It isn’t just webOS’ future that’s in shambles. As we’ve recently heard, it’s all of HP that’s looking a little haggard at this point. With talk that the company’s current CEO, Leo Apotheker, is on the way out, it isn’t looking good for the company at all. (Unless, of course, you’re someone who thinks Apotheker’s replacement is a good thing.) After the announcement that HP would be ending hardware support for webOS, and the subsequent fire sale of the HP TouchPad, the future of webOS was put on a pedestal. We’ve been talking about the state of webOS for a long time, especially considering it has such a big cult following, but after huge news like that, obviously webOS jumped into the lime light. But, now that the furor has died down slightly, should we start thinking about actually letting webOS die?

The truth is, while webOS does indeed have a following, the mobile OS hasn’t seen its time in the spotlight in quite some time. Even with the announcement of the HP TouchPad, HP Veer and HP Pre3, people seemed to be more somber about the whole thing. We hadn’t been blown away by webOS probably since its launch, and it didn’t look like HP was ready to surprise us anytime soon, either. And now, well, even with HP hinting that webOS development isn’t dead after all, I don’t think anyone is really expecting any surprises from HP.

Things could change with Apotheker’s removal, I imagine. It’s been no secret that the man wasn’t a fan of the Palm acquisition, and he had always made it pretty clear that HP wasn’t in the smartphone business, even after nabbing webOS. So, while smartphones may be a dead end for HP, the rest of us keep wishing that something will change. That, somehow, webOS will miraculously pop back into existence, and we can start talking about all the great new smartphones that are coming down the pipe.

But within those same conversations was talk about HP licensing out webOS to another manufacturer. There were options, and there still are options. Samsung’s name was one of the first to pop up, but then the company quickly dropped out of that race. And now that HTC is talking about purchasing their own OS, there’s that flicker all over again. But, while licensing is great and it would indeed breathe a breath of fresh air into the mobile OS (more than likely), it just makes it seem that webOS is even more fragile than it probably really is. webOS doesn’t have a home, at this point, and support is practically non-existent. Sending it into another home, especially one that has so many other kids (Android and Windows Phone), may see it more neglected than anything else.

So maybe we just let webOS die? Maybe we take this as a sign that no matter how great a mobile platform is, it has to be up to the manufacturer behind that platform to sell it, to make it worthwhile, and to support it. Without that support, no matter how great it is or how big the following may be, it will die. Companies like Apple, HTC, Research In Motion and Samsung know this very well. Specifically, Samsung who has bada OS, their proprietary OS that doesn’t have a huge fan base or time in the spotlight. But, the company is still there, supporting it. Yes, HP should have made the effort to do the same for webOS, but they didn’t, and now it’s gone. Maybe it’s time for the rest of us to let it go, too.

It will be tough to really watch webOS fade out. But, let’s face it, as quickly as the market moves, it wouldn’t be long before we completely forgot about it. It would probably only ever be brought up in comparison articles, or referenced when HP makes another move down the line. webOS needs hardware to match the software, but that probably won’t happen. So let’s just drop the curtain on the OS, call it a day, and move on. It’s regrettable what happened, but it did, and now we’ve got to accept that webOS is gone and never coming back.

Or will it?

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80 Reactions to this post

"Should we just let webOS die?"

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Mayur Tejsingani No! It could get better with better support
Jamil Cooper Bye bye.
Ethan Young I say it shouldn't die. It's a nice operating system, great for business. Just not enough apps.
Javier Segura WebOS is 10x better because it's more stable, it integrates almost any web networking service (before android ever did), a gesture system that kills the need for many hardware buttons, need I go on. And it was affordable, Android is free and makers still charge up to $300 for some multi-core stuffed calculator they're trying to pass of as a phone.
Jonathan Cheng If they changed up a little bit. Its still pretty buggy
Jalen Jacoby But yeah. They did just spend all their money...
Jalen Jacoby They only stopped making webOS devices as an incredibly involved sales pitch. They took the loss liquidating their stock, and now webOS is popular. The new CEO will just start making webOS devices again.
Angel Miguel Peguero ppl say web os is better then android how?
Angel Miguel Peguero android>webos>ios. what i like from web os is the gestures multitasking cards
Teron Facey What makes you think HTC doesn't want it Zach? Some company going to buy it sooner or later.
Leo Baxter It is a better OS than Android, but the marketing, lack of developers, and hardware are what killed it. But, the OS itself was great & user-friendly. If RIM wants to stay in the game, they might want to snag it & merge with their Blackberry line (just look at how similar the playbook resembles WebOS' functionality).
Zach Cline If it were better than android then it wouldn't have beeen dead in the water.
Ross E. Web os is too good to let die...apple... ttook features (a lot of them) from web os... And I've never had a problem from them like I did from android and apple
Sam Bahhur no, its better then android, only problem is no apps :/
Jason Ramos Yes. It's like beating a dead horse. Let it go
Shawn Meadows No HTC needs to glorify it!
Alex Pierro It's like asking Aaron if we should shave him bald. Heck no!
Zach Cline HTC doesn't want it.
Vic Espinoza Htc what are you waiting for? move in.........
Sam Rick YES!
Matt Dash No! This brings back childhood, let us poke it with a stick until it is officially dead
Walt Alan Wilcutts It's too pretty to die.
Ian Walker Don't really understand why people say it's so great ! I used a pre for a very short time I did not think it was very good at all.
Douglas Prevo If we let web os die, then something must take its place in slow defunctitude; my bet is symbian, and then the world. So its best to just keep web os around to be "that guy."
Marti Ruiz no mejor salvarlo compren algo no
Marti Ruiz muere, muere , muere
Kris K. Blomgren I don't give a shit I guess. All these smart phones are costing me too much money. I'm burning out on android, I had a palm pre, iOS is great but I'm sick of everything out there now. Android is a flooded fragmented market and I think I'm gonna jump ship to the iPhone if it indeed comes to sprint
Steve Mahoney I would be very sad to see it die. I own a pre plus and a touchpad both great devices. Just need more app support
Dominique House Absolutely not. It has so much potential to actually lead the pack it just never had the proper financial backing & marketing.
Phillip McGriff What funeral did i attend last month? I thought it was WEB OS... might have been MEEGO Lmao!
Thomas Matthews No it had lots of promise but it didn't have a chance to establish itself like iOS
Daniel Devine I had a pre3 for a few days before selling it, WebOS is a fantastic os and does not deserve to die!
Ricardo Lopez no nokia should buy it
Wilberto Ortiz try a tablet version that is affordable
Joshua Tewell And nobody else should matter to this type of discussion. I call "troll" on PhoneDog
Joshua Tewell Are in favor of its demise.
Danielle Elaine Tripp NO! What for?!
Joshua Tewell Nobody who has ever used webOS would be able ti say they
Xiomara Cruz No! :-)
Juan Carlos Munoz Webos has the best user interface period!
Will Stitzel I think it should stay, more os's leads to the other os's producing better builds. And @Mike Kim, I'm not a hardcore android fanboy but the versatility and ease of it makes me think its more advanced and its got a lot of support behind its advancement in the mobile world.
Zach Cline I have to agree with juan. Android is too buggy. After I got the 4.5.602 update for my DROID x my keyboard was laggy as shit a d youtube didn't function right. Every time I would try to respond to a video it would just spazz out. The keyboard issue is fixed but i'll give it a few weeks to see what new glitches arise. Oh well- It will hold me over until I buy mt iPhone in november.
Fahad Waraich I think its fate has already been decided and that is that it's going to die. It was a very good platform and it could rule like Android and iOS but unfortunately was always in wrong hands who never knew how to handle it. We can't always have what we want and that's the case with WebOS. Despite millions of people who knew the value of WebOS, it could never flourish. And most important thing is that now it's very difficult to have people's confidence in WebOS. Almost impossible.
Paul Vanderbear No, it has a lot of pottential
Ezio Udantha Riot No way...Web OS was just great
Sean McCollum I liked WebOS, but no one seemed to care about it. Like Sega with their hardware business, it needs to be accepted that it is no longer a viable platform, and needs to go in the record books as the OS that could, but didn't.
Juan Carlos Munoz Is far more stable
Juan Carlos Munoz Plus webos is far ma
Juan Carlos Munoz I agree with javier. Fuck android. That os is so un orginnized.
Dwayne Demaurivert No I kinda liked it
Javier Segura No one low end WebOS worked better than 10 Android high end App crashing stuper-phones.
Josh Evans I didn't know that was our choice?
Sanku Murmu Yes...
Keith Ainsley Web what?
Steven Basso No I love my pixi on 2.1 also love my touchpad and also going to love either a veer or a pre 3 which ever one I want but I hope webOS can get it wrapped up and hopefully we get a new ceo that will produce great webOS hardware
Mike Chiou Sure, why not?
Namkell Kelly Yep...to many high end Android devices
Tony Abiama No, webOS is definitely an OS that needs to stay, has so much potential
Brian Edwards And I originally got it to get the Android port when it came outn
Marrion Bell sorry without a computer
Nick Kalman No it's great OS. Somebody needs to buy it and make great hardware for it.
Brian Edwards No. Since having a Touchpad, I've found it's not that bad.....
Memo Mrtr Yes !
Marrion Bell yes becus webos is stupid and Yu can't download thing with a computer and not enough app
Mike Kim NO! web OS is far advanced then most current os out in the market.
Jose Sanchez Drooiiid!!!!!
Luis Reich Yes. Dead
Orion Pax That's not what Apple thinks.
Sayeed Al-Shehab No....it was not given a fair chance
Gavin Feist The more Operating Systems the better. Leads to more innovation.
J Christopher Doss Blackberry needs to snap it up

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