Now that the smoke has cleared up around webOS's abrupt K.O., it's time to straighten out the facts: webOS is not dead. In fact, despite dismal TouchPad sales, HP still "stands by it."
You might have noticed over the weekend that the TouchPad went on a crazy fire sale at nearly every North American electronics shop. If not, they're going for $99, practically everywhere and consumers are snatching them up like Black Friday came three months early.
The TouchPads are cheap — you're getting a $500 tablet for $99 as it liquidates everywhere, but what good is a webOS tablet if it'll never get more app support, never have its bugs ironed out and never be updated ever again?
There's good news. Even though HP is pulling out of production for physical hardware (smartphones and tablets and possibly the entire PC business), Senior Vice President Stephen DeWitt says the company hasn't given up on webOS just yet:
"The webOS is not dead. We're going to continue to evolve it, update and support it. We stand by it."
What exactly that means is unclear, but from the sound of it, TouchPad owners might actually see new software updates in the future, meaning the six-week old tablet might not become the glossiest paperweight six months down the line. Just don't hold out for that rumored 7-inch "TouchPad Go" or a TouchPad 2, because it isn't going to happen.
It doesn't end there, either:
"The whole world isn't just about tablets and phones," DeWitt said yesterday. "There are going to be appliances of so many different sizes and shapes in the future that are going to require a human interface for data."
Early adopters who bought the TouchPad might even feel burned at the prospect of owning what essentially amounts to a heavy paper weight down the road, but fear not, HP is issuing compensation to those people and according to DeWitt, "We're going to obviously take care of every TouchPad customer."
HP received a lot of bashing this weekend (trust me, I know, I'm all up in the Twitterverse), but you know what? It's being very mature about maiming it's webOS TouchPad and Pre smartphones.