HP palms off webOS and spins into new firm called Gram

Change ahead road sign

Tech giant HP is set to spin off its webOS division as a new company called Gram.

According to reports from blog webOS Nation, a leaked company memo said that the company has plans to spin off mobile operations into a new company concentrating on software development and services for webOS and Enyo platforms.

The blog claimed company sources said the Gram spin off is operating in stealth mode with workers being told to limit talks of the project to "family and friends". Outsiders can only be told, "Gram is a new company. We are in stealth mode on our product offering."

While the webOS arm is currently a business unit within HP, Gram will be a new company, operating as a separate entity supported by HP funding, webOS Nation said.

"Try it on. We don't expect you to love it overnight. We are no longer a consumer hardware brand, we are a different company with focus on software, user experience, cloud, engineering and partnering. This change in identity will take some getting used to and that's normal," webOS Nation reported the memo as saying.

"Tap your network. Help us hire the best and the brightest, refer your friends and help us in our shared purpose as we continue our rise to the top. You can use the name to help us to recruit."

The document failed to make any mention of hardware. HP has not launched any new devices based on webOS since August 2011. The company dropped the entire range of products just weeks after shipping tablets based on the OS. It later got rid of its inventory of devices in a fire sale and let go of some 525 Palm division employees.

Earlier this year, HP transitioned parts of webOS to open source in a bid to attract third-party developers to the platform.

While no indication has been given as to when Gram will be officially announced, the report added that sources suggest more information is likely towards the end of September.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.