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HP Cuts Staff As WebOS Transitions To Opensource

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the replaced-by-fifteen-year-olds-with-free-time dept.

HP 64

alphadogg writes "Hewlett-Packard has cut 275 jobs in its webOS group, as part of its strategy to turn the operating system over to the open-source community, according to IDG News Service. HP said last year that it would stop making devices that use the operating system which was developed by Palm for phones and tablets, and later decided to release the software under the Apache License 2.0. As webOS continues the transition to open-source software, HP no longer needs many of the engineering and other related positions that it required before, the company said in a statement. '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,' it added."

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Open Source kills jobs (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39196457)

Further proof that Open Source kills engineering jobs and depresses wages.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (4, Insightful)

captbob2002 (411323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196495)

I expect that HP would have let those folks go regardless - they had already killed the product.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39196567)

They weren't let go, they were Communitized.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196541)

Further proof that Open Source kills engineering jobs and depresses wages.

It actually seems to cut both ways, albeit one way visibly, the other less visibly.

Given that 'Open Source' is(among other things) the trendy way to put a product on deathwatch, it does have some correlation with job losses. Company X decides to take Product Y out behind the woodshed, kicks out a perfunctory OSS release and then axes the internal dev team.

However, the availability of OSS tools and building blocks of various flavors certainly improves matters for those people who have the skill and experience to make them work together to deliver whatever it is that people actually want. There are plenty of jobs doing the same with proprietary toolsets; but the cost of owning your tools(or even getting a chance to learn hands on) is higher. OSS software creates a nontrivial niche for anybody who can get rid of enough licensing fees in order to justify their salary...

One does not lead to the other (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196857)

"However, the availability of OSS tools and building blocks of various flavors certainly improves matters for those people who have the skill and experience to make them work together to deliver whatever it is that people actually want."

If there were actually a demand, HP wouldn't have had to axe it - they would have either exploited it themselves, or found a sucker^Wbuyer.

OSS software creates a nontrivial niche for anybody who can get rid of enough licensing fees in order to justify their salary...

... if it were only about license fees, we'd have had the "year of the linux desktop" long ago.

Re:One does not lead to the other (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197063)

...because that worked so well for Sun with Java.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197071)

Given that 'Open Source' is(among other things) the trendy way to put a product on deathwatch, it does have some correlation with job losses. Company X decides to take Product Y out behind the woodshed, kicks out a perfunctory OSS release and then axes the internal dev team.

Yes, but it's still meaningless to say "Open Source kills engineering jobs and depresses wages" as there's no obvious causation. If webOS was successful they wouldn't be axing the dev team nor open sourcing it. After all, companies have been killing projects and laying off the staff for ages. The only question would be if open sourcing it lets you kill it faster, by letting the community keep it on life support rather than doing it yourself. Maybe you even get a bit of good PR and goodwill for doing it too, even if they just throw it out to die it beats taking it to the trash bin.

And for what it's worth, it allows people to go scavenger hunting. Perhaps webOS doesn't have a future, but maybe they have some functionality or logic other projects could use. I certainly don't see how it could be worse. Sourceforge is also full of dead and abandoned projects, but if you wanted to revive one it's easier to start from something than it is to start from scratch, at least if it wasn't written by someone featured on thedailywtf. Of course it's not good if open source got equated with being on deathwatch, but in that case Android would have to be on deathwatch too so I don't think you'd get very far implying that.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197259)

Oh, I don't think that the correlation is causation, back in the day the company in question just axed the product and the dev team and that was that. I was merely noting that you will, in fact, see "Company Open-Sources XYZ" and "Company axes XYZ dev team" in close proximity to one another in a fair number of cases, now that OSS has become an accepted end of life option for certain flavors of corporate software(among its numerous other uses).

As you say, there isn't any impressive causal relationship(WebOS certainly wasn't killed off by Apple's terrifying Openness powers...) and having the product available for revival/reuse is certainly better than not.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39198169)

>Perhaps webOS doesn't have a future, but maybe they have some functionality or logic other projects could use.

