HP won't license WebOS, says exec
Make the same mistake Palm did? No way
HP will not license WebOS to rival smartphone and tablet vendors, the head of the company's PCs and gadgets division has said.
Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference yesterday, Todd Bradley, executive VP of HP’s Personal Systems Group, emphatically said the company will not make the operating system, acquired when HP bought Palm, available to anyone else.
We're not surprised. Palm's decision in the 1990s to spin off its operating system operation as PalmSource - it became PalmOne - muddied the then-strong Palm brand and arguably hindered both companies' development.
The move failed to increase the number of Palm OS licensees by any significant margin, either - or stop existing licensees deserting Palm for other platforms, primarily Windows Mobile.
Sony, Palm's then biggest-name Palm OS licencee, didn't hang around for long.
Another Palm partner, Handspring, formed by ex-Palm staff and founders, eventually merged back into the firm, bringing with it the Treo smartphone line, which arguably saved the PDA-focused Palm from irrelevance.
But back to HP. Even if it did offer WebOS to others, what would it get out of such deals? Nothing, if it gave the OS away for free, which is what it would have to do to compete with Android. Better, then, to keep WebOS in house and establish an Apple-style walled garden HP can make some money out of.
And Bradley knows. He became PalmOne's CEO in October 2003, promoted from head of the company's hardware business, right at the moment PalmSource was separated out. He left the company in May 2005. ®
Nice OS but won't be around long
I think as nice as WebOS is, there's just way too much competition out there and the phones WebOS is on now aren't good enough.
HP have a massive uphill struggle ahead.
Agree with PushF12
Well, HP is still relevant but Palm is dead as a dodo. WebOS is dead too. Who in their right mind is going to target WebOS platform when Android is the rising star. The main players will be iOS, Android and WP7. Blackberry is increasing becoming less relevant.
It wasn't the OS licensing, it was splitting off PalmSource and then have PalmSource to sit on the OS instead fo updating it. Then some genius decided to switch the Palm handsets to WinMo ... and the Palm devices became "just another WinMo device". webOS came out too late to save 'em.
HP is irrelevant, Palm is irrelevant
HP is a mausoleum for innovation. Palm will be embalmed, put on display, and forgotten by the regular consumer. WebOS products will smell vaguely of yeast and dirty underwear.
Anything that people carry with them, like a purse or cellphone, will always be subject to fashion. HP is the anti-sexy.
I think that most of HP's business is grandma giving the wrong gift to the kids because her classic LaserJet still works and she doesn't know any better. Same goes for geriatric IT managers.