HP looking to sell webOS, Amazon looking to buy? | webOS Nation
 
 

HP looking to sell webOS, Amazon looking to buy? 185

by Derek Kessler Fri, 30 Sep 2011 8:54 am EDT

Right now we’re stuck in that vague limbo mode where HP clearly wants to do something with webOS (apart from make hardware for it), and though they might have a good idea of what they want to do, contract negotiations might be stopping them from saying it. That’s where leaks come in, and this morning VentureBeat is citing a “well-placed source” as saying that HP is looking to sell webOS and Palm, and the company closest to adding Palm to their cart is Amazon.

Of the handful of companies that have been floated as a potential purchaser of webOS, Amazon has barely been mentioned (though this morning’s report is sure to change that). It’s worth noting that former Palm CEO and current HP Personal Systems Group VP of Product Innovation Jon Rubinstein is currently on Amazon’s board, though we don’t know how much influence he would have as the newcomer to that organization.

If you’ll recall, it was just two days ago that Amazon introduced their first full-fledged tablet, the Kindle Fire. The Fire is based off of Android, but really looks and acts nothing like it. Purchasing webOS would give Amazon their own OS to build off of, but they’d be doing it without the massive application support that comes with Android (and Amazon’s own Android Appstore).

So what would Amazon bring to the table for webOS? Aside from actually being able to make hardware and having a tendency to stick it out over the long term with fledgling products, Amazon would bring multimedia content and cloud services that it HP cannot seem to match. We’ve said for a while now that content and integration is key, and the combination of a webOS account with an Amazon login (and the music, movies, television, books, magazines, and cloud storage services that would provide) could be absolutely killer.

The Amazon Kindle Fire isn’t positioned to compete with Apple’s iPad. From specs to apps to cachet, it just can’t. Amazon’s aiming for a different market with the Fire, one more angled towards consumption. But adding webOS to their portfolio could open up Amazon to being a legitimate contender – and a far more powerful and committed one than HP could ever be.

Of course, a lot of this is speculation, but we can’t help it. Amazon is possibly the most exciting opportunity for webOS, and it could very well be true the other way around.

Source: VentureBeat; Thanks to everybody that sent this in!

185 Comments

If this happens and Amazon buys webOS, it will be strictly for patents. They might take aspects of webOS and build them into their system. They are not going to give up their 10,000 app ecosystem just to have webOS.

Both WebOS and Android are based on Linux. It wouldn't be that hard to create a WebOS build that was compatible with Android apps.

After all, they obviously don't care about access to the Android Market, so they don't have to play by Google's rules for the rest of the system.

Yes, exactly - if Amazon was to use webOS, this is probably what they would do (make it possible to run Android apps on webOS).

For phones, they could license the OS to other vendors - this would be analogous to Google's current model with Android - the phone OS is subsidized in exchange for a heavy reliance on back-end services from Google. In Amazon's case, a new Amazon/webOS phone would have built-in apps for Amazon services.

Palm/webOS patents would then be gravy - in order to defend Amazon and licensees against patent trolls/competitors (looking at you Microsoft and Apple, though, Google might start getting more aggressive, too).

Whether the webOS UI would survive in any shape or form is an open question.

Given that Android is the biggest phone OS around and they've already customized it for their tablet, don't you think they would have had a Kindle Fire PHONE if they cared about the low margin phone business?

i think there is zero chance amazon would make a webos phone cause they don't do phones. If they bought it you'd never see phones with webos again. i don't think there's a chance they'll buy it though.

Your last comment in interesting considering they have definitely made an offer for it, along with other suitors. Too many sources confirm this for it to be untrue. Since this article was released there have been numerous other sources who say the deal (with someone) is coming very soon - possibly within the next week. I agree that I can't see them making a webOS phone however Amazon is wanting to broaden their IP so it stands to reason that the mobile market would be a natural progression for them.

I only see re-reporting of the original sketchy Venturebeat article. Please link to these OTHER SOURCED reports that confirm this.

I have seen no proof that "an offer" was made. And the only source i've heard reported is the venturebeat article. it's the source on Engagdet, precentral, gizmodo etc. And I see nothing there more then some "well placed source." Venturebeat is not something i'd consider reputable like the Wall Street journal. I still don't think they will buy it.

But i've seen nothing that points to "an offer." it merely says Amazon is the closest to a deal. That is not an offer.

The other thing is i can't see the logic is announcing a product running on android then the next day buying a different O.S. What does that say about the future of the products you just announced? It hardly gives confidence that there would be long term growth of that platform. Seems illogical to me. Are they really going to have the same product, a tablet, but on two different operating systems? Seem's strategically illogical.

