Birthday wish: Please get webOS into the right hands | webOS Nation
 
 

Birthday wish: Please get webOS into the right hands

by Derek Kessler Mon, 10 Oct 2011 2:28 pm EDT

Today is my birthday. It’s also my friend and fellow PreCentral writer Tim Stiffler-Dean’s birthday, as well as HP VP of Worldwide Developer Relations Richard Kerris’. I point this out not to draw attention to our birthdays (though this coincidence is pretty awesome), but instead to ask HP for a birthday present: Get webOS into the right hands.

It’s only been six weeks since HP pulled the plug on webOS hardware development, but it feels like it’s been an eternity. In that time we’ve seen the webOS Global Business Unit get split in two, the hardware teams get laid off, and HP dump a floundering CEO in favor of one aiming high and fast. We’ve heard nothing new from the webOS GBU, nothing about what HP intends to do with the OS, with the IP, and with the people.

I know that the nature of inter-corporate negotiations mean that HP and any other parties potentially involved can’t say anything. We all knew Palm was for sale when they ended up getting bought by HP, but in the end we didn’t know who it was going to be and who all was bidding. This kind of secrecy is necessary in the corporate world, but it’s simply maddening to those waiting with anticipation and anxiety on the outside: the fans.

So while I know you can’t say anything, I’m going to implore you anyway to make sure webOS gets into the hands of a company that can do right by the platform.

webOS needs to be owned by a company that is capable of long-term commitments. It needs to be a company that’s capable of cutting-edge hardware design, has a strong software development background, and can secure content deals that’ll help ensure the success of webOS. webOS has only died twice, and Palm once before that.

I don’t know who that company is. I may have guessed that HP would be the one to buy Palm, but I didn’t actually expect it to happen. There are a number of potential contenders for webOS –Amazon, Facebook, Google – that could do well by webOS.

Time is running out. There’s only so much even a company like HP can do to sustain webOS as a platform in the months that will have to pass before any new hardware is created. The longer it takes to get webOS into new hands, the longer it’s going to take for that new hardware, and the more the world, webOS fans included, is going to move on. For all of its forward thinking user interfaces and frameworks, webOS and HP are behind the curve in a number of ways. webOS needs someone who can bring it up to speed before it’s too late. Please, make that happen.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go blow out some candles.