The fate of WebOS will be decided in the next couple weeks.
"We should announce our decision in the next two weeks," HP CEO Meg Whitman told French newspaper Le Figaro in an interview (translation) published today. "This is not an easy decision, because we have a team of 600 people which is in limbo."
Although Whitman didn't indicate whether she's leaning either way in her decision, she did say that HP needs "to have another operating system," seemingly indicating that WebOS could stage a comeback.
HP announced in August that it was making sweeping changes to its business, including considering spinning off its PC business and discontinuing its mobile hardware, like its TouchPad tablet. The move effectively put WebOS in a holding pattern until its fate could be determined.
However, those decisions were made under former HP CEO Leo Apotheker. In September, he was replaced with Whitman. And since she took over, Whitman has followed a much different strategy than Apotheker by deciding to keep the PC business in-house and embracing HP's hardware roots.
But WebOS has been the subject of much speculation over the last several weeks. Reuters reported earlier this month that HP was considering selling off WebOS in a deal that could net the company hundreds of millions of dollars. However, just a day later, Whitman reportedly told Palm and HP employees that she had yet to decide WebOS' fate and reassured them that she would "make the right decision, not the fast decision."
She went on to tell employees that if she decided to keep WebOS, HP would double down on the software "in a very significant way over a multi-year period."
Looking beyond WebOS, Whitman also discussed Apple in the Le Figaro interview, saying that if the iPad is considered a PC, her company would slip into second place next year behind Apple as the world's largest PC vendor. But in 2013, Whitman told the newspaper, she plans to make HP "the champion" once again.
(Via All Things Digital)