And like i said. I see not reason they would make a phone if they did buy it.

yes as of this writing i see zero evidence of an offer.

And i searched google i got 90 articles on the topic and every one i clicked on sited only the venturebeat article. Even the wall street journal only reports that there is a rumor on venturebeat.

And above when i referred to the WSJ, just to clarify, i was saying not if it was reported in the wsj that there was a rumor but if it was a wsj source. I trust a wsj source more then a venturebeat source. Of course it could turn out to be true. I just don't think there is a lot of logic in it. Then again that didn't stop HP.

Actually, the word is that Amazon is going to do *exactly* that and try and get some traction in the phone business.

Why wouldn't they? They are perfectly placed to take a sizeable share of that market as well.

What was the point of building all these services otherwise?

Most of the Palm patents are no longer held by HP/Palm - I think they all belong to whomever holds the remnants of Garnet/PalmOS. HP/Palm does have the new patents, those from the last few years, involving WebOS.

I'm sure someone will confirm this.

I want WebOS to live on, though part of me at this point just wants it over...

I'm pretty sure when Palm spun off palmOS palmSource later aquired by ACCESS that the contract gave Palm a perpetual irrevocable licenses to the IP which should have followed Palm into HP and could reasonably be expected to follow Palm if it leaves HP. But I could be wrong.

Every time I hear someone mention this, it makes me cringe. Listen - ACCESS owns the original PALMOS patents. Ever since PalmOne/PalmSource, ACCESS has had zero involvement with their patents. No one is interested in those old patents any longer. I suppose *technically* they could make a case that some of Palms later patents are built upon the older ones however cases like these have never held up in court.

I don't believe this is the case. If Amazon does buy webOS, it may be the best thing that ever happened to webOS. Amazon currently offers far more content than the iPad AND with far more users than the current touchpad user-base, the kindle and kindle fire will place webOS in an enormous amount of customers hands. If that happens, developers are back in full force and it won't be long before the webOS app catalog is larger than iOS and Android.

webOS never had apps because the devices never reached very far, but Amazon can change all of that very quickly. I think this is a far better move for both Amazon and webOS and I do believe this could actually challenge Apple. If this happens, I guarantee you Steve Jobs / Cook will be very worried as it will eat into their profits. Don't kid yourself, there is an ENORMOUS kindle user base.

Amazon will never put out a WebOS product that looks like WebOS as we know it. It doesn't help them or their bottom line if you're using patches and Preware, messaging with a unified Messaging app, or searching the Web with Just Type.

They've also put a LOT of resources into that carousel interface, and aren't going to put a big fanfare behind it to just drop it for cards and stacks months later.

On the plus side, WebOS tablets would get a decent browser....

it's quite possible they may keep their UI (or make the UI an app in webos) for their tablets but use webos for their phones, if they decide to build any. That would still be a win/win.

Again....what would be different? WebOS on phones keeps failing. If they present the same UI in the same form factors (because let's face it....it's a portrait OS with no VKB on phones), they will meet the same results.

People are excited about the Fire because it is a cheap, but quality tablet from a brand they know and trust (Kindle).

There are already cheap phones galore that feed into the Amazon ecosystem via Kindle apps on iOS and Android. If Amazon had designs on a phone, we'd already have heard of a Kindle Fire slab phone. Nada.

I think you are assuming that Amazon would do nothing with webOS and sell it as is. If that is the case, then yes, you'd be correct, however, I have greater hope for Amazon to do the right thing and fix the mistakes of webOS. If they do, then I still think webOS will win.

You don't think HP was motivated to "fix the mistakes of WebOS" in the 12 months they had it?

Meanwhile, they have a platform NOW that is shipping in 15 days and doesn't need fixing. It's also free and they don't have to license/pay for a single native Google app.

Oh, and that first product is the talk of the industry right now. So buying WebOS to replace their current platform is the solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Android may be free but comes with a huge baggage called patent licensing fees. Something that is going to eventually kill the Android platform.

Shipping in 15 days? Last I heard, it was available on *November* 15th.

What is to stop from Amazon from using WebOS to be more premium, but quality tablet from a brand they know and trust (Kindle)?

It is trivial easy for Amazon to put new phones and form factors on WebOS out there if they want to. HP didn't want to, because it seemed too much of a financial risk.

What's more premium about WebOS?

The whole point of the Kindle Fire experience is to keep you OUT of the OS as much as possible and inside their content apps. That's why Android has been forked off from entirely. They don't want you seeing "Google" anything or pulling down shades or holding a home button to see open apps.

