Want to know why HP is killing off its webOS Device division after releasing just a single product? Let’s leave the abysmal sales numbers of the TouchPad out of things. The fact of the matter is that HP just wasn’t any bloody good at making webOS devices. According to a new report, in fact, the iPad can run a hacked version of webOS twice as fast as the HP TouchPad, despite roughly equivalent hardware.
Sources speaking to The Next Web state that even the webOS software team thought the hardware side of things was hopelessly inept and “wanted them gone.”
To prove their point, they actually hacked webOS:
The hardware reportedly stopped the team from innovating beyond certain points because it was slow and imposed constraints, which was highlighted when webOS was loaded on to Apple’s iPad device and found to run the platform significantly faster than the device for which it was originally developed.
With a focus on web technologies, webOS could be deployed in the iPad’s Mobile Safari browser as a web-app; this produced similar results, with it running many times faster in the browser than it did on the TouchPad.
This is interesting to me for a couple of reasons. For one, it shows that there’s a huge divide in perceived competence within HP between the software and hardware side of webOS. If that’s true across all of HP, no wonder the company is looking to spin-off its hardware division to focus on cloud and enterprise services: that’s where all their talent is.
The second? Despite being limited to running on Qualcomm silicon, HP’s successfully ported webOS to the iPad 2’s ARM-based CPU. That means that HP might very well be able to license webOS to other electronics makers with a few tweaks… or maybe sell the OS outright to Samsung?