HP reckons webOS stands a chance against 'closed' Android

HP reckons webOS stands a chance against 'closed' Android

HP took a bit of a beating in 2011, with the failure of its mobile hardware division just one of several high-profile blows to knock the wind out of the once-mighty brand.

But new CEO Meg Whitman is confident things are moving forward again, and reckons webOS might have a future after all – thanks to Google's acquisition of Motorola.

It seems a long time ago now that HP was hinting at exciting plans to base its entire product ecosystem around webOS after handing over upwards of a billion dollars to gobble up Palm.

However, reality delivered a cold slap in the face when both the Pre3 smartphone and the TouchPad tablet bombed – after all, if HP couldn't make webOS work on the devices it was designed for, there wasn't much point in expanding it to a wider roll-out. In the end, HP decided to cut its losses, and can its mobile hardware, hinting that webOS would either be sold or simply cast aside.

But then things changed. After a major upheaval that saw former CEO Leo Apotheker replaced by Whitman, suddenly we started hearing noises that HP was looking into resurrecting webOS and giving it another go. And it seems recent events has only hardened Whitman's resolve.

She has already laid into both iOS and Android – which now dominate the mobile arena – for being “closed” and “fragmented” respectively, and now she's had another go at Android, claiming that the company's acquisition of Motorola could see it too being a closed ecosystem, leaving plenty of room for alternative choices.

”I think there is room for another operating system,” Whitman said at HP’s global partner summit in Las Vegas this week. “IOS is great but it is a closed system. I think that Android may end up as a closed system because of [Google’s] relationship with Motorola.”

Google has insisted that the purchase of Motorola – which was officially wrapped up this week – won't affect its relationship with its other hardware partners. But Whitman doesn't seem so sure, and neither are we, to be honest.

Of course, whether that'll open up any space for a recovering webOS to make its own is another matter. After all, everyone knows that Microsoft and Nokia have bought the rights to the “third ecosystem” tag...

Via BGR

Read more about: AndroidiOSWebOS

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8 comments

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 17, 2012 at 10:53

if HP couldn't make webOS work on the devices it was designed for,
Ahem... not sure what the intended meaning is? It works perfectly well on the Pre 3. It didn't "bomb" because of a malfunction.
Palm's marketing combined with some shoddy hardware choices made the first two Pres "bomb"... HP hugely improved on the webOS devices, but showed that they don't really 'get' the phone market, networks and pricing. In addition they alienated the few apps developers they had. There's more to it, of course, but still: The Pre 3 and even the Veer are more mature than Nokia's N9 or WP7 imho.

Stelph  Feb. 17, 2012 at 11:29

Have been reading with interest your twitter comments JanSt (I assume its you posting for mobot about the N9) having not got my hands on a Meego device.

I have actually now got a Touchpad (lucky ebay bid) so am playing with it at the moment, its quite swish but TBH some of the webOS functions are a litle dissapointing, especially the Youtube app which is just the full desktop Youtube. Which is great, but look at the Honeycomb youtube app for an example of how to do it right.

Personally I think the Playbook OS is the best for tablets, its just lacking app support and unfortunalty even with OS 2.0 bringing Android support the fact that the android apps have to be 2.3 at maximum (i.e. no Honeycomb apps) means its still not going to be right :(

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 17, 2012 at 11:36

stelph,
I was about to start on an N9 review, actually, but it looks like PR1.2 comes out on Feb 29. Since it's rumoured to bring massive improvements (touch, ahem, wood), I don't think it makes sense to flog the rather deadish horse that is PR1.2 ;)

Ahem...and literally this minute I received a Pre 3 :p

Stelph  Feb. 17, 2012 at 12:49

Ah do a review of the pre 3 coming up then,? If you're bored of the N9 feel free to wing it over my way, I'll take it off your hands :p

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 17, 2012 at 12:54

Ah do a review of the pre 3 coming up then,? If you're bored of the N9 feel free to wing it over my way, I'll take it off your hands :p

I'll decide after PR1.2 what to do with it. As it is NOW I wouldn't recommend it.So, it'd be more a review of the new software than a complete N9 review (by now everyone 'knows' how great the hardware is).

martinjjames / MOD  Feb. 17, 2012 at 21:50

if HP couldn't make webOS work on the devices it was designed for,
Ahem... not sure what the intended meaning is? It works perfectly well on the Pre 3. It didn't "bomb" because of a malfunction.
Palm's marketing combined with some shoddy hardware choices made the first two Pres "bomb"... HP hugely improved on the webOS devices, but showed that they don't really 'get' the phone market, networks and pricing. In addition they alienated the few apps developers they had. There's more to it, of course, but still: The Pre 3 and even the Veer are more mature than Nokia's N9 or WP7 imho.


Hmmm, maybe a poor choice of words there, I meant 'couldn't make it work' in exactly the way you suggest - as in couldn't make a success of it.

And where you say 'there's more to it, of course', I wonder, is there actually? Network co-operation (which usually comes with experience, through which you build up decent relationships), good marketing (which includes your pricing structure and how you present that to the customer) and a decent developer base publicising your platform by writing great apps - if you hit those three, the quality of your hardware versus the competition, and heck even the OS itself, almost becomes a secondary issue.

That's not to say quality doesn't matter - a polished **** is still a **** after all - but your average end user really just responds to just 2 things when considering whether to change brands/OSes when getting a new phone: 1) advertising, and 2) wot young Acne McChavister down at Carphone Warehouse finks...

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 17, 2012 at 22:04

hahahaha

;)

dcx_badass  Feb. 19, 2012 at 00:12

I liked WebOS, it was different, sadly it just wasn't ready for general use and since getting android on my touchpad I've not booted back into WebOS (4-5 months now) and probably won't ever again.

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