“After a sort of stay-the-course introductory speech, [new CEO Meg] Whitman’s influence at HP has begun to be felt,” Gene Steinberg writes for TechNightOwl. “The PC division won’t be shed, but the Palm platform, known as WebOS, will be made open source, shades of Google’s Android.”

“Is that a potential Android killer? Certainly, speculation will grow in the weeks to come, but a little reality check is in store. We all know that the WebOS is a failed product,” Steinberg writes. “Palm couldn’t make a go of it independently, HP’s attempt with the TouchPad was an egregious failure. Do they honestly expect handset companies to be willing to invest millions into building WebOS gear instead of Android?”

Steinberg writes, “Sure, there may be incentives. It’s not as if Apple was flooding HP with intellectual property lawsuits over the WebOS. It doesn’t mean it’s necessarily free and clear, but you have to think that having to pay royalties to Microsoft, and fighting Apple’s lawyers too, would combine to tempt Android handset makers to look elsewhere… If a free WebOS encourages software developers to do the work and raise its potential, maybe Google will have something to fear.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
HP to open source webOS – December 9, 2011