Tuesday September 20, 2011 8:32 pm
HP axing 525 WebOS developers in massive layoff
The layoffs will affect as many as 525 employees and are a direct result of the closure of webOS. HP announced in August that it would kill off its webOS operating system and end development of webOS devices like the TouchPad tablet and the Palm Pre line of smartphones.
HP confirmed the layoffs but would not delve into details about the numbers.
“As communicated on August 18, HP will discontinue the development of webOS devices within the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, which ends Oct 31 2011,” an HP spokesperson said. “As part of this decision, the webOS GBU is undergoing a reduction in workforce. Today’s actions are part of this initiative. During this time, we stand by our commitment to our webOS customers and will work to ensure that support and service for customers are not adversely affected. HP is exploring ways to leverage webOS software.”
Ironically enough, it wasn’t until HP announced its plans to shutter webOS that it found success with the TouchPad. The company slashed the price of the 16GB model to $99 and discounted the 32GB model to $149, causing the suddenly popular tablet to sell out overnight.
In spite of the layoff news, HP has said there are more TouchPads coming at the same prices in order to satisfy demand, but they probably won’t be available for several weeks. HP emailed potential customers at the beginning of the month to let them know that it will take six to eight weeks to churn out the last batch of TouchPads.
This article, written by Leslie Horn, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.
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