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By 7 September 2011 | Categories: news

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The mystery that is the fate of webOS and HP's Personal Systems Group grows deeper, with the announcement that the webOS Global Business Unit will be split in two.

According to precentral.net, the webOS hardware division will remain under the company’s Personal Systems Group, while the software division, which HP alluded to having ‘continued plans’ for, will find a new home under HP’s Office of Strategy and Technology.

The future of the company’s Personal Systems Group (PSG), which has been responsible for consumer notebooks and mobile devices, is still uncertain.

Precentral.net points out that the move could serve to separate webOS from the PSG group as well as give webOS “a closer relationship to HP’s multi-billion research and development fund.” What the move also does is diminish any hope that HP would revive the TouchPad or rethink its original decision, following an announcement that it would produce one more run of the tablets to give users another chance to buy one after a fire sale prompted increased demand.

It also could indicate that HP still has plans for the operating system, albeit not necessarily for mobile devices. Precentral further cites a letter from Todd Bradley, the executive vice president for HP’s Personal Systems Group, as explaining that “the webOS platform continues to demonstrate its ability to improve how our customers look up information, access entertainment and stay connected on the go. The company is investigating the best ways to leverage webOS software and grow its applications environment.” Bradley goes on to state: “Reorganizing the webOS software teams under the Office of Strategy and Technology allows us to fully investigate how we can utilize the webOS software platform.”

Somewhat contradictorily, at least to the changes that the company has hinted at being in the pipeline, he also affirmed that those in Personal Systems Group “must continue to ensure that our customers, partners, colleagues and friends understand that we remain focused on creating amazing products, winning new business and showing the world why we continue to be the largest, most profitable PC company in the world.”

One as yet unanswered question is without a direct involvement in the tablet or smartphone space, what form would the implementation of webOS take? An even bigger question is: what exactly does HP have up its sleeve?

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