Mobile

webOS rises from the ashes as Gram, but won’t focus on consumer products

A brand with many faces, webOS has gone through more than its share of changes in the last few years. And in its latest act, it’s being freed from the shackles of Hewlett-Packard.

HP bought webOS along with its creator Palm in 2010. But soon after the purchase, the endeavor went south, and HP was forced to shutter the Palm division and rebrand it as its “webOS Global Business Unit.”

But Palm and webOS are now reborn in the form of a new company, dubbed Gram. The company’s name comes with the tagline “Potent. Light. Nimble”.

The team appears to have a pretty clear vision of itself: “Gram is a new company leveraging the core strengths of webOS, Enyo, our Cloud offerings as well as the firepower of our partners to create a technology that will unleash  freedom of the Web.”

With the shift in branding, Palm is also changing course on products. Gram won’t be about consumer electronics; instead, it will focus on software, user experience, the cloud, and engineering. So while it’s not completely unlikely that you’ll see a Gram-produced smartphone or tablet, you probably shouldn’t hold your breath for them.

But what exactly will Gram produce?  The new company is making a point of not saying. In fact, Gram employees are being advised to reply to all questions about the company with a vaguely-cultish response: “Gram is a new company. We are in stealth mode on our product offering.”

Essentially, this means we won’t know the fate of projects like Open webOS for some time. But at least Palm is sort of back on its feet again.


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