The latest candidate to buy webOS: Facebook?

The latest candidate to buy webOS: Facebook?

So we know webOS is pretty much no more – HP has decided to cut further development on the platform and won't be releasing any more webOS devices either.

However, the theory is that the company might try and sell off the still highly regarded platform, which has triggered a kind of open season of speculation on just who might be the most likely buyer. And the latest name to gain popular favour? Facebook.

Some of the traditional mobile suspects have already been mentioned in connection with taking over webOS, including the likes of HTC and Samsung – the idea being that it would provide an already-developed platform that has a degree of developer traction and a decent reputation.

WebOS, let's not forget, has been around for a few years now and was the much-liked force behind the scenes on the Palm Pre and its successor the Pre 2, which was released under HP's name.

So where does Facebook fit in? Well we're not so sure ourselves, to be honest, aside from clearly having plenty of cash to get the deal done in the first place.

It's analyst firm Jefferies & Co that reckons it's an ideal match – and more specifically a chap called Peter Misek. “Based on our analysis of prospective buyers and our checks, we believe Facebook is the best fit,” he says.

“We see this scenario as most negative to Research in Motion (RIM) and Windows 8 as there would be another major competitor vying to be the third mobile OS. We see it as slightly negative for Apple and Google.”

Now far be it for us to argue, but to us Microsoft has a far more likely candidate for that “third ecosystem” label (a name we officially hate) in Windows Phone 7 rather than Windows 8, and it's likely to have the position fairly well sewn up before webOS can turn things around no matter who the benefactor is stepping in.

That aside it's not a completely outlandish theory, we're willing to admit: “Due to Facebook’s scale, developer community, and movement toward media (e.g., music) and communications (Messenger), it is possible that an acquisition of an OS asset like this could be a good option.

“Checks with developers indicate that they would support a potential Facebook OS,” Misek adds, “and industry sources have noted Facebook’s historic interest in a mobile OS or heavily influencing one.”

All reasonably sensible, we'll admit. Yet none of it amounts to the slightest shred of evidence to suggest anything along those lines is actually going to happen. Then again, that's what we said when someone suggested “you know what – an Amazon tablet: it's a crazy idea, but it might just work...”

Via Barrons

Read more about: WebOS

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