webOS Alive as Gram and Separate from HP’s New Mobility Unit

webOS is alive and well, according to a leak from its troubled parent owner HP, last week. When ex-CEO Leo Apotheker announced HP’s new focus on software and services and then was speedily replaced by current CEO, Meg Whitman, the only future that was officially reported for the USD1.2bn acquisition from Palm, was that the software would become open source.

 Well, a leaked internal memo from HP has identified that a new brand and company called Gram has been spun off from the webOS Global Business Unit. The wholly-owned subsidiary would seem to ‘house’ the remaining bits of Palm, and is expected to make more announcements come September when the future of the open source webOS becomes clearer. 

 

While initially in ‘incubation and stealth mode”, more details about Gram are being reported on the Web and the company had finally stated that Gram is hiring, ‘Help us hire the best and the brightest!” The software focus remains for this new startup, with no plans announced to resurrect the hardware portion of webOS.

 

According to the memo by the HP vice president, Martin Risau, “We are no longer a consumer hardware brand, we are a different company with focus on software, User Experience,Cloud engineering and partnering.” Along with webOS, the Enyo Javascript application framework and HP’s cloud offerings are being redeployed as part of Gram. Enyo, is an HTML5-based development environment for the open source webOS.

 

In other news, another mobile division has been set up within HP’s newly combined Printing and Personal Systems Group (PPSG). Head of PPSG Todd Bradley announced that a new Mobility Global Business Unit would focus initially on consumer tablets but, “… will expand to additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers.”

 

While the PC GBU remains under James Mouton, Alberto Torres, the former head of Nokia’s abandoned MeeGo, would head up the Mobility Global Business Unit. 

 

We wonder what direction Torres would lead the hardware-focused and possibly Windows Mobile-based Mobility Unit, especially since he had previously worked with a Linux-based software platform.

 




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