Breaking: HP ‘Discontinues Operations for webOS Devices’

Major bombshell, and sorry, but this certainly requires a breaking tag as well: HP has announced it is discontinuing operations for webOS devices – effective immediately. Just like that… The TouchPad and Pre 3 are dead. Eh. Raise your hands if this brings back those painful memories of that infamous ‘Focus Shift’. In addition, the company also announced its intention to sell its personal computer business.

Palm only just released the TouchPad, and the Pre 3 is going on sale around the world shortly. But, today, alongside the quarterly figures, HP dropped the bomb. “HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones,” the press release states, “HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.”

What all this means is uncertain – I honestly have no idea what “exploring options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward”really means – it could just as well mean using Palm’s extensive patent portfolio to sue the crap out of everyone, or it could simply opt to sell that portfolio. Or, it could mean restricting the webOS to printers. Or, open sourcing it. Or… Well, it could just be PR speak for ‘add this to the list BeOS is on’.

HP also announced its intention to sell its PC business. “HP also reported that it plans to announce that its board of directors has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group,” the press release reads, “HP will consider a broad range of options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction.”

What the hell.

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