WebOS Sale Will Reportedly be Announced Today
October 11, 2011 12:24 PM
comment(s) - last by
HP looks to wash its hands of Palm
Fans of Palm, Inc. surely loathe the world's largest computer maker, Hewlett-Packard Comp. (
). After all, HP
purchased Palm and its webOS mobile operating system in April 2010
and then succeeded to
run it into the ground
in less than a year and a half. But there's hope yet for webOS fans as HP is
near to announcing plans to either sell or spin off the languishing Palm unit.
While webOS still has some loyal fans, it's now essentially dead on the market. Once viewed as the strongest competitor to Apple, Inc.'s (
) iPhone, Palm's mismanagement led to its 2010 fire sale to HP. If Palm was in bad shape before the sale, it quickly found itself in an even worse position. HP refused to invest the capital necessary to make the webOS devices serious market entrants, squandering the strong mobile operating system that Palm had maintained and produced.
A spinoff of the Palm unit is a possible, but unlikely outcome. A new Palm, Inc. would likely lack the cash necessary to offer a competitive hardware lineup, and lack the influence necessary to attract third parties to a licensing-driven scheme, particularly in the packed smartphone market.
The most likely final outcome is a sale of webOS (or what's left of it) to a mobile hardware maker interested in using the OS on some of its devices. Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
unequivocally stated that it had no interest in buying webOS
. Thus the most likely bidders would seemingly be
), Amazon, Inc. (
), or Google Inc. (
) (who could use parts of webOS, e.g. its slick multi-tasking interface to improve the Android operating system).
It's important, though, to remember that much of the talent on the webOS team has
already left or been laid off
. Thus if a third party takes on the platform, it will have significant rebuilding work to do, to restore the webOS team to full functionality.
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hoping for another save, but expecting the end
10/11/2011 11:05:11 PM
nothing was announced today, but I'm sure it's coming soon. I keep hoping for good news, but I expect whatever the announcement is it will signal the effective end of webOS. HP has screwed it up so badly, I don't think anyone can save it now. the most obvious path is for someone to buy webos for the patents and to take some of its features for their own OS. whether that's google, amazon, apple or microsoft, none of them would continue webOS as a separate OS as it is now.
I'm hoping what actually is announced is that HP is keeping webOS but will contract with HTC or Samsung to make the devices. Won't happen though.
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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