HP's limboed webOS decision expected 'within two weeks'

Summary:Meg Whitman, HP's chief executive, told a French newspaper that a decision on the company's webOS division will be made in the next two weeks.

Speaking to French newspaper Le Figaro, HP's chief executive Meg Whitman said in an interview that the decision surrounding the future of its webOS division will be made "in the next two weeks".

Though no indications were given as to whether the mobile operating system's division will stay or go, she said that the "team of 600 people [is] in limbo" awaiting the decision, adding that it will not be an easy choice to make.

Whitman said during the interview that HP needed "to have another operating system", indicating that either webOS could stage a comeback, or the company could pave the way to acquire another operating system for its hardware devices.

Former HP CEO Leo Apotheker made the decision to kill off the Personal Systems Group (PSG), which incorporates webOS development, tablet and consumer PC manufacturing teams. But when Whitman arrived in the role, she effectively reversed this decision and embraced the company's hardware roots.

Earlier this month, Whitman was reportedly poised to decide the fate of the webOS division, but instead told employees at an all-hands meeting on November 8th that she was still considering the group's fate.

At least now the webOS team has a firm timeline of when the sword will fall, or whether the group will be reinvented and rejuvenated as something else.

In the interview, as reported by AllThingsD, Whitman conceded that should the iPad count as a PC, then Apple will likely take the crown as the world's top vendor of PCs. Whitman said should that be the case, then 2013 will be the year where HP tries to reclaim its pride of place as the world's leading manufacturer.

In killing off the HP TouchPad tablet during the summer after the company suffered poor hardware sales in the division, the firesale that followed gave the tablet a lease of life. Though HP lost millions in the reduced-price sale, the company still reported a marginal increase on revenue up by 1 percent from last year.

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Topics: Operating Systems, CXO, Hewlett-Packard, Mobile OS

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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