There sure are. The WebOS task switching is vastly superior to Android. I have a Touchpad, and some Android devices, and task-switching / app termination is a huge pain on Android, but dead-simple in WebOS due to the brilliant Card metaphor.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196589)

Yes, because HP, a company floundering with a new business model that reduces emphasis on PC sales and is downsizing in general, fired those employees because of Open Source but not because they are struggling.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197323)

The real reason that they were fired is for violating HP's software development standards....

After it was discovered that they were producing software with a pleasant, intuitive interface, smooth response, fairly modest resource requirements, and had even been rash enough to gather a group of end users who actually liked the software, it was clear that they must not be allowed to sully the HP software reputation.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39198101)

No, I think it more likely that they ran afoul of the Mandatory Driver Download Size rules. When they put a whole OS / application stack in a file 1/10 the size of a typical WIndows print driver, they pissed off a whole bunch of people with higher seniority.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39198221)

It does look rather bad that the restore images for the TouchPad are smaller than some of the driver downloads for their various horrible consumer printers...

Re:Open Source kills jobs (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196641)

I realize I should have posted the alternative in my previous post:

It is bad business to cut your talent on a whim. They would have transitioned these developers/engineers to other projects if they could have afforded to keep them.

Rather, WebOS to FOSS was a cost cutting measure, and the devs were part of that cost. They would have been stupid to do so without something twisting their arm (in this case, the shareholders).

Re:Open Source kills jobs (1)

bored (40072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39199001)

Yah, American business "We can't find any developers in the US so we have to hire abroad". Two weeks later "Uh, we are laying off 1000 developers".

I totally agree, they wouldn't be laying people off if it was so hard to find new ones. Its 100% about cost cutting, nothing else. Telling people otherwise is a lie. These companies won't be happy until they have thousands of people with 18+ years education willing to work for $10/hour applying for every single software position.

The worse part is that the only kind of cost cutting upper mgmt seems to be able to understand is laying people off. The idea of actually, increasing efficiency, or maybe reducing executive perks never crosses their mind.

The good news is that all that "talent" lying around is busy starting new companies that compete with the big IBM's and HPs of the world. If your going to work at a poverty level, you might as well work for yourself, in the hopes you can make something of it.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197303)

Android is OpenSource, and many other apps and OS's that are OpenSource actually created lots of jobs. HP couldn't make WebOS a viable operating system, but once it becomes Open Source, WebOS should start thriving again.

Re:Open Source kills jobs (2)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197785)

Riight. Like making Symbian Open Source made it thrive. Or Maemo. Or Meego...

Re:Open Source kills jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39198207)

Unfortunately you seem to be right in this case.

--
BMO

Open Source SAVES jobs! (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39202999)

You've got that backwards. The project was scheduled to be killed, which would have resulted in all the engineers on the project getting fired (or moved to other projects where they would displace other engineers, who would then get fired). As it is, they're keeping a skeleton staff. So open source saved jobs.

Furthermore, the fact that this project is going to continue in some form opens up the potential for many many more jobs at many other companies--if it's successful, people are going to be porting apps to it like mad. (Admittedly, that's a big if.)

Webos was never given a chance (4, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196483)

Cursed by poor marketing, weak launch hardware and a limited budget from Palm, Webos never really had a fair shot at the market. HP bought them at a time when they were transitioning to a new CEO who wanted to move them in a services direction, and so they never got the love they needed from HP.

Hopefully open sourcing it will give it new life. It would be nice to have a REAL open source platform, and not the pseudo open source with have with Android, where it's really only open to the handset makers and carriers and users have to resort to ugly hacks to make it work.

I wouldn't mind buying a used Android handset or even an iphone 4S and wiping and re-imaging with Webos. That would be awesome! Finally a good quality OS on good hardware. Kickass.

Re:Webos was never given a chance (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196783)

Also one of the rumored problems with the TouchPad development was that the hardware was decided before the WebOS team even started which hampered development.

Re:Webos was never given a chance (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196823)

Hopefully open sourcing it will give it new life. It would be nice to have a REAL open source platform, and not the pseudo open source with have with Android ... I wouldn't mind buying a used Android handset or even an iphone 4S and wiping and re-imaging with Webos. Finally a good quality OS on good hardware.

