What does the Google purchase of Motorola mean for HP webOS?
Everyone seems to think, yes, and they say Windows Phone 7 next, but what about webOS? I'd have to think HP's licensing terms might be better, with the imperative of growing the user base. Don't Samsung, LG, and most likely HTC, have to think about it - if for no other reason than to improve their bargaining position with Microsoft?
I really like webOS, but it's clear that HP has problems with execution (just like Palm did). It's been six months since the Pre3 announcement and the product still hasn't shipped yet. That's a long time in the world of smartphones, and the device could very well be considered obsolete by the time it actually comes out. If it takes HP this long to deliver new webOS products, then they will never reach the scale they're envisioning. They would have to license the platform to others to ensure its growth.
If these other Android licensees decide to jump ship, I don't think there would be a more opportune moment for HP to step up and present webOS as a viable, differentiated option to handset manufacturers. If they don't, Microsoft gets a clear shot at becoming the third big player in smartphone OSes.
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The problem with Windows Phone is that Nokia has a similar relationship as Motorola with Google.
I hope that HP given the issues they are having with the TouchPad launch and developing phones (Veer and Pre3) will consider licensing but that is uncertain at this point.
I would be surprised if Google cut off the other manufacturers completely, but it wouldn't surprise me if they are forced to remove their skