll do the same with the webOS. This executive said the final verdict will be revealed in under four weeks.

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