One consequence of HP’s decision to wind down tablet production has arrived: over 500 HP (NYSE: HPQ) employees have been let go as the company tries to figure out what to do with its WebOS mobile software.
All Things D reported that the number was as many as 525, a number which HP would not confirm but it did acknowledge that people had been let go from its WebOS group. It’s been about a month since HP announced plans to stop making its TouchPad tablet amid poor sales and “explore strategic alternatives” for its WebOS group, which generally means that a company is shopping that group to the highest bidder.
The problem for HP is that there may not be too many buyers for a mobile operating system that has already failed twice to gain traction in the market. Samsung is increasing its focus on Bada amid concern over Google’s plans for Motorola (NYSE: MMI), and while HTC acknowledged earlier this month that it had been thinking about buying an operating system it also said it didn’t think it needed to own a mobile OS to compete.
In Silicon Valley, where engineering talent prompts bidding wars between tech companies, the transition out of HP may not be too rocky for former WebOS staffers.