Every second you spend flipping a card or answering a notification or messaging in the unified inbox is a second you are not buying or using an Amazon product.

the other thing is why would you announce the kindle fire, then announce to all the people you are trying to get to buy into that that you're gonna be doing another o.s. next time? why would they buy a kindle?

and what if they took webos, made it like the kindle, locked you out of the os and made it basically just an ebook reader? and made no phones. That really what people want.

Just FYI, "WebOS on phones keeps failing" is not true at all in the context in which your using that claim. It should be "the hardware in which webOS was originally used on, failed"

There. Thats better.

That's true in my opinion even that weak pathetic hardware did well for a first generation phone as I am still using my Pre after what 2 and half years. It's still a smoother experience compared to all those super fast Android phones that stutter on simple swiping.

That's like saying you don't get food poisoning from crappy food, but rather from ingredients prepared badly.

Guess what? Food = ingredients + preparation.

You can't separate them for the sake of semantics. Every WebOS phone was a failure.

Indisputable.

Fugu - Delicious food that will kill you.
Military Food - Tastes like **** but will keep you alive.

That could quite possibly be the worst analogy I've ever heard.

In my life. Wow.

And to re-vise your quote to be more accurate.. "every webOS phone was a failure" should be "every webOS phone was a financial failure".

Indisputable indeed.

Can you list any successes that came from WebOS phones?

I'm sorry, but what other metric for success is there for a PHONE from a major corporation but financial success? Critical success? It's not an indie film that a studio throws money away on for prestige.

The parsing here is pure comedy.

"WebOS didn't fail! Only the equipment it was on, people who created it, and consumers too stupid to buy it....THEY were the failures!"

Okay, buddy....

Comedy indeed. Apparently, in the land of webOS, "success" is in the eye of the beholder.

Perfect WinWin scenario: The Best mobile OS + The Best Content Provider = The Perfect ecoSystem, Amazon webOS

I completely agree. Amazon is looking like the strongest competitor to Apple in the tablet market, even if it did happen overnight. They've already invested a lot in customizing Android. I doubt they'll do much with WebOS, but the patents will probably be helpful.

Well, 10.000 is a good number but actually they would have even more on webOS now. As they don't use the Google-Market this wouldn't harm them at all. I guess this could work.

If it would have happened a year ago it would have been a clear winner. If it happens in a few months... we will have to see.

For Amazon, converting all 10K apps to run on WebOs would be worth it if you could control a nice and powerful mobile OS. Look wow Apple has succeeded. Who thought they would ever end up in the phone market back in the day??? I bet Apple is scared of this and they might buy the WebOS just to stop this which would be sad :( By the way, I called this (AMZ possibly buying WebOS, 4 weeks ago - http://www.webosroundup.com/2011/08/touchpad-will-soon-be-the-2-best-sel...)

Also, does anyone expect Amazon to make a phone? Looks like they are more interested in the tablet/reader market.

I love my TouchPad, but I really need a phone using webOS that is not the Pre 2 from last year (fine for now, but what about next year).

"fine for now, but what about next year"

What ABOUT a year from now. Unless the webOS infrastructure falls apart and the OS no longer works, what will change between then and now? Other phones will get better? Sure, but your Pre2 will work the same as it does now. If it is good for you now, why will another year make it unsuitable for you?

Because needs change over time.

We're not talking about a refrigerator or washing machine here. The use of mobile computing devices changes based on the user's needs. If the ecosystem stalls out or the device can't physically support the user's needs, said user will start looking elsewhere.

Example: Before we had kids, we had no real need for video conferencing on a mobile device. That changed when kids came into picture and we wanted a way to do that with a grandmother who does not own (nor knows how to use) a full computer. We FaceTime now.

So who know's what the (figurative) next year will bring in terms of needs and whether an abandoned piece of tech will be able to support it? This is where a vibrant ecosystem (read: apps, updates, accessories AND DEVICES) comes in.

I think needs/wants are mixed up in most mindsets.

I used "needs" generically because I didn't want to type out "needs and wants". The reality is the difference between the two does not matter in this case. People buy products to satisfy both needs AND wants. When either of those change, it often triggers an investigation into other products that can meet them if the current product does not.

The point remains. If a product (and it's ecosystem) does not keep up with the user's changing situation over time, that product will tend to be replaced.

Thats why marketing works. Really a very clever and easy idea that simply works.
They are able to make us believe we need certain things, which technically, we do not.

You mean that we have Skype now? It was around long before FaceTime and people were using it the same way.

Let's not act like Apple invented video conferencing too.

Who said anything about apple inventing anything here? I simply stated that before we had kids, we didn't need/want video conferencing "on a mobile device". Our desires changed once we had kids and wanted the grandparents to see the kids no matter where we were. FaceTime was the simplest solution for us since the grandparents really don't know anything about using a computer. We use Skype all the time on our laptops, but it proved too complex for the granparents.

