It’s hardly surprising that, following HP’s news last week that it would discontinue manufacturing webOS hardware, plenty of folks started reacting like rats on a sinking ship; we just saw retailers over the weekend price down TouchPad tablets to the point where they were practically giving them away. While there’s a good chance we’ll never see another webOS smartphone or tablet, there’s still some future left for the platform, with the company announcing its intent to continue supporting webOS smartphones with software updates, to give the Pre 3 a limited release, and to bring the operating system to some much different hardware.
HP’s Stephen DeWitt revealed that updates will continue to arrive for both the Veer and the TouchPad. He didn’t comment on earlier devices like the Pre 2, though, which could spell bad news for owners of those models. DeWitt didn’t share any specific plans for future updates or what they might include, but simply that they’re coming.
Pre 3 sales will continue as the smartphone is released in “very selective areas”. For the moment, that doesn’t look like it will include the US. The Veer will supposedly stay up for sale for the time being, but it might not be long before we see TouchPad-like sales designed to get rid of remaining stocks.
What does the future hold for webOS, then, if we’re looking at very limited retail sales and support for existing smartphone models? HP says “printers and PCs”. Look for a Windows-based webOS interpreter, maybe bringing its apps to the desktop, as well as printers incorporating the platform, presumably as some sort of touchscreen interface. There’s no word on when either project should be ready to go.