In the end, Hewlett-Packard had as much luck with WebOS as Palm did. Maybe even less.
HP said today it will discontinue operations for devices running on WebOS, including its recently launched TouchPad and smartphones. It's part of a broader shake-up including the potential sale of the company's personal systems group, which deals with PCs and other consumer devices, and the possible acquisition of software provider Autonomy.
The announcement effectively marks the death of WebOS, which won critical acclaim but little commercial success over the past few years. HP's surprise move underscores the brutally competitive nature of the smartphone operating system.
"The market and consumers proved that no one wanted it," said Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research. "I'm not sure they could even sell it to anyone."
With a much smaller scale relative to the likes of Apple's iOS or Google's Android, it had a high initial obstacle to clear. Poorly handled by Palm and HP, WebOS may not have ever had a chance to begin with. … Read more