HP’s this week’s announcement that the company was rapidly exiting the hardware business, as well as the demise of the WebOS and its associated line of mobile devices, including TouchPad, shocked many around the world. Within a day, a fifth of the company’s stock value disappeared on Wall Street.
A staggering $16.2 billion — some $4 billion more than Google paid for Motorola Mobility. Analysts seem dismayed, and have downgraded the company’s stock. At least one of the credit rating agencies has threatened a downgrade of HP’s debt, and investors seem to doubt the company’s ability to make the switch.
Among long-time investors, CEO Leo Apotheker’s move may bring back memories of March 2002, when a company executives of its recent past: Carly Fiorina — pushed hard for a merger with Compaq, a move that created deep divisions within the company and likely contributed to her downfall.
And, also Mark Hurd, who was just as blemishing on HP’s standing as Fiorina was. While he spearheaded the company’s $1.2 billion purchase of Palm on April 29, 2010, most will remember him for his inappropriate relations with an HP contractor that lead to his ouster.
Now, Microsoft is attempting to give developers of the platform some comfort by offering them free resources and training, as well as Windows Phone devices.
Brandon Watson, Windows Phone evangelist tweeted:
To Any Published WebOS Devs: We’ll give you what you need to be successful on #WindowsPhone, incl.free phones, dev tools, and training, etc.
The response has been so positively received by the intdustry that within hours of tweeting the above message Watson begin receiving hundreds of replies. Not only has it attracted webOS platform developers, even staff from HP are jumping ship, asking to get onboard.
A user by the name of “dandyhighwayman” on Twitter asked Brandon if the offer “include[s] the engineers who worked on WebOS?”
In addition to this, Watson also tweeted that the “outreach was going well” and that he had been contacted by a Palm developer relationship person who wanted a job, and he was looking forward to talking to him about it.
Watson claimed that within 8 hours he had received over 200 emails from WebOS users and employees.
It appears Microsoft is attempting to gain as many developers as they can, even if it means using unconventional methods.