HP will introduce one final release of the HP TouchPad firmware, before the company announces if there will be any future for webOS at all.
As we just reported, the company’s own (at times, confusing and overriding) timelines for a decision on webOS as a product offering all indicate that a decision will be announced within the next week. HP has three choices: it can sell off webOS to another company, it can dump webOS completely and sell Palm, Inc.’s patent library to another company, or it can continue to develop webOS internally for a future re-launch.
CEO Meg Whitman has said that if HP chooses to keep webOS, and develop it internally, that such a process will be a multi-year project towards release. If true, next-generation webOS devices may not launch until late next year. HP would have to re-hire much of its hardware engineering team for mobile phones, as the hardware side of the webOS Global Business Unit was terminated within days of the company announcing it would halt webOS development. Meg Whitman reversed those decisions, and initiated a complete review of HP’s restructuring. That review has already resulted in Whitman choosing to keep the Personal Systems Group which the webOS Global Business Unit would likely operate under.
webOS 3.0.5 will be released only for the 10-inch TouchPad, and appears to be a bug fix-only release.
It is not clear what bugs will be fixed, or if those bugs also affect other HP webOS 2 devices, for which HP has given conflicting statements on if it will support. HP has, since the webOS review launched, upgraded Maps for webOS 1.4.5 devices like the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi, but also has said those devices are no longer security-supported. HP has also given conflicting statements on firmware support for the Palm Pre 2, HP Pre 3, and HP Veer 4G.