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Will Samsung buy HP's webOS?

HP has abandoned the TouchPad and Pre -- but could Samsung snap up its operating system in a bid to compete with iOS and Android?

The Internet rumour mill is grinding itself into a frenzy again. Its latest grist concerns webOS, the operating system used on the moribund HP TouchPad and Pre devices. Samsung is considering buying webOS, according to our sister site CNET News, in a bid to compete with the likes of Apple's iOS, Google's Android and other rival operating systems.

Samsung has its own Bada mobile OS, but uses Android on its higher-end smart phones and all its tablets. And now that Google has bought Motorola, Samsung (along with the likes of LG and HTC) could well be wondering if the Web giant is planning on making its Motorola Android phones that little bit better than those manufactured by other companies -- say, by giving Moto mobiles exclusive Android features and functions.

Samsung has other incentives to own a highly regarded operating system like webOS: it could help the firm's devices to stand out from rivals running Apple's iOS, Microsoft's Windows Phone and, yes, Google's Android.

webOS also has a truckload of patents which Samsung would acquire with ownership, and these could help it fight off legal challenges from rivals -- such as Apple's current lawsuit to ban the Samsung Galaxy Tab from sale over its similarities to the iPad.

webOS is up for grabs due to HP's recent, highly dramatic pull-out of the tablet and smart phone markets. The company announced earlier this month that it was killing off its webOS devices, along with its PC business. Having earlier been linked with the takeover of the latter, Samsung quickly issued a statement saying it wasn't interested -- but it has yet to respond to the whisperings about webOS.

Do you think Samsung should stick with Android, Windows Phone and Bada, or should it jump ship to webOS? What's your favourite mobile OS? Are you sick of reading about HP's woes? Let us know through the medium of words in the comments box below.