HP shutters webOS phones and TouchPad, maybe the OS too

Turn out the lights on webOS as HP is discontinuing all devices running its OS acquired from Palm for $1.2 billion. This includes all phones and the just released TouchPad tablet.

In a stunning move today HP has announced it is discontinuing all webOS devices. The official statement isn't clear on what might happen to the webOS software.

"...HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward."

This vague statement could indicate HP wants to sell the platform, but given it has failed for Palm and now HP it is hard to imagine who might be interested in a purchase. HP is likely not interested in licensing webOS to other companies as that would require maintaining an infrastructure to support and develop the OS. On the surface it doesn't look like HP wishes to continue active association with webOS.

What HP hasn't addressed is how owners of existing webOS devices, including the only recently released TouchPad tablet. These devices include the Pre, Pre 2, Veer and TouchPad.