If you’ve got an HP tablet or you’re otherwise a fan of webOS, the good news is that new HP CEO Meg Whitman clarified the company’s position today on webOS, saying that while they’re not interested in re-entering the smartphone market, webOS will be on future HP tablets. webOS is also now open source, meaning it could show up on other non-HP tablets.
Will HP be creating any new webOS hardware?
Meg: The answer to that is yes but what I can’t tell you is whether that will be in 2012 or not. But we will use webOS in new hardware, but it’s just going to take us a little longer to reorganize the team in a quite different direction than we’ve been taking it in the past.
Are we talking printers? Or tablets and phones?
Meg: In the near term what I would imagine — and this could change, in full disclosure — is I would think tablets, I do not believe we will be in the smartphone business again.
But tablets are a real possibility?
So how will this new webOS team be structured? Will Marc run a webOS Foundation like Mozilla? Will there be a division? Will it be part time for HP engineers?
Meg: So we will keep the core group of employees together - those who want to sign up for this new vision. Admittedly, this is a different vision than webOS had for themselves. That was more akin to a closed-loop system, more like Apple in many ways, and now we’re going to an open system. So we will keep the core group together, there will be leadership as there has been, and HP will continue to invest in this. The exact organizational structure we do not know yet — we’ve looked at Mozilla, Hadoop, Red Hat, and we want to think through that. Many of those models have been successful, we may come up with an alternative model on how we want to organize this. But there will be a dedicated team of resources to this, with the first backer being HP.