How does the saying go: webOS is dead! long live webOS! Okay, that might not be entirely accurate, but it does appear that HP has lowered the axe one final time and put an end to webOS as we know it.
While this isn’t really coming as any surprise, with the changes in management at HP over the last year and recent news that restructuring of the company would mean as many as 27,000 layoffs it would seem that webOS cannot be front of mind for the company anytime soon.
The mobile operating system based on the much loved (back in the day) Palm platform that HP purchased several years back never really had a chance to shine. Mediocre hardware and an underwhelming app selection combined with very little marketing effort doomed the TouchPad tablet to failure before it even had a chance.
There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel however, with Google having sniped a good portion of the Enyo team that is responsible for webOS’s HTML5-based application framework. This could be very good news for Android (and familiar territory for Android’s design chief Matias Duarte who was instrumental in the pre-launch efforts for Palm’s ‘Pre’ smartphone) as this insight into the best pieces of webOS may just give them a competitive advantage against the growing war against iOS. This could be especially true as the Chrome team works diligently on expanding and enhancing their product (not to mention expanding it to work on iOS devices).
For those of us who have been around since the days (all too long ago) when Palm ruled the mobile world, this news is a little sad –there certainly seemed to be potential in the Palm/HP pairing for the mobile world, but unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be.