Here’s a timeline of some key events related to Hewlett-Packard Co.’s product offerings and strategy:
? April 28, 2010: HP agrees to buy struggling smartphone maker Palm Inc. for nearly $1 billion in cash. It says Palm’s webOS operating system will help boost its participation in the mobile market.
? May 3, 2011: Leaked memo from CEO Leo Apotheker shows him warning of “another tough quarter” for the company. The memo says management needs to “watch every penny and minimize all hiring.”
? Aug. 18: HP announces it will discontinue its tablet computer and smartphone products and may sell or spin off its PC division. The future of webOS is put into question.
? Sept. 23: HP fires Apotheker after just 11 months and replaces him with billionaire businesswoman and political aspirant Meg Whitman, who accelerates an internal review on the fate of the PC division.
? Oct. 27: HP says it will keep the PC division after all, saying that keeping it is right for the company, its customers, shareholders and business partners. She says the future of webOS still isn’t known.
? Friday: HP says that instead of selling its webOS mobile system or killing it off, it’s making it available as open-source software that anyone can use and modify freely. HP says it still plans to develop and support webOS. In offering it to the open-source community, the company is hoping more mobile apps will be developed under webOS.