In the end, it was an example of a need/want that changed over time requiring a new product. It was NOT an example of anyone inventing anything.

Yes, the Pre 2 will work the same as it does now (except for hardware fatique; but I take pretty good care of my phones).

The problem is that apps that interface with other parts of the web (Web browsing, Facebook, twitter, streaming content, Netflix Management, syncing with my computer once I am forced to update it due to other people upgrading and wanting to interact with me, etc.) require to be updated as the outside changes (it's always changing). Eventually many of my apps will not work (devlopers will stop developing/updating after a while when new users stop coming to webOS 2.1).

All of the sudden I will have a "smart" phone that can't do the same things I originally bought it for. Therefore it becomes obsolete and I need to look for another phone. Since I love webOS, I will want to get a new phone that operates webOS.

I kept my PalmOS heldhelds for a long time, but eventually they stopped interacting with things. I also wanted more functionality so I bought the next handheld and so on.

exactly. if they bought it you'd never see a phone.

Speculative article that doesn't make sense for Amazon.

This.

I'm trying to understand the reasoning behind spending (what I assume to be) millions of dollars to fork a platform and produce a product only to buy a different platform within a short amount of time (coming months?) after announcing said product. This isn't HP and the Android Slate-Printer-Panel-Controller monstrosity we're talking about here.

Next Headline: Barnes&Noble to buy webOS to produce webNook?

I agree, but I'll take a Devil's Advocate approach...

If there is an Android licensing fee (patents from Microsoft) then it's going to cost millions of money ongoing to continue with Android.

In addition and more importantly, Amazon would be able to control their own destiny. Perhaps they are looking at the Ice Cream Sandwich interface and thinking, "Ugg... we now have to go back and re-graft our interface on this new thing. It would be easier if we could develop everything about the product in house."

Except it's a fork of Android completely different from anything "google". If I understand it correctly (there's a reasonable chance that I don't), Amazondroid (my silly term) has nothing to do with Google's version of Android. In a sense, it IS their own OS (open source "stuff" notwithstanding).

If they take the source code and make something else out of it then they constantly have to make all the modifications done by Google themeselves. It would mean that they basically support an entirely new OS but at the same time they have to pay all the patent fees. It really makes no sense Amazon would end up spending way too much money for developing and maintaining an OS that doesn't really pay off that much.

Plus it would end up being bunched up with other Android devices no matter how much they modify it. In the long run they probably would have been better off with their own Kindle OS whatever that is.

You'd be surprised at the amount of merging capabilities available in most source control software. If they really needed to pull in modifications from versions after the fork was created it would NOT mean they would have to make all the modifications themselves.

Yes, there would be work to do, but it's not different than if they purchase webOS and needed to enhance it. In that case, they'd have to do all the work. At least with AOSP, they could pull in some enhancements if they wanted to with less work than building all enhancements from scratch as they would with webOS.

I'm speaking entirely from conjecture here because I'm not sure what royalties Amazon is forking out on this custom Android build (if any) but I would assume given the recent figures of what Samsung is giving Microsoft that webOS could pay for itself in a short amount of time. 750mil (just throwing out a number) for an OS/patents is peanuts.

Agree.. but one thing we do know: If this goes through Amazon will price it correctly according to the market. That's their expertise.

Yeah, I could almost see Amazon buying WebOS and partnering with Saab and Hummer to put it into their navi/entertainment systems - maybe Pontiac too! This is the beginning of something big for the future of WebOS!

smh

My guess is that HP is looking to sell Palm and are only getting lowball offers. They hope that by leaking a rumor of Amazon's interest, they will get higher bids.

Do you think if I publish an article online about some company looking to buy webOS that Precentral would pick it up? It went from HTC to Samsung to Facebook and now Amazon. Maybe Microsoft is next.

"We’ve said for a while now that content and integration is key, and the combination of a webOS account with an Amazon login (and the music, movies, television, books, magazines, and cloud storage services that would provide) could be absolutely killer."

Really? I don't seem to remember this being said much at all by you guys.

I guess a little revisionist history is always good for the soul.. On the other hand, i could link you to several instances (months ago) in which i've said it's key..in your very own forums.

Worst part about HP and WebOS is all the things that could have been.

After all it is no secret that HP bought Melodeo, who was working on a cloud solution that could stream the users music to their phone, and that a company like HP most likely would have been able to make a great deal with Amazon that could make all their content purchasable to ones WebOS devices.

