According to The Verge, HP has officially laid off approximately 270 people from it’s webOS division. While some of the employees affected are apparently being found alternate jobs at the company, this news comes as no surprise given the floundering future of webOS.
HP officially stated that webOS “no longer needs many of the engineering and other related positions that it required before.” For some context, TNW reported back in August that HP announced it will discontinue its operations for webOS devices, including the newly released TouchPad and any upcoming webOS phones.
That August announcement was handled quite poorly, and led to confusion about the future of webOS. Later on in December, HP decided to keep ownership of webOS, but open source much of it, effectively killing it as a platform.
TNW’s Matthew Panzarino wrote that “open source is great, and it means that coders will have a very good base to start working with, but it does mean that its future as a viable commercial platform is effectively over.” So far, HP stated that it plans no more webOS devices until it sees the OS gain traction elsewhere, but other reports found that tablets may be in the works for 2013. HP’s statement:
As webOS continues the transition from making mobile devices to open source software, it no longer needs many of the engineering and other related positions that it required before. This creates a smaller and more nimble team that is well-equipped to deliver an open source webOS and sustain HP’s commitment to the software over the long term.
HP is working to redeploy employees affected by these changes to other roles at the company.
The future of the operating system is still foggy at the moment, and HP’s statement doesn’t really help us clear things up at the moment. No matter what though, the company is definitely scaling down its commitment to the ill-fated platform.