One of the reasons that Android is not entirely open source is because that good hardware isn't well documented, and therefore you end up having to rely on proprietary drivers and binary blobs. A "good-quality OS" isn't necessarily any good for the hardware you're thinking about.

Re:Webos was never given a chance (2)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197359)

I have ICS running on my HP Touchpad, but I'd still like to see further development for WebOS. If they could make WebOS run Android apps, that would be fantastic.

Re:Webos was never given a chance (1)

bdenton42 (1313735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39198105)

I really tried to like WebOS. The clean UI and smooth multitasking were wonderful but ultimately it's all about the apps, and WebOS is a disaster there. There is only a few thousand available, and most of them are designed for the Palm Pre so they ran in a tiny window.

After trying it for about a month I loaded CM7 and never looked back.

Hopefully the CM team can use some of the WebOS source to improve the CM drivers, but otherwise I personally don't see a need for any further development on WebOS

Re:Webos was never given a chance (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197361)

pseudo open source with have with Android

Android is released in its entirety under OSI approved open source licenses. The issue with bootloader unlocked hardware like the Galaxy Nexus/Nexus S etc. is that in order for some of the hardware to work requires binary blobs but developers at Google are hard at work alleviating this requirement. But as far as Android itself it is completely open source under very liberal licenses mostly Apache 2.0.

Re:Webos was never given a chance (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197723)

It is rather a pity that much of the cellphone/tablet/widget market seems to act as a veritable case study of why tivoization sucks...

re: webOS and HP TouchPad (2)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39198429)

Yeah.... I purchased a brand new 32GB HP TouchPad just recently, as one of Micro Center's special offers. (Basically, they're selling off the last of their inventory of them for $149.95 each if you add it to a purchase of some other new HP computer. My day job wanted me to pick up a new HP desktop PC for them anyway, so I paid the extra and got the TouchPad for myself.)

My impressions of it were:

1. Upon initial unboxing? OMG, HP tried like mad to make this thing copy-cat an Apple product! Same predominantly snow-white box with a lid that lifts off to reveal the contents in a minimalistic type of packaging. Same clear plastic you peel off before using the product. Same type of instruction pamphlet found inside a little cardboard envelope with a cute slogan printed on the front of it. Even the same idea of a uniquely shaped AC wall charger (as opposed to a typical power "brick" like 99% of other consumer electronics products include).
2. When I started giving the unit an actual try, I quickly realized webOS is a really competent operating system for a tablet like this. The "cards" concept works pretty well, and everything has a polished, quality look to it (including such things as the rippling effect when you tap anyplace on the screen). It absolutely needed the latest OS update to be downloaded/installed, to make it work 100% properly though. (I had a Kensington tablet case with integrated bluetooth keyboard, and I couldn't even make the non-HP branded keyboard pair properly until I did the update.) But after that, it "just worked", as the Apple faithful would say.
3. The Touchstone dock/charger is really a "must have" accessory to round out the product. The fact they included inductive charging capabilities in the hardware itself AND designed it intelligently enough so it detects when it's sitting on the stand, and can swtich modes (to a photo frame, a clock, etc.) is VERY slick, and makes you aware it's not just an iPad wannabe after all.

I really believe HP made a MASSIVE mistake by letting webOS go and canceling the TouchPad project. IMO, this was the ONLY real potential competitor to Apple's iPad, and another version or two of the hardware - combined with regular webOS improvements, could have been HP's shining star of a product to carry the whole company. It seems like it was JUST starting to gain the momentum needed when HP pulled the rug out from under it. Horrible timing ....

I don't get all the people rushing to hack these to run Android, quite frankly? webOS is far more enjoyable to work with for a tablet than any of the Android tablets I've seen. Android feels like it was "made for a phone, but shoehorned onto a tablet".

Re: webOS and HP TouchPad (1)

ancientt (569920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205019)

No rush to run Android, but there is a point. I got my daughter a Touchpad and she loved it instantly... but couldn't find all the Apps she wanted. She has never used an Android phone, so in her mind, Android did everything she couldn't with WebOS. We put Android on it, and it should be noted that it doesn't replace WebOS, it just gives you a dual boot option. She was excited, it was wonderful... for a couple days, then she was using mostly WebOS again. I ended up putting ICS on it and she was again thrilled... but today when I pried it from her clutching hands, she was using WebOS again.

