HP's earnings were brutal this past quarter, sure. In response, new CEO Meg Whitman's clarion call to investors, repeated over and over again? We need to be more clear. We need to let you know what's going on.
Just not... right... now.
For all of Whitman's posturing about the need to tell us what's in store for HP, she glossed right over the company's biggest question mark: the fate of webOS. Honestly, at this point? Just take it behind the barn and shoot it. Or sell it to someone who cares.
It's not like HP hasn't had time to decide. Over the last three months, the webOS saga has gone from an exhilarating, fall-of-Rome style fire sale bachanal to an awful Hallmark special where a boring family can't decide whether to pull the plug on Jason Robards. Thumbs down! Would not recommend!
The navel-gazing would be funny if it weren't so frustrating. Three weeks ago Whitman held an all-hands meeting with HP employees to discuss the fate of webOS, only to say that it was still undecided. The company slashes webOS jobs with one hand and issues an OTA update with the other. Meanwhile, webOS rots.
HP spent billions to buy Palm. Now, a year later, webOS is banished to some horrible tech limbo. for the love of all things innovative, don't just let it fester. If you're going to sell it, sell it to someone who'll be a proper steward of technology. If you're going to shut it down, shut it down and innovate something better.
The overwhelming sense is of waste. HP bought itself a Ferrari, then immediately wrapped it around a tree. Now it's got two options: Take it to the shop, spend the time and money to fix it. Or sell the scrap metal to a someone (Amazon?) who can rebuild it into something better. But don't just leave it sitting there, giving the tires a kick every few weeks. It's depressing as hell, and it's ruining your curb appeal.
A lot of words were tossed around in today's call: infrastructure, services, software, clarity. The one we didn't hear was closure. Enough already, HP. Time to make up your minds.