HP may officially still be working to make "the right decisions" about what to do with webOS, but according to one report, the mobile platform's fate is all but sealed. Today The Guardian is claiming that HP will soon shut down its webOS division and that nearly 500 employees could be reassigned or simply laid off. This news allegedly comes from sources within HP itself, one of which said that "there's a 95% chance we all get laid off between now and November, and I for one am thinking it's for the best." Additionally, The Guardian asserts that there hasn't been much interest in webOS from other firms, despite the fact that there have been some firms rumored to playing with the idea of licensing the OS or buying it outright.
Though obviously all of this information is still unofficial, it's disappointing to hear that webOS may soon have its existence card swiped away. It'd be interesting to see what could be done with webOS if it were used on some new form factors or internals, but by the sound of things it doesn't seem like there are any companies interested in taking that chance. HP has said that it expects to make a decision on webOS's fate "within the next couple months," so we should be hearing more soon. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Todd Bradley, EVP of HP's Personal Systems Group, went on Bloomberg yesterday to talk about HP's decision to keep its PC business and, during the interview, the subject of webOS's future was brought up. Bradley said that HP is continuing to invest in webOS software via updates, and he described the rumor that the company was planning to shut webOS down as "unfounded." You can watch the full interview below. The webOS talk starts at around the 2:50 mark.