It seems that there are some things that just don't have good options in WebOS, chiefly among them, video players. With Android, you get more video players and pretty good ones. Most anything you can do easily in WebOS is easy enough with Android, but look and feel are better with WebOS for someone who doesn't have a bias and battery life is longer (though that is likely a side effect of the hardware and designing choices of each.)

I don't have the invested time using either one that she does, so I don't have the same motivations and preferences. I do have an Android phone, so WebOS doesn't immediately seem easier to me. Open Sourcing it though and having looked a little bit at how it was designed makes me hope that it retains enough momentum that I can dual boot it if I ever cave into getting a tablet myself. It does seem likely that I'll get some experience with an iPad soon and I'm wondering if anybody has put a dual boot WebOS system on one.... anyone?

Re: webOS and HP TouchPad (1)

tiggertaebo (1480739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39207629)

"I don't get all the people rushing to hack these to run Android, quite frankly? webOS is far more enjoyable to work with for a tablet than any of the Android tablets I've seen. Android feels like it was "made for a phone, but shoehorned onto a tablet"."

I couldn't agree more... I bought mine for relatively cheap during the firesale with the thought that I'd probably just stick Android on it and it would be a cheap way to get better hardware than most of the cheap 'droid slabs that are kicking around, a few days into using WebOS though that idea just dissolved - it's so much slicker than and Android tablet I'd ever used before and I find that it suits my way of thinking much better than iOS as well. The lack of apps hasn't been a problem for me as so far it's only taken one WebOS update and three 3rd-party apps for me to get all the functionality I need.

WebOS certainly isn't perfect and neither is the hardware but then nothing is and since it's managed to go from an impulse buy to an essential daily device for me I'd say I can't really complain.

Re:Webos was never given a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204063)

Hopefully open sourcing it will give it new life. It would be nice to have a REAL open source platform, and not the pseudo open source with have with Android, where it's really only open to the handset makers and carriers and users have to resort to ugly hacks to make it work.

It's Open Source alright; Google made certain of that. What you want is Free software, and that's most definitely
  *not* in Google's best interest to give you.

Heh, captcha of "polemics"

Open source (3, Funny)

PARENA (413947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196603)

It took our jooobs!

Re:Open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39196863)

It took our jooobs!

Big 'effin Deal. IBM just dumped 4 times that many people! And they didn't even use open-source as an excuse.

Just too funny (3, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196605)

I lost my shit at "Hewlett-Packard [..] as part of its strategy"

HP and strategy? If you think HP has anything even remotely resembling "a strategy", you're smoking something too strong to be healthy.

Re:Just too funny (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196669)

They certainly do have a strategy:

They purchased a Magic 8 ball, gave it a set of stock options that most of their employees could never hope to possess, and now shake it twice daily and execute its instructions to the letter...

Re:Just too funny (3, Funny)

Enry (630) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196739)

Outlook not so good

That's it, we're switching to Thunderbird!

Re:Just too funny (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39198939)

All Signs Point To Yes explains their crazy building layouts.

Re:Just too funny (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197023)

No shit. Companies like Apple or Oracle, of which I am not particularly fond, do have a strategy. If I worked at either I would at least not worry for my job's long term perspective. HP? Let's just say that if HP changed their name to BOZOS Inc., that wouldn't harm their image one bit.

When HP goes belly-up, it will be a most undignified corporate death - imagine lots of diarrhea and puke.

Re:Just too funny (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197033)

purchased a Magic 8 ball, gave it a set of stock options...

The Magic 8 ball got caught up in a sexual harassment scandal and was replaced by a Ouija board. The Ouija board was caught illegally spying on board members and was replaced by a pack of Tarot cards.

What do the cards say? Devil, Tower, and Ten of Swords...

Re:Just too funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197045)

It will get fired in a year or two when it is found to have more empathy for humans than most executives. We can't have the touchy-feely types in charge, after all.

Re:Just too funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197779)

Assuming (numbers out of a hat) that each of those 275 engineering level jobs cost the company ~200k a year, they're saving ~$5.5m/year?

Wouldn't that be chump change for such a company? What exactly are they saving by letting go engineering staff?

