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Mercredi, 31 Août 2011 02:40

Zombie Palm Is Hiring a webOS Team

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Zombie Palm Is Hiring a webOS Team

Screenshot of open webOS jobs at Palm from

Who wants a job working on webOS at Palm?

Hewlett-Packard insists that its webOS software team will continue active development even as its TouchPad tablet and smartphone hardware groups are winding down. It may have also seen some attrition in the webOS team following the announcement that the device unit was closing up shop. But it’s sold hundreds of thousands of TouchPads since slashing prices and even committed to a final manufacturing run of the suddenly-popular devices. Those are a lot of new customers to support.

Granting all that, it makes sense that yesterday and today, Palm posted 35 webOS development, engineering and manager positions at, many of which were first posted on its own site earlier in the summer.

A few of the postings don’t make sense, though. For example, Palm is hiring a TouchPad Regional Product Manager to develop TouchPad tablets and bring them to market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It’s looking for a Product Line and Marketing Managers to sell TouchPads to business customers. It’s even seeking a Product Line Manager to develop new accessories specifically for the TouchPads and other webOS devices its parent company doesn’t want to make any more.

Something about the Accessories Manager position description feels especially grim. Maybe it’s the line about “through launch and end of life”:


  • Develop new accessory product proposals and oversee projects from definition and development through launch and end of life for HP/Palm’s webOS product family.
  • Identify and rollout an overall accessory strategy for HP/Palm’s future webOS product lines
  • Bring forward new and creative accessory product concepts that mesh well with our webOS devices with differentiated and unique experiences
  • Manage the overall accessory business by defining/leading product roadmaps, promotions, ROI’s, forecasting, pricing, and lifecycle planning.
  • Manage the accessory product management team to deliver new and innovative products
  • Develop product positioning in the marketplace utilizing market and technology research and analysis
  • Work closely with the WW sales teams to develop a clear understanding of customer needs and drive to a consensus forecast
  • Manage relationships with 3rd party vendors building accessories for palm as well as identifying and evaluating new potential partners for palm’s accessory business

There are three possibilities here, which I’ll list from most to least likely. (They also happen to be most to least boring.)

  1. These job ads, like HP’s TV commercials for the TouchPad that aired after the announcement, were long-planned well in advance. If anyone could have pulled them, they didn’t, because they’ve been a little busy.
  2. Palm and HP really are fully intending on pushing ahead with webOS, and they need even more people to do whatever they’ve got planned. That explains the software hires, at least. Also, who knew that the cut-price TouchPad would be so popular? They’ve got a chance to sell some more cases for these babies and offload a new run to businessmen in France. Every penny helps.
  3. Palm is shooting the moon. Whether under the current HP or with a new, spun-off personal computing company, it thinks there’s life within and money to be made making these devices yet. The hardware team is using whatever discretionary power it still has to make its move to keep this zombie division alive.

Of course, at this point, given everything we’ve heard, this last possibility is about as likely as the biggest PC maker in the world saying it didn’t want to be in the PC business any more. And that would be downright nutty.

Hat-tip to Ryan Singel.

Follow us for disruptive tech and media news: Tim Carmody and Epicenter on Twitter; Tim Carmody on Google+.

Zombie Palm Is Hiring a webOS TeamTim is a technology and media writer for Wired. Among his interest are e-readers, Westerns, media theory, modernist poetry, sports and technology journalism, print culture, higher education, cartoons, European philosophy, pop music and TV remotes.
Check out Tim's Google+ profile.
Follow @tcarmody on Twitter.


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