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Summary:

HP’s decision to keep its PC group after announcing plans a month ago to get a divorce has no impact on the fate of WebOS, but new CEO Meg W…

Start screen on Windows 8
photo: Microsoft

HP’s decision to keep its PC group after announcing plans a month ago to get a divorce has no impact on the fate of WebOS, but new CEO Meg Whitman left no doubt Thursday that HP (NYSE: HPQ) is going to give up on tablets entirely. It’s just running back into the arms of an old friend.

“I think we need to be in the tablet business, and we’re certainly going to be there with Windows 8,” Whitman said during a conference call held to explain why HP reversed its thinking about its PC group, a decision that cost former CEO Leo Apotheker his job. HP sells a tablet device running Windows 7, but that operating system was not designed for mobility and is not even in the discussion when it comes to the modern tablet market.

Windows 8 will be a much more mobile-friendly piece of software, and many of the traditional PC makers will likely jump on board to ship tablets featuring the Metro interface. HP had not explicitly declared a plan to embrace Windows 8 tablets, but Whitman seems to have felt a need to address criticism that HP was poised to sit out the mobile computing revolution entirely if it were to cancel the Touchpad and put the WebOS group into some sort of limbo.

Whitman said that a decision about WebOS one way or another would be coming in a few months. Just this week, Richard Kerris, the lead developer evangelist for WebOS, left HP and has now taken a job with Nokia (NYSE: NOK) in a similar capacity.

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  2. Jefferson RFO Friday, October 28, 2011

    Way to go, Meg! This is exactly the kind of revolutionary thinking that HP needs. Why didn’t anyone think of this before?–to make technology that runs Windows? Good heavens, what a breakthrough! And it’s not like Apple is already light years ahead with the iPad, and it’s not like there are a hundred Android tablets whose technology keeps getting better and better, and it’s not like by the time Win8 comes out all these competitors will be even that much farther ahead, and it’s not like there aren’t plenty of Windows tablets already! Such incisivness, such genius!–to decide to join a burning company with a burning platform. Meg! MegMegMegMegMegMegMeg! Play it again, Sam! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O53235Z2hD0 Oh, and goodbye, HP–I’d say your decision to hire this moron will be the coup de grace.

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  3. Forgive me for being smug, but this is exactly why we didn’t elect her governor here in California. What a bonehead. WebOS is a better than average OS custom made for the HP tablet, and but apparently not good enough for Meg. Sheesh.

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  4. Meg is being smart here.  WebOS and thinking HP could be something it is not by the previous CEO was the aberration.  HP has a huge, core enterprise business and WebOS, although a good experience, is a distraction with no future. 

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