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

There are 43 comments

ak110707 says:

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.

aergern says:

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.

ak110707 says:

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.

deltatux says:

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.

briankurtz79 says:

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

frettfreak says:

I could be wrong, but i am pretty sure you are mistaken. AFAIK Honeycomb source was never released.

Honeycomb was indeed open sourced. When they released the source for ICS, Google included the full history of the source with the files.

silverfang77 says:

The death rattle of HP and their Web OS.

Mr.Froyo says:

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

Seriously, what does she know.

betsuni says:

Guess Meg didn't use up all her "scare the public" smoke from her gubernatorial race.

ybcthanerd says:

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

Mr.Froyo says:

I speak dat English too, and I aint gon lie, I speak it real good man

ScottColbert says:

Translation please, I don't speak illiterate.

kenyee says:

Meg is an idiot. She just lucked out w/ ebay :-P

aergern says:

Yes, she did. It's called good people under you who do all the heavy lifting. :D

wing2012 says:

"what happens in Vegas, stay in Vegas."

KwietStorm says:

Shut up, Meg



This should be comment of the month!

DrDoppio says:


GameBoi says:

Classic! Everytime I read Meg, I thought of Neg Griffin, lol

acer1096xxx says:

Lol i was about to post the same thing. Looks like someone beat me to it! :)

font1975 says:

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.

_X_ says:

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


Mr.Froyo says:

Sadly, that logic means webOS would have gone open source

dchawk81 says:

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).

dchawk81 says:

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.

MthII says:

Which Meg is ugliest...

Griffin? Or Whitman?

onthewhole says:

what a moron.

84guy says:

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

frettfreak says:

WOW... what an idiot. Dont think there is ANYONE that would actually believe this.

irogers says:

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

level380 says:

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!

dcreed says:

This almost makes me wish she'd won for governor. Almost.


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???

tluv00 says:

With comments like that it seems HP put their CEO position on EBay and the lowest bidder won.

Axe says:


tluv00 says:

Ax (or are you referring to the body spray?).


jtemple33 says:

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.

storm14k says:

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?

jf2go says:

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

Crispy says:

STFU and go run another company into the ground and get a $50m bonus you clueless idiot.

Lanhoj says:

Because anyone cares what HP says in relation to Mobile anymore, right?