As for Amazon buying WebOS I would say that it is the least likely suitor so far, but on the other hand it at least looks like a company that seems unlikely to have the management woes that have plagued the owners of WebOS so far.

Is your website as reputable as VentureBeat? This has been covered by major new organizations like CNET.

It would be a poor job by Precentral to let major organizations publish articles about webOS while they decide it isn't worth fans knowing about.

I don't think it would be good for webOS if Amazon ends up buying Palm. It doesn't make sense for them to grow webOS since they've got a great contender in Android. Their reason for doing so would likely be access to the patents and the developers. We might see some UI elements in webOS going into their version of Android, but all the goodness will be gone.

If Amazon ever Palm, I think the only hope for webOS is if it gets open-sourced, but it's days on commercial hardware that's even remotely competitive would be over.

Makes no sense beyond the patents - Amazon have designed a custom interface that is purely there to sell you stuff - it's based around five big buttons and trying to sell you as much stuff as possible.

They aren't interested in productivity or any of that multi-tasking stuff, they simply want to make it as simple as possible for you to spend money with them.

WebOS brings nothing to the table if you consider the Fire a service and conduit rather than a general purpose tablet.

The worst news since all this **** started.
I hope HP will step back or HTC will step in.

There is no way HTC would give up the revenue they are making on Android and the expected increase from WP7 to buy WebOS. That would be an absolute boneheaded move...something akin to any number of HP management decisions.

"Purchasing webOS would give Amazon their own OS to build off of"

They have one - whatever they call their forked version of Android. This isn't google android with a GUI stuck over the top, this is a branch.

Exactly.

I don't understand how a company can heap so much praise on webOS and brag on their vast, all-emcompassing plans to use it across a broad range of consumer devices, and then literally with the next breath shrug their shoulders, say "ehh, I'm so over you" and drop webOS like it was a spider they found on their shirt. Was it purely greed? They thought an all-services company could be so profitable they could drop all that, trash their own reputation and throw billions down the drain at the risk of a shareholder revolt to chase the frickin' almighty dollar? If so, they're some of the worse liars ever. So much for caring so much about customers, developers and the user experience et. al...

You need to stop believing PR talk and hype and start reading between the lines. The idea of putting webOS on all sorts of other HP hardware is just synergy-speak that every company does with every acquisition. They try to see if the square peg they just bought will fit in the round hole they have. It doesn't mean anything.

Yeah, I know. But the world I grew up in (I'm of a certain age :)) believed you should, ya know, speak the truth and mean what you say. The destruction of our "grand experiment" continues unabated...

Integrity in the business world? Now there's a "new" concept that companies should really look into!

Indeed.

They might have thought they got the next Apple for 1.2 billion dollars.

Then they said its a marathon. Actually it was greed.

Greed? More like stupidity.

Had HP kept Leo they were in a marathon alright...a race to the bottom.

I'm sure Amazon would be interested if they could get the standard webOS fire-sale discount - 80% off. Maybe Amazon is planning a webOS super phone, LOL.

I would like to see this pan out. I am a big fan of Amazon and use it a lot. I could see them continuing the TP line and the Pre 3 and more.....
Of course this is all conjecture now, but that's part of what makes this forum (PreCentral) so great.

Not much smoke here given frickin' Venturebeat is the sole source, while somehow WSJ, Bloomberg and the like remain in the dark.

But let's say it's going to happen and will happen soon, even. What does this change? Amazon just wants content consumption that they can get a cut of. They have no interest in phones.

They're essentially a competitor to the form of Android that is on other tablets. They will probably have an equal amount of fidelity to WebOS as we know it.

I can't see Amazon buying webOS, but if they do, I think they'll pick it apart piecemeal to use in their customized interface. A sad ending that would be (at least to those with so much money already invested in the webOS ecosystem)...

I'm just as speculative as you are, but why do you keep saying amazon has no interest in phones? what source are you pulling this from ?

Amazon does incredibly well selling tablets, why wouldn't they want to extend their user-base with customers who can't carry a kindle with them everywhere they go, but can carry a smaller version... errr... a phone?

The whole point of Kindles and SEVEN-inch tablets are that they CAN be carried everywhere much as a phone can. But even if they wanted to jump into the phone game, why would they wait for their own OS (which has failed on the phone front several times over) to do it when they've had access to the most popular (by marketshare) one on the planet for months now?

Further, why would they make a tablet based on their version of an OS only to buy another OS for phones? Seems...uhm...less than ideal.

these are all good questions. I think the public can only speculate, but we don't know for sure if Amazon tried to develop a phone OS and were unsuccessful. Who knows, perhaps they're just tired of paying licensing fees to Android/MS or whoever else is involved in the lawsuit. Having full rein on an OS is far better than having to license it out, especially when they're subsidizing the cost of the device for content purchases.

