Though HP just this week offered developers a discount on TouchPads, it seems the future of webOS is still uncertain. Newly appointed CEO Meg Whitman has said that the company is still at a loss as to what to do with webOS. Speaking to a room full of HP employees, Whitman said it's not immediately obvious what the company should do with the mobile OS it acquired last year. The Verge reports that Whitman was speaking at an all-hands meeting last night, apparently scheduled to make a decision on webOS. However, it seem the company will be putting off the decision once more.
"It's really important to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision," the Verge cites her as saying, adding that a decision on the fate of webOS would come in the next three to four weeks. Whitman said part of the reason for the delay was that she needed to first decide whether the company was going to sell or spin-off its personal systems group (the company ultimately decided to hang onto its PC business). While she offered no clue as to what her thoughts on webOS might be, Whitman did say that if HP decides to keep it, it's going to do it "in a very significant way over a multi-year period." Whitman conceded that this would be a very expensive proposition but assured assembled employees that "HP can make that bet."
The news follows HP's decision to offer webOS developers 32GB TouchPads for $150 each in an apparent attempt to keep them sweet. However, there has also been reports that HP plans to sell the OS off to the highest bidder. Reuters this week reported that the company wants to sell webOS in order to recoup some of the money it spent acquiring Palm. HP bought Palm for $1.2 billion in April of last year. At the time, HP was excited to acquire the webOS platform and then-CEO Mark Hurd was quoted as saying webOS was the reason for the purchase. Reuters this week cited sources that said Bank of America Meryll Lynch is advising the company on potential buyers. Interested parties are rumored to include Amazon, RIM, IBM, Oracle and Intel.