Open Ballot: Who should buy WebOS?


Ahhh, lovely WebOS. It's Linux powered, it looks great, and it boasted fluid multitasking capabilities back when iOS users were still struggling with push notifications. Unfortunately, it hasn't managed to make a big impact in the mobile market, with Palm's smartphone devices and the HP TouchPad failing to get much traction. But it's sad when such great software dies, so many pundits around the net are speculating that a company such as Oracle will buy it up.

We'll be recording our next podcast on Monday, so we want to hear from you: who should buy WebOS? Which company could make the best use of this shiny mobile platform? Would it be safe in Oracle's hands? Or should we forget about it and focus on Tizen instead? Let us know in the comments below, and we'll read out the most intriguing musings in our upcoming episode.

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Your comments

Sell it for parts.

just as I said. sell it for parts, this means no one should have it and everybody should have it since it's not dying, it's already dead.

Release the Source

I can't see why HP could not release the non-GPL parts of the source under the Apache License, similar to the way that Oracle has done with OpenOffice.

Whilst, some would argue that it's not completely free and open, as the GPL, it will allow talented developers to pile over the code and potentially make updates to keep it alive.

HP or someone else could provide support for the myriad of devices running the OS, and maybe release new devices running it.


Noone should buy it: We have enough fragmentation in Linux with Android. But there was MeeGo and will be Tizen so, who would want another linux project to pop up with completely different apps. Enough is enough.

Amazon or open-source

I have been a huge webOS fanatic since it was announced in 2009. I have owned a pre+, pre2, Pixi, veer, and 2 touchpads. The intuitive interface of webOS is simply unbeatable. Yes there are bugs and yes some of the hardware was less desireable than other phones on the market, but palm had so much innovation from the very beginning (wireless charging, Enyo, etc).
I still think that if HP would just get behind the platform it could be truly successful. If amazon bought it I'd be scared I never see webOS on another phone. Instead it'd be locked kindle prison without any room to stretch its legs. Open-source what isn't already open would be great but then webOS would succumb to being a distro that no one would ever use. Sure existing devices would get updates but who would make any new hardware? It would instead be a laptop linux os with angry birds.
I think that instead Google should buy it and give up on their fragmented, unsupportable Android OS and give users something they really want. A clean and intuitive interface without skins and guaranteed to get software updates for at least 2 years.
--sent from my TouchPad


I love webOS, I still use it everyday on my Pre. I think Amazon would be an excellent candidate for ownership of webOS. Even though they seemed to have poured in a lot of money with Kindle Fire by modifying Android, it would be in their best interest if they controlled everything and not relay on Google.


I'm hoping Amazon will buy it. It seems like a much better platform than an old forked version of Android, but its probably just wishful thinking on my part.

I think...

...that Microsoft should buy it. Then they could put it on those lovely Nokia phones they currently put windows phone 7 on instead.

Anyone but Oracle

Who should buy webOS? Erm, maybe there's been a new announcement that I missed, but I got the impression that the new HP board had backtracked about selling it, and it was "under consideration".

If it IS still for sale, then I'd say "ANYONE BUT ORACLE"!!!! I just can't see Oracle as a friend of open source, and I can't see the anti-Oracle component in HP wearing that. Apart from anything else would Oracle buy something from HP - a company they loathe and detest? Of course not!

My preferred bidders would be Intel (now they seem to pulled away from MeeGo), Amazon or IBM. Anyone fancy buying an "Amazon Phone"? If anyone could do it, then it'd be them.

Apart from anything else - I've tried webOS on a relative's TouchPad, and was quite impressed. It's latest version is easily as good to use as Honeycomb or iOS4.

I think they should sell it to me

At £2.00, I couldn't quite afford Comet, but I'll offer £1.75 for WebOS. :-)

you should

Tux Radar should buy it I can not be that expensive, no one else wants it

Pulseaudio. Boom.




I've never used WebOS, but if you like it and you'd like to see WebOS continue and become more popular, my guess is that Huawei will become a big, big player in the mobile market - and you should hope they buy it.

go open source

great yes / no question! I would say NO like in nobody.
If HP still want to get some market share they should go entirely open source. Maybe it will never exist as WebOS but bits and bytes of it might find new homes in other projects. Being it android, meego, or ubuntus new fridge OS.
And who knows maybe the community is strong enough to carry out an alternative WebOS based ROM for Android handsets. Similar like Linux and openBSD.

Furthermore, don't underestimate the embedded market. Smartphones and tablets are only a tiny fraction of this market. WebOS might be much better suited for home network systems, home automation, home appliances, car PCs, etc.
Trying not to compete with Android and iOS but define a new market of embedded server systems.


Amazon could buy it, but at the rate the fire is being preordered I don't think they're gonna change the OS on future versions. What about another phone maker Samsung or Sony or maybe another company like Philips that may come with a tablet with a different look. Gonna be difficult for a company to topple Android, so I think it'll end up on some embedded device like in-car or in-flight systems maybe telly or similar media delivery box.

Would be interesting if Red

Would be interesting if Red Hat took it on. Not their usual field at all of course (other than it's linux) but they do understand how to do this stuff (linux as a business) right.

Canonical, of course

WebOS reminds me so much of Unity that it would be an interesting 2D counterpart to Unity perhaps.


Facebook will buy it. Did I win? This is about computers and stuff, yeah?

Apple should buy it. Then

Apple should buy it. Then the one guy there with a conscience can stop worrying about their notification rip-off and actually live with himself. :P

Oracle should buy it. Having a high-profile visible front-end system would allow them to commit their evils in plain sight. They'd still be evil, of course, but at least we'd be able to watch them. This is preferable to being ambushed by their Java and MySQL sneak-attacks. :P

Seriously, though, it would be cool if it were donated to Mozilla. It would give their Boot2Gecko initiative and instant leg-up. Swapping WebKit with Gecko wouldn't be too trivial, but at least they'd have proven interface work already completed.


Google should buy it.
For 2 reasons:
1) Incorporate the best features of both Android and WebOS into a truly unbeatable phone OS.
2) Increase Googles patent portfolio to stave off the M$/Apple trolls.

Think, palms hand writting feature on the old pilots. Is that patent included in the deal?

Another vote for Google

Google could certainly need the UI design guys behind WebOS (even the most Apple loving tech journalists say that WebOS is a very well designed OS) and more patents on the Android side will unfortunately be necessary in the defensive fight against MS and Apple. And as Palm was the first company with a really successful PDA out there, they certainly have tons of patents...

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