All true, but I'd still have to wonder about forking Android as a tablet OS but not being able to use it as a phone OS. Also, I wouldn't go so far as to say "having full rein on an OS is far better than having to license it out". The cost of the license may very well be less than the cost of maintaining your own OS.

Indeed. Microsoft has yet to hit them up for a licensing agreement. The device R&D costs were handled by RIM and Quanta when they made the Playbook. They use AOSP Android and don't pay for Google apps or the Google market.

Why is "owning" an OS that requires them to start over and offers no new revenue streams "far better"?

That is an awesome graphic. Well done.

Yes, agreed. Very nice!

You should have ticked "this will be a gift" :)

Very cool photoshop job. Like!

Amazon has always prided themselves on doing things differently. Their algorithms involving media selection based on previous purchases was revolutionary. If they are looking to once again revolutionize the mobile space, grabbing a strong customer supported OS could be a "foundaton" for their own purposes in media consumption.

The first generation Pre had the Amazon MP3 store and now the TouchPad has a Kindle app. The partnership from the very beginnng could have been the impetus for interest.

Everyone is getting in the cell phone game these days and if they can build a phone with the foresight of the 1st Kindle, a deeply integrated AmazOn webOS phone would be such a compliment to the Synergy services all current webOS'ers enjoy.

I'm all for this. I think in some aspects the purchase is a no brainer while the boardroom decisions are still yet to trickle into the interwebs.

This post seems full of "made up reasons". How does the TouchPad having a kindle app (which already existed on the major platforms) indicate something "special" for webOS? Why is the OS that couldn't keep a former smartphone space leader in business and was dumped by a mega giant all of a sudden the best choice for a company that may want to enter the smartphone space?

In the interest of speculation, I conjured up my own brand of wishful thinking. You may call it delusional, I call it hope. And you're right, both apps are available for other major platforms.

I reject your viewpoint and insert my own.

The first generation Pre had the Amazon MP3 store... well, at least in some countries but not in Germany. Exactly the same for the TouchPad - no Kindle App in sight.

I know that this is all due to legal stuff, but if they going to buy or license webOS and if that wouldn't be just for patents, maybe there's a little chance for us here to get those apps a little sooner in the future.

If Amazon wanted to rule the world with their provided content catalog then why not have a dedicated software to bundled it around?

That's my thinking...

Don't know if this is good or bad for webOS, but your graphic made my morning! :-)
...amazon|central.net?
And wouldn't that make your store section redundant? ;-)

if Amazon decides to keep webOS and not change the UI like they did with the kindle fire, and they release phones, I'm ok with it as I think Amazon could bring webOS to a much greater audience. If they're looking to buy it just for patents, then I would stop buying from Amazon.

I am not sure about them buying it just for patents and here's why (my thoughts though). If webOS is actually in negotiations with multiple companies, and Ruby is still on board, I doubt Ruby (who is also on the Amazon board of directors) would want to have Amazon rip his baby apart. His interest is keeping webOS alive. If Amazon's intentions are to just buy it for patents, I think Ruby would put a stop to that and start looking at the other bids (if there truly are any)

"if Amazon decides to keep webOS and not change the UI like they did with the kindle fire, and they release phones, I'm ok with it as I think Amazon could bring webOS to a much greater audience."

So basically, you want them to do exactly what HP did, but somehow hope for a different/better result?

HP brought it to a wider audience? I was under the impression they did very little then quit.

When HP bought webOS the webOS world rejoiced that HP's "scale and reach" would bring webOS to the masses (including 2-3 PCs per seconds...or something like that).

Now the webOS world is about to rejoice that Amazon's "reach" will bring webOS to the masses.

I should have been clearer in my original post, but if Amazon does buy webOS, I don't believe they'll get the large userbase unless they first fix the issues that plague webOS. If they release a phone or tablet quickly after buying webOS and do nothing to fix the issues, then yes, there is going to be a problem.

FWIW, I didn't believe the HP purchase would work for Palm when it happened. I knew it was going to fail as HP does terribly in mobile.

LOL. Exactly. This "did very little" is revisionist history. The Touchpad launched in every retail channel imaginable. There were custom WebOS tablets all over Best Buy and end caps at Wal-Mart. HP ran national ads all over primetime TV and signed up celebrities galore.

What other recent device has had that sort of fanfare?

let's see. HP built a lackluster device with lackluster performance on a half-baked OS and tried to sell it for the same price as an iPad 2.

Yea... I think Amazon is smarter.

I think they're smarter too. They won't go near webOS.

