A few years ago I discussed my misadventures trying to score the much sought after HP Touchpad when the geniuses at HP decided, after months debuting the thing, to discontinue production on all devices and selling remaining stock at fire sale prices. The company would later reverse course slightly – this time focusing on the propriety operating system that powered the thing, WebOS – deciding to keep the operating system “alive” by giving it to Palm’s once active open source commuity after doing a serious update.
In truth, it was the death knell of the OS which was once the crown jewel of the late great Palm operating system. Palm, much like Blackberry today, was one of the power houses when it came to mobile devices, only to get its lunch eaten by Apple and Google. Those who were still loyal to Palm, stuck with the OS and even had its own die hard community as WebOS Nation.
So today’s news must surely give those diehards pause. HP, who had committed to supporting the operating system, just sold it to LG (good going HP!!). LG plans on using it, not for newer and greater tables and phones for which it was made, but for Smart Powered TVs. As WebOS Nation put it:
“And so, the final chapter of mobile webOS began to draw to a close… as we’ve been saying since the full release of Open webOS 1.0 back in September, the open source release is missing a lot in the way of deep features.
The team at Palm and HP needed hundreds more working to bring webOS up-to-snuff feature-for-feature with the competition. It’s simply wishful thinking to expect that WebOS Ports of any other webOS homebrew project will be able to produce a fully workable port of Open webOS that any sane person would be willing to use as their primary smartphone or tablet.
Moreso than HP abandoning webOS for Android, this purchase of all webOS assets by LG represents a significant turning point for this webOS community. Palm and webOS have changed hands so many times it’s boggling to think about – in just the past four years, Palm saw a major cash infusion from Elevation Partners, launched a new mobile platform, got bought by HP, launched their first tablet, saw that tablet get brutally canceled, was split in two, shopped around, open sourced, and now sold to Korean electronics giant LG.”
So this blog post bookends one started way back in August of 2011 after I purchased my Palm Pixi Plus. Now I can finally say arrivederci WebOS. Glad I only paid $150 for ya and even happier I was able to port Android on my HP Touchpad which is running strong two years later. I never really looked back after that.
Good riddance indeed.