RIP webOS: Again and for good this time

After “HP reshuffled its management [they] decided to make webOS open-source to keep the platform from going the way of the dodo,” James Kendrick reports for ZDNet. “It would offer webOS to the world for anyone to use, and keep the team intact to make a serious effort.”

“Now comes the word that Google has poached the core Enyo team from HP, to end up doing who-knows-what at Google,” Kendrick reports. “Odds are it won’t be bringing Enyo, the application framework behind webOS, into the Android effort.”

Kendrick reports, “Whatever these smart folks end up doing for Google, their departure pretty much puts the kibosh on the open-source webOS effort no matter what HP says. HP is not in a position to make a serious run at the webOS open-source effort. Having just announced the impending layoff of 27,000 employees, HP must be the worst place to work in any industry… It’s a safe call to say that webOS is finally dead in reality, if not in name.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our jam-packed iCal says that back in May 2010, Tom’s Guide‘s Devin Connors gave the world the following gift of anti-prescience:

8 Reasons Why Apple Should Fear HP/Palm:
1. HP is Great with Acquisitions
2. The HP Brand Name
3. HP’s Money
4. WebOS: Beyond the Smartphone (there is no doubt that the OS will branch out to slate PCs and netbooks)
5. HP Means a Better App Catalog
6. An Immediate Connection to the Business World
7. Beating Apple in the Hardware Arena
8. HP, Palm and Content Delivery (with a company like HP pulling the strings behind the scenes, Palm could be positioned as the number one paid content provider in the smartphone world.)

Ah, the foolishness that spills forth daily from bullshitters extraordinaire.

Enjoy your crow, Devin.

Related articles:
HP to axe 27,000 employees – May 23, 2012
Former HP exec: HP’s webOS debacle more terrible than Apple’s ‘worst days’ – January 3, 2012
Why webOS will fail – again – December 15, 2011
HP to open source webOS – December 9, 2011


  1. I know MDN’s capacity for schadenfreude knows no bounds, but many tech pundits (even Mac-centric ones) have lauded webOS. It was the combination of lousy hardware by Palm and lack of commitment by HP which really killed it.

  2. Items 2 – 6 were solid reasons to believe that an HP led webOS effort could be a solid competitor to iOS. It was much better than either Android or Win8 Mobile when HP acquired it.

    The problem for the webOS development team was the incredibly inept Board at the helm of HP at the time. Mark Hurd should not have been fired.

    1. GT,
      But that is just it. Other companies could have developed an iPhone, but no one wanted to be a risk taker. Make people what is selling only cheaper… That is the main stay of the industry.

      Just ask Microsoft… their first, last, and only question is HOW CAN WE MONETIZE this.

      Just a thought.

  3. The sad part is, would HP have done what Apple does (innovate and care for details and quality), webOS might have been a great competitor, beating Android.

    They had a nice OS on a cheap, crappy device. The only responsible of webOS death is HP.

  4. Let’s not forget that Apple was one of the many suitors who tried to purchase Palm. Steve knew the value of webOS and the people who designed and built it. He probably used a Palm Pre and was taken by its elegance. If only some elements of webOS could’ve been merged into iOS, we’d have a mobile operating system close to perfection as one could imagine.

    1. Apple was just RUMORED to have wanted Palm by placing a bid, this all reported by speculative overzelious rumor sites.

      Everyone is aware even at that time if you start throwing big name company’s In as active players, reporting that they also are involved with bidding “or hope thereof” will increase the selling price.

      So really nothing every was confirmed that Apple wanted Palm, and it’s just a speculative Assumption that in turn Apple wanted WebOs as part of the Apple portfolio.

      1. You’re right in a sense, it’s speculative to say that Apple wanted to buy Palm for webOS. It was probably more so for Palm’s intellectual property. But there can be no doubt that Apple would’ve taken some important parts from webOS, like notifications and Cards, and incorporated them into iOS at a time when iOS desperately needed improvements in those areas.

  5. Well that ends that one!

    I doubt HP will get it together and open source WebOS at this point.

    Too bad it was a nice OS with some serious potential.

  6. Apple considered buying BeOS, but Gassé wanted too much, so they bought NEXT instead.

    Then Palm bought the remains of BEOS several years later.

    And built WebOS?

    My, how things could have been different.

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