The status of the webOS Global Business Unit has always been an open question since HP halted hardware support for the moribund operating system last year as a part of ultimately devastating moves that nearly set HP on the course of a nearly irrecoverable position. Now, the latest news regarding the group adds context to recent statements regarding webOS, Open webOS and the lack of hardware support.
Gram is a new company that takes the group and incorporates them as their own entity, presumably to free themselves from the larger bureaucracy that underpins the current HP in order to continue work on Open webOS and related projects. An internal email has also circulated detailing the new direction for the group and the company as a whole. While the company is a spinoff, it still receives some measure of funding from HP while it operates as a stealth startup for the time being. The full email is reproduced below:
Thank you for all of your enthusiasm at yesterday’s new brand announcement: GRAM. We hope you will fall in love with the brand just as lots of us have already.
Please note that our Mission, Values and Plan of Action are the same. We are continuing to march forward on our timelines as usual—nothing new there.
We have much work to do, and, again, I solicit your help.
Yes, this is a new brand—it is just the beginning, and there is so much more to do. And yet unveiling the new brand is also a Call to Action:
Try it on. We don’t expect you to love it overnight. We are no longer a consumer hardware brand, we are a different company with focus on software, User Experience, Cloud, engineering and partnering. This change in identity will take some getting used to and that’s normal.
Stealth mode. We are an incubation company, and we are trusting you to keep this company name and product under the radar to give it time to take root and grow. You can wear the logo, help build the momentum of the new identity, talk to your families and friends about it. If someone from the outside asks, you can say, “GRAM is a new company. We are in stealth mode on our product offering.”
Tap your network. Help us hire the best and the brightest, refer your friends and help us in our shared purpose as we continue our rise to the top. You can use the name to help us to recruit.
Be the culture. Spread our Values: People Matter. Integrity and Trust. Deliberate Innovation. Act small, deliver big.
For those of you who could not attend yesterday’s unveiling – we really missed you. Please be on the lookout for the gift bags with our new cool branded items, which we be mailing out to you this and next week. All of you should get one, if not – let me know.
The letter confirms that while Gram will continue the work spearheaded with webOS and currently ongoing with Open webOS in terms of development with cloud services and user experience, the company will not manufacture its own hardware directly. As of today, HP has yet to officially comment on the move. Below, the letterhead circulating with the above introductory email.