Aren't there other things within the company that would benefit from experienced engineering level folks?

I really don't see how such a move benefits them long term---if anything, firing experienced "worker" staff (folks who actually create the product) usually backfires for most corps.

Re:Just too funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230143)

You mean $55m, not $5.5m.

So much for WebOS (3, Informative)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196639)

It's a myth that you simply dump something out as "Open Source" and it will magically be supported by some group of volunteers. Most, if not virtually all, open source projects have paid people at companies doing much of the development. Often companies dedicated to that product although those using it contribute as well.

As best I can tell no one else is really using WebOS and HP just said they're not going to provide development effort for it.

I suspect there'll be enough "volunteers" to act as free support bitches and keep WebOS technically alive but for all practical purposes this means it's never going to be on anything but life support.

Re:So much for WebOS (2)

mike10027 (1475975) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196799)

I agree -- paid techs help make open source projects successful, particularly large ones, like an OS. But the real problem here is not the lack of paid developers, but the lack of real stakeholders. Even if HP kept on a lot more staff, the project would die simply because nobody has a vested interest in seeing it live. The justification right now seems to be that it's cool, not that somebody has a product that depends on it.

Re:So much for WebOS (1)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196831)

Unless say, there were suddenly 275 people with an interest in your Open Source project who had a lot of time on their hands.

"Sorry about firing your ass, but ya know now that you have nothing better to do, maybe you might..."

G.

Re:So much for WebOS (2)

happy_place (632005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197379)

Exactly. This reveals what HP really wants... Their employees to work on products that they can sell, but that doesn't actually cost them anything to develop. It's just more evidence of a sad long tragic downward spiral of a company that once had one of the most respected research and development departments, now a vacant shell, desperately acquiring companies with even the slightest semblance of buzzworthy technology, only to have no idea what to do with them once they get them. Meanwhile the quality engineering and tech-based managers that knew their stuff are being replaced with cheaper alternatives and MBAs that have studied processes but have no idea what to do with them. RIP HP.

Re:So much for WebOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197057)

Yeah. Cool. Open source software for hardware that soon will only exist in people's memories.

W

Mostly not software developers. (4, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197371)

The article states that many of the positions which are being cut are hardware related (and they are being moved to new positions within HP not being fired). HP still has quite a few folks who are paid to develop WebOS. Put it this way. How many successful OSS projects have over 300 full-time developers? That many people is massive overkill even if you split WebOS into 4 major projects, and a handful of smaller projects.

Re:Mostly not software developers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39198235)

I'm sure many of them will move around internally. On the other hand, I'm sure many of those hardware folks, if they haven't already left, are applying to places like Apple. Especially the good ones.

I'm a former Microsoft dev, and this really resonates with me. Big, slow-moving companies risk losing whatever top talent they do have when they misstep so severely.

Re:Mostly not software developers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39200475)

The situation is not as rosy as HP claims. There were probably only a couple of hardware people left after the previous round of layoffs. And the other open source mobile OSes (Android and Meego) have/had more than 300 developers -- some types of projects just need a lot of developers.

Re:So much for WebOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39200957)

This stuff is too good to die. Ubuntu or debian in a card (emacs on tablet, heck it even compiles my qt code) and true multiprocessing. I liked my new firesale tablet so much, I bought a second refurb (since confiscated by the wife) for twice the price I paid for the new one.

Update commitments not met....yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39196717)

There are a number of update commitments that have not been met yet, among them the Touch to Share functionality between the Veer and the Touchpad. HP needs to honor that commitment made to the userbase. Additionally skype is among the added functionality that was promised in the as yet undelivered update.

Palm (2)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196767)

Great, the next step is to change it back to Palm OS. :0)

Re:Palm (4, Funny)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196811)

Or perhaps - Face-Palm OS :-}

Re:Palm (3, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196903)

You know who should have bought Palm?

Nintendo.

Integrating PalmOS (even at the PalmOS 4 level) into the base operating system of the DS would have been super-awesome. Even just a PalmOS cart would have been great, maybe with an integrated Bluetooth dialler. A DS in a leather cover would not have looked at all out of place in a business meeting. A target market of 150 million units, the possibility of selling add-on services (cloud sync, Exchange integration, etc), a low cost of entry for new buyers (a DS is very cheap, a new phone is not).

I've not used WebOS but I presume it's rather heavier than the old PalmOS builds used to be ; they are missing a trick. PalmOS was great, even in it's early incarnations. Modern hardware would really make it snap.

Re:Palm (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39199389)

I hadn't thought of that -- very insightful. Nintendo would have a more modern OS and from the limited exposure I've had to the UI, it would be a good match.

WebOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39196873)

It is bad news to [economytra...ingdom.com]
  all employees of HP doing the WebOS.

Old news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197203)

We did this months ago, the only reason I remember is because I was really pissed off at the news.

Is an Open WebOS Really A Good Idea? (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197263)

There was an article on Slashdot a few months ago stating that several members of HP's WebOS team felt that WebOS was a dead end since it was based on web technology that didn't have enough horsepower to keep up with Android or the various tablet OSes.

HP is doing the cool thing by turning it over to people who may want it, instead of locking it in a drawer, but how smart would it be to continue developing it as an open source project if the paid full time professionals who developed it think it is a dead end technically?

Re:Is an Open WebOS Really A Good Idea? (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197887)

Maybe not for tablets/phones but it could be useful for other things that require less computing power. One of the rumors after HP bought Palm was that WebOS would used in printers and other products. It would standardize HP's UI at least and may reduce the complexity of development/maintenance as printers become more connected.

WebOS fail? (1)

rob5150 (2585465) | more than 2 years ago | (#39198809)

when i see that 275 more have been let go, that means there was even more on this project. With that kind of staff i feel like they did a horrible job developing webos. when i look at developers like the guys at CyanogenMod or other developers like that. that are putting out great software with only donations, it makes me wonder.........

Hey WebOS folk -- Amazon Web Services is Hiring! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39199611)

Out of a job? Never fear, AWS is here!!

Job openings in Herndon, VA:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/jobs/ref=j_sq_btn?keywords=engineer&category=*&location=US%2C+VA%2C+Herndon&x=41&y=10

Job openings in Seattle, WA:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/jobs/ref=j_sq_btn?keywords=engineer&category=*&location=US%2C+WA%2C+Seattle&x=27&y=12

The fault wasn't WebOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39202003)

HP makes lots of PCs and servers with Windows and much other Microsoft software. It remains competitive (as far as it does so) because MS gives discounts to Loyal OEMs. Loyalty is regarded as using MS products wherever this can be done. Given the number of PCs sold this discount must be hundreds of millions.

When HP developed the TouchPad and WebOS the only Microsoft product on ARM was WinCE and its derivatives such as WP7 which were inappropriate for tablets. Thus using Linux was not an issue. Then Microsoft announced Windows On ARM (WOA), a product for ARM based tablets and PCs. If HP continued to use Linux for devices that could be made to run WOA then MS may reduce or remove the 'discount'. The cost of this would exceed any potential profit from WebOS devices, even if they became successful.

This is a rerun of Netbooks where these small cheap devices running Linux could not possibly use Vista so MS revived XP just for this market to stop Linux being sold.

It probably doesn't matter to MS if no one makes WOA tablets, or if they do then no one buys them. The main reason for WOA is to stop OEMs making Linux based machines, or indeed anything other than Windows.

HP...total shite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39202643)

HP's problem lies in it's total commitment to complete and utter bloat. Writing a statement of work for a job (professional services) that is worth less than $8000.00 U.S. takes a team of no less than 20 people and over 10 revisions...meanwhile the customer waits...and waits...and waits! If there were ever anything even mildly efficient about HP, it was long ago washed away by the total commitment to fucking up anything they touch.

And now we see how they fail (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 2 years ago | (#39203263)

I was amazed that HP had the sense to open source web OS.  But now I see where they really don't get it.

Successful, large, open source projects typically have one major sponsor who actually does quite a lot of work on it.  Open sourcing it merely gives people more reason to use it and work on it with them.

Nobody's going to take the ball and run with this if HP, or somebody else, doesn't make it a major responsibility for themselves to do so.

To dam bad, they almost figured it out (and even then the odds would be against them)
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