It’s been a long and rough road for webOS. Once believed to be the first serious contender to Apple’s iPhone OS in terms of design and usability, it failed to live up to its promise due to… well, you name it: lackluster hardware, poor execution, and the Motorola Droid stepping up to bring Android to the masses in 2009. Palm's acquisition in 2010 offered new hope, but after a change of management at HP, webOS was unceremoniously axed from the company’s plans and later put on life support as open source software.
HP isn’t ready to pull the plug, however. According to a report from webOS Nation, the webOS Global Business Unit will live on as a brand new company called Gram. Although still wholly-owned by HP, it will be a separate independent entity, and as such Gram will be able to seek for outside investment.
It’s not entirely clear what the company will be working on going forward but apparently consumer hardware is out of the picture. Instead, they will “focus on software, user experience, the cloud, engineering, and partnering” -- whatever that means. “Gram is a new company leveraging the core strengths of webOS, Enyo and our Cloud offerings, as well as the firepower of our partners to create a technology that will unleash the freedom of the web,” reads a flyer presenting the company.
In an email sent to employees, HP Chief of Staff Martin Risau said that the change in identity will take some getting used, but the values, mission and plan of actions remain the same. He also asked everyone to keep this “incubation” company in stealth mode, giving it time to take root and grow, and to tap on their networks to help bring the best and brightest people to work at Gram.