HP to ditch webOS operating system

OK, that was quick. Just two days after it launched in the UK, the Palm Pre 3 looks to be heading out of the door, along with the HP TouchPad and more significantly, the webOS operating system. In short, the entire webOS ecosystem is being ditched.

That's according to Recombu, who spotted the annoucement in what looked like a fairly inoccuous press release. With that press sheet, HP said it: 'will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones'. No ambiguity there then.

Too soon? You would think so, with the TouchPad only launched in February, promising a new era for the company and the platform, the latter formerly the property of Palm. But is it a surprise? Perhaps not. The Pre 3 wasn't greeted with a fanfare on its arrival in the UK - indeed, we had to dig deep just to find evidence of it being here. Orange has been talked about as a network partner, but it has yet to launch on a contract basis.

The TouchPad got a strong review off us, but with Android tablets growing in strength, numbers and apps, while the iPad 2 continues to dominate, the TouchPad was always going to be niche for some time. HP has talked about licensing the operating system, but it now looks like the company has got cold feet about investing further, especially with a company admission that the existing devices haven't met 'internal milestones and financial targets'.

HP shifting to Android? You wouldn't bet against it. Not that it will be any comfort to those of you who have invested in a recent device, with support likely to be thin on the ground in the coming months.

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