There are many problems with webOS, but the UI is *not* one of them. I could fill this page with the issues that plagued palm and hp, but every positive report you hear about from every website, with regards to webOS, has *always* been the UI.

I would hope that Amazon would not release something very quickly on webOS but rather fix the issues first.

I would hope that Amazon would not release something very quickly on webOS but rather fix the issues first.

And do what with Amazondroid (my made up name for their Andorid fork)?

you seem very angry today

How does any of my post display anger? They've been mostly questions, no? Is it not valid to ask what you think Amazon will do with their investment into a forked android OS when you talk about them possible "fixing" a completely different OS?

I disagree with much of what you've said but I'm not angry with you for saying it.

Amazon isn't about fixing anything. They took the playbook hardware, made it their own. They took android and made it their own cutting out google altogether. Heck, they work hard to not even mention android at all.

If Amazon does acquire webOS, it will be to cherry pick what they need out of it to make their own. Not fix it or make it into what fans around here want it to be.

HP totally failed in every aspect of introducing webOS to the public. Nothing was done right. So no, we do not want them to do "exactly what HP did".

Just STOP IT!

There is no WebOS. It's over! No one wants to buy it. HP has been trying to find partners, licensees, and buyers for some time. HP still has it because no one else wants it. The great experiment failed. The horse you bet on didn't win and never will. It had three broke legs in the last race, and is twice dead. Even if someone comes along and buys the saddle, your horse is still glue. Yet many of you seem to still be hanging on to the notion that WebOS is just around the corner from toppling evil Apple.

I predict the next rumor will be that Apple will buy WebOS and replace iOS with it. Sheesh! Make it stop. For the love of all that is holy, make it stop!

But, but, but...Venturebeat?!?!

...and #webOS.O.S

How dare you bring reality into the hallowed halls of PreCentral - where webOS has been a success since 2009.

Maybe Amazon will by Tmobile too. BooM!
I kid...

What would webOS offer Amazon over the many free alternatives they can skin? They're about selling media, buying webOS seems like a bit overkill just to sell media.

It would be nice as I can see them subsidizing it in hope of after market sales, but again for the purpose of selling media it is overkill.

Apple makes no money selling media with their own OS/smartphone/ecosystem... I forgot.

It makes sense, in fact with the services amazon sells they could even license webOS for free to other handset manufacturers and make money ala Googorola from that rather than license fees. Agree, awesome Graphic!

So HP with it's "scale and reach" is having a hard time licensing out webOS but Amazon will be able to do it with no problem? Interesting.

let's see. HP built a lackluster device with lackluster performance on a half-baked OS and tried to sell it for the same price as an iPad 2.

Yea... I think Amazon is smarter.

....which is why Amazon wasn't one of Company A, B, C, D that originally kicked Palm's tires in 2010 for a possible purchase.

Because they were smarter and knew they just needed something malleable to turn into a content machine. WebOS is no more malleable or better for content delivery than Android. In fact, it's openness to "preware" and "patching" make it far worse from a security standpoint.

Remind me again who these companies are that have been clamoring to license WebOS? Successful Android manufacturers want to trade that ecosystem for the non-existent WebOS ecosystem, why?

It is projected that Amazon may sell eight million KFs this holiday season. WebOS would help them, how? There should be a moratorium on drunk posting.

These companies are also paying microsoft royalties for using android, being chased by Apple and Oracle with patent infringement 'suits. If they can get a free license and ecosytem without the hassle what's not to like?
BTW, there are companies that can hard bake android app compatibility into any OS now so even if webOS apps remain nascent there'll still be amazon's app store available to any potential webOS hardware.

LOL. You think having to pay a $5-15 royalty to Microsoft is going to make Samsung give up on Galaxy S devices that sell in the tens of millions and have propelled them to the top of the phone manufacturer heap?

Also, I love the idea that they would spend hundreds of millions on an OS to make it an Android app player, when they already have Android devices.

That $5-15/handset is generating more revenue for MS than windows phone 7.

Except it isn't..

The remainder of Samsung Galaxy S revenue is generating more revenue for the Samsung than every WebOS device ever combined did for two different companies.

Heck, the Galaxy S ONE by itself - even with royalties paid to Microsoft - does the trick of eclipsing the entirety of WebOS.

But if that doesn't convince you, maybe Samsung publicly rejecting WebOS (and not even bothering to seriously bid the first time around when it was up for sale) will.

OMG.. I just came in m pants a little.. I would love this SOOOO Much..

Can anyone say, subsidised webos table/phone with Amazon Prime 1-2 year contract?? Please and thank you! since amazon prime is pretty sweet already with free shipping and streaming online content.. I havent pulled the trigger on it, but if it came in a packaged deal with webos device id pull the trigger..

