HP TouchPad Gets Successors but webOS Engineers Still Leave

While the core team remains, the vision for webOS is fundamentally changed

It was a long time coming, but HP finally took a decision in regards to the webOS operating system, the TouchPad tablet and any potential tablet plans.

In a move that may not have been so easy to foresee, HP decided to turn webOS into an open-source software.

This is beyond any doubt, as the company made an official announcement to that effect, one we covered here.

This raises new questions, like what will happen to the webOS engineer team, if the TouchPad ever gets revived, if it is succeeded, etc.

Fortunately, in addition to the aforementioned announcement, Meg Whitman, HP's CEO, agreed to an interview with The Verge as well.

Most of it is made up of confirmations and explanations as to what the new plans entail.

What was particularly interesting was that new webOS tablets are a real possibility, in the near term, even though smartphones are more or less out of the question at this point.

'Near-term' might have been used a bit loosely, though, as the chief executive is not altogether certain HP will have anything to show on that front before 2013.

After all, though the core webOS team is going to stay together, some engineers will leave, the same way about 500 of them started getting pink slips as far back as September.

Meg Whitman would want to keep the team together, or what is left of it, but how many of Palm's old employees remain will depend on what roadmap HP decides on and how much money it invests in it.

Also, the first order of business for the remaining specialists will be to swap out those parts of webOS that are not open-sourceable with alternatives (HP wants webOS completely open-sourced after all).

Thus, if HP is to try webOS tablets again, TouchPad successors as it were (perhaps along the lines of the TouchPad Go), it will have to complete this step first, which is no small task.

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