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webOS Decision Expected From HP in Just Weeks

Hewlett-Packard’s new CEO Meg Whitman said during an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro that the company will make a decision about webOS within the next few weeks. The news follows a recent announcement made by Whitman that the company will retain its PC division instead of spinning it off as a separate entity or selling it outright to a third-party manufacturer.

"We should announce our decision in the next two weeks," she told the paper in regards to webOS. "This is not an easy decision, because we have a team of 600 people which is in limbo. We need to have another operating system."

This is HP's first mention of the doomed OS in over three weeks. Back on November 8, Whitman told a room full of Palm and HP employees that the company had no idea what it plans to do with the software. That's unfortunate to say the least given that HP paid out $1.2 billion in its acquisition of Palm and its then-still-alive operating system.

"It's really important to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision," she told the group. "If HP decides [to keep webOS], we're going to do it in a very significant way over a multi-year period. It's a very expensive proposition, but HP can make that bet."

She added that the "economics of this business are tough," and that she needs extra time to determine whether HP should dump more funds in webOS at great cost, or if "there's another way to create that ecosystem."

HP had high hopes for webOS when it first launched the TouchPad tablet in July 2011. But the device failed to gain any market share, thus pushing HP to discontinue the tablet and additional webOS device development several weeks later. The TouchPad didn't become popular until HP reduced its price to $99 for the 16 GB model and $149 for the 32 GB model in a brief fire sale.