Update: HP to go open source with webOS

HP chief Meg Whitman announces company will 'contribute' webOS to open source community

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Pacific time on Friday to announce her decision.

Remember when NBA star LeBron James scheduled an ESPN television special in July 2010 to reveal whether he'd re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers or take advantage of his free agency to join another team? Only delusional Cavs fans thought (or, more likely, hoped) the self-serving TV spectacle would end with James announcing he was sticking with his long-time team. And sure enough, James concluded the show by telling the world that he was joining the Miami Heat.

This is the same kind of deal. Whitman isn't calling an "all-hands meeting" to tell employees that HP will revive webOS so that HP can continue selling TouchPads at a loss.

I'm 99% sure she's going to give a little propaganda pep talk to employees and then lower the boom. Maybe she'll announce that HP has a sales agreement to sell webOS and, with it, the 600 employees who work on the mobile operating system. Or maybe she'll say HP is seeking a buyer.

There's even a chance she'll announce that HP is just throwing in the towel, though it's hard to see why the company would be willing to eat that kind of loss if it could sell the division in a fire sale, much as it's done with $99 TouchPad. Plus it would suck for 600 people to suddenly be out of work.

But given the set-up here, I just don't see HP plowing ahead with webOS. We'll know soon enough.

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