Meg Whitman

Former eBay CEO, 2010 California gubernatorial candidate and current president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Meg Whitman took the stage at HP's Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas today. She had some reassuring things to say about webOS and its open-source future, saying HP is committed and that we should  expect it to take some time (2 to 5 years worth) to fully play out what impact this will have on mobile's growing "ecosystem." We're right there with you Meg. We want webOS to stay relevant, and we love the open-source aspect. Bravo, and I could just hug you for doing the right thing.

Then something happened. We weren't there, but we expect the lights went dim and eerie music started playing in the background as Meg went on to say that Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility could lead to Android becoming closed-source and force OEM's to adopt webOS. We can't make this stuff up, kids.

I hate to break it to ya Meg, but it ain't gonna happen. It's against Google's business model with Android, which is to maintain a rich mobile operating system that anyone can install and use for free.  This, in turn, puts plenty of eyes on Google products and services, which leads to piles of money.  Google doesn't sell Android -- it sells ads. Google makes a ton of money every time a mobile device uses the Internet, because frankly, it's hard to get away from Google. No matter what smartphone brand you're using, Google is making money. Google will make money from an open-source webOS, just like it does from a closed-source iOS. It makes even more money keeping an Android open-source OS available for partners to use. Like every company, including HP, Google likes lots 'o money.  

We get it. You want more folks to adopt your $1.2 billion dollar baby. How about listening to your user base and adapting the software to fit their needs instead of FUD and scare-tactics? Of course, we've all done things in Vegas we might later regret ...

Source: PC World; via webOS Nation


Reader comments

HP CEO Meg Whitman: Google's Motorola buyout could lead to a closed-source Android


While I agree google proved this is possible since honeycomb was never opened. ASOP itself should fork. But that's my opinion. If android went with the GNU general public license I would be a lot less worried apache isn't bad though but it allows it to close.

And Honeycomb is going away .. most of that was released in the form of ICS since it's the version after and the melding of handset and tablet. They said this from the beginning. And which GPL? v2 which is what the kernel still is .. or v3? Would people still be scared if binary only drivers were used as they are in Linux with nVidia/ATI? Seriously .. she is just blowing smoke.

Linux is gpl v3 I believe. Im just saying open development (rather then doing a code dump every new release) would be even better. Android should move to become a full blown linux distribution. Idk man. I don't think google will ever close the android source code. But they certainly could.

Linus Torvalds didn't like GPLv3. He kept the kernel itself at GPLv2. Some extensions that were built for the kernel were licensed under v3. So while the Linux project technically uses GPLv2, parts of it uses v3.

Honeycomb has been open sourced. Pretty sure it was released around the same time ics was. To little to late obviously but still.

Everyone in the world: Meg Whitman's job as CEO of HP could lead to end of Pre.

Seriously, what does she know.

I aint goin thid seems like workin backwards to me uve been open source for so long, thats tha basis of tha battle w/ apple I dont see this happenin at all

I'm waiting for her response to the fact that someday, webos will be on a variety of hardware types. You know....."fragmented". She railed against Android on that one, too.

I don't understand her logic.

Google acquiring Moto(a hardware company) will make an open OS (Android) closed?


HP owns webOS and is a hardware company but yet webOS went from a closed system to open.

So by her logic webOS going open should have never happend


HP only went open with WebOS because they didn't have the expertise to pull off an Apple model. They're not creative enough to do anything unique so they just tossed it out there a la Google. Don't be surprised if HP starts or buys an ad company, if they don't have one already (if they do and it's common knowledge I apologize for not being common).

Stefanie Jobs? Is that you?

All nonsense aside, this is just a CEO spinning an about-face into the best PR move possible. Corporate politics as usual.

CEO's will do anything to get costumers. even lie. i highly doubt she even believes what she said

Whitman doesn't know what she's doing. She ran eBay into the ground and wanted to be governor of California. She isn't governor. NUF SAID

Who let this crazy lady out of the cage???? What the hell does she know. HP is a failure of a company with endless stream of flops! Both in products and in CEOs!

She is just spreading FUD to take the heat off HP failed attemps!

Gee, what do you call a Large CEO that criticizes another large company of having the same business practice of merging to stay competitive?

Lets do a quick refresh of HP history.

HP merged with...
Apollo Computer, Convex, Compaq, DEC, Tandem, EDS, 3Com, Palm......

Who will HP acquire next to compete now with Google? Yahoo???

Well, considering that Apple's smartphone division alone generated approximately $24.4 billion in revenue Q4 of 2011 alone. This compares to Google's entire revenue for Q4 totaling a mere $10.5 billion.

I would think that it is ignorant and foolish to say that Google would not even consider a closed source software, especially now considering it has been built up to such a large consumer and developer base. To say that Google makes more money by remaining open source isn't completely accurate, as the comparison between Apple and Google quarterly revenue shows. Obviously Meg can't know what Google plans on doing, but her statement isn't absurd.

So you think Google is going to switch from an ad company to a hardware company? Sorry but that just isn't gonna happen. If established hardware companies can't make the margins Apple is making then how will Google do it? Google is in the best position no. No one is coming anywhere close to beating them at their core business. The minute they cut all their OEMs off they could potentially lose out on core revenue and Android market revenue due to decreased volume. And then they have to outsell Apple and match their margin to make Apples profits which they won't. Now Apple on the other hand is filing a lawsuit a day to try to stop competition. Who would you rather be?

Yikes Jerry, bad editorial! I am here at the conference and she said nothing about "forcing OEM's to adopt WebOS".