Hewlett-Packard begins Palm unit layoffs

08:45 | 21/09/2011

Hewlett-Packard said Tuesday that it has begun laying off workers as part of its move to give up on the webOS mobile operating system it got when it bought Palm.

An HP spokesperson did not say how many employees were being let go in line with the computer maker's announcement last month that it was discontinuing the development of webOS devices.

"As part of this decision, the webOS (unit) is undergoing a reduction in workforce," the HP spokesperson said in an email response to AFP.

HP promised that it would stand by webOS customers and said it was looking for ways to "leverage" the mobile operating system, perhaps by selling it to another company.

Palo Alto, California-based HP said in August that it is was discontinuing the TouchPad, its iPad rival, and smartphones using the webOS mobile operating system HP acquired from Palm in a $1.2 billion deal last year.

The world's largest maker of computers also revealed that it was looking at "strategic alternatives" for its Personal Systems Group, which makes desktop, laptop and other personal computers.

HP chief executive Leo Apotheker, a veteran of German business software giant SAP, took over HP in November and has said he plans to refocus the company on software and make a major push into cloud services -- offering applications and storing data over the Internet.

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