Amazon this is a smart move.. do EEET!

"amazon prime is pretty sweet...I havent pulled the trigger on it"

That made me chuckle. :-)

I had free student trial.. loved it.. my purchase of amazon stuff has subsequently dropped since the trial ended..

I Love the Graphics on this!!!

Amazon should make its own smarthphones. Give it the
same capability as the Kindle Fire to consume Amazon
multimedia content, including streaming video, audio,
books, etc....

Let Amazon buy T-Moible or Sprint and offer unlimited
video and audio streaming of Amazon content.

This site now consists mostly of four things:

1) PreCentral Store liquidation of Pre accessories in preparation of going out of the webOS hardware accessory business;

2) Speculation about who might be trying to buy webOS;

3) Denial from whoever is was rumored to be trying to buy webOS. Amazon isn't going to allow this rumor to go very far. They just made a major commitment to tablets. They aren't going to let that message be diluted by vaporware speculation. Look for the denial next week.

4) Fire-sale inventory updates (yawn).

5) Tips

I would be more fiscally responsible to invest resources in making webOS compatible with Android apps. Especially because their linux kernals are pretty similar.

Can't believe HP didn't go that route to begin with

That's like saying a Toyota could use a Ford engine because they are both based on the same internal combustion technology.

Android has been the most popular mobile platform for a couple of years now and there has been absolutely no bridge between it and webOS in terms of app compatibility despite the fact that app availability is the single most important factor the could have kept webOS alive. So, I'm guessing it isn't going to resurrect webOS now that it's dead.

I see that you are not a gear head. Small block Ford engine in Miata (Monster Miata), been done. In AC Ace (Shelby Cobra), in a Sunbeam Alpine (Sunbeam Tiger). And there is the most ubiquitous engine to be swapped into other makes the small block Chevy. It has been put into just about everything. Google either of these phrases toyota small block chevy or toyota small block ford.

Well, I stand corrected. I guess that means webOS devices running Android apps will be as commonplace as Toyotas running Chevy engines.

Forgot to include this http://www.openmobileww.com/products.php so there actually is a bridge. The company has publicly demonstrated it running on Meego so it isn't some pie in the sky thing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsRH8w6RMHQ

Precentral has officially jumped the shark with this article.

I love how there was a paragraph about what Amazon would bring to webOS but nothing on the real question on everyone's mind which is, "What the heck would Amazon want with webOS?!?" A huge amount of time and money would have to be spent to switch over to another less popular OS and I'm not sure what if any benefits Amazon would get by doing this?

Considering how bad the writing is, i'd say they jumped the shark a long time ago.

Maybe Amazon wants to be next in line behind HP as the subject of MBA program case studies?

That's it! Iphone 5 is running webOS! That's the announcement. Apple is saving/reviving webOS...and you all thought they were Evil. It's all right here...http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2011/09/29/iphone-5-most-revolutionary-user-interface-in-history/

Interesting. I've always argued that voice commands is much more useful (in certain situations) than "cards". I multitask much better when I biking or driving with an android device because of things like voice command and the ability of the devices to read out SMS, email, announce incoming calls by speaking the caller's name, allowing me to answer calls by saying "answer", etc. Really interested to see where Apple will take this.

This sounds like my nightmare coming true. Using public transport already sucks, because you have always at least one person around using his phone to make stupid phone calls. Now, there will be people using voice control all the time.

That's it, I'm getting old - despite the fact that I'm using voice control in my car with my Parrot MKi for more than 3 years, now...

Hence the "in certain situations" disclaimer.

But maybe better integrated voice commands will help stop people from walking into fountains at malls. :-)

LOL. I love how Apple will spin the "Revolutionary" word again reinventing something that's already available in the market today. Android's been doing voice for quite some time now, but once Jobs introduces it as "revolutionary" every iphone phan-boy will be drooling as if no one ever heard of it before.

Let me guess, it will be a rehash of the UI from every other version of the iPhone except the screen will perform DNA testing and if you match Steve Jobs you can get an exclusive app to give him your liver.

I'm not a fan of the iPhone, they aren't made for someone like me with fat fingers and touch screen only. The keyboard is way too narrow for me to do anything in portrait mode, and I'm not going to switch to landscape every time that I want to send a text saying Yes/No/OK without making typos every time.

I heard that Disney is just testing the waters with their new Android phones in Japan this week and, if all goes well...they're buying WebOS. All of the FastPass ticket kiosks would run it and you could order a $7 hot dog with a side of $4 carrots using cards at all Disney parks.

As long as it truly multitasks. I want to buy my stuff at the same time.

:-)