Is HP just making up excuses now to keep webOS in the dark?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
HP’s gone a little bit up and down over the last few months. Actually, many would say that there has been a lot more down than up, and I would tend to agree. I am a fan of any company out there that stands behind their products to the end, and shows that they are pushing ahead despite the hardships. I’ll support those companies along with them, even if I know there’s an obvious dead end ahead. It’s one of the reasons I bought a TouchPad in that crazy fire sale that was happening. Even when I was seeing HP’s dismissal of the hardware front, I was holding out hope for the software. And now that HP is supposed to make a decision on webOS itself, I find myself holding my breath here and there, waiting to hear something.
While we’ve been reporting that things could change for the worse for webOS as of late, it would seem that HP is set on keeping things the way they are. What that means is anyone’s guess at this point, at least deeper than face value. For the rest of the world, we see a mobile operating system that is literally in a state of limbo. We see that HP’s webOS is still there, still being talked about, and still wanted by plenty of people out there. But, we also see HP not really making a move on anything. We see HP literally balking at the idea that webOS is still around or could be left adrift. The truth is it seems to me that HP has no idea what to do and they are trying to bide as much time as they can before someone, anyone forces them to make one.
That has never been so clear to me until just recently, when webOS GPU VP Stephen DeWitt offered his two cents on the life of webOS. Of course, this is coming from an “insider,” so this isn’t entirely set in stone quite yet. But, we’ll take it for what it’s worth for now. And that’s why I’m thinking HP is seriously trying to just come up with any excuse they can to make sure that they keep webOS under their wing, in this constant state of flux and mystery. What I’m talking about is DeWitt mentioning that webOS is designed to work on Qualcomm chips, and that potential companies would “likely want webOS to work with other kinds of chipsets.”
Really? This just seems like we are trying too hard to make sure that no one else gets their hands on webOS. Yes, webOS is designed to work on Qualcomm chips, but last time I checked there were still manufacturers out there using Qualcomm chips in smartphones. So . . . That can’t honestly be a huge issue, right? I understand that those companies using Qualcomm chipsets in their phones might not want to get their hands on webOS, but at the same time, I would be shocked to hear that not one of those companies would like to use webOS. For a nominal licensing fee there’s obviously still money to be made from webOS – why not bank on that? And then, on the flip-side, why not get one of those hundreds of intelligent people out there who have been working on webOS since day one to get the mobile OS to work on something other than a Qualcomm chipset? That’s possible, right? If it isn’t then that’s a realistic dilemma that could really be holding things up. If it is possible, then let’s get this moving, shall we?
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that HP is making these kinds of moves, blaming these kinds of situations on the hold up because they can’t find anyone to license webOS in its current state. No, not because the likes of Samsung and HTC don’t want to manufacture phones with webOS, but because they don’t want to deal with HP. To me, that makes the most sense. Considering how “wishy-washy” HP seems to be with one of the most fan-crazed mobile operating systems out there, I wouldn’t want to work directly with them right now, either. Someone in HP’s upper management seriously just needs to make a decision on webOS, even if that means they officially declare webOS dead, or that they’ve passed the reigns over to someone else. Just make a decision. We’re all waiting to hear it, seriously.
But, if we’re left to deal with these ridiculous reasons, and continue to get stonewalled, then you’ll only have one choice, and it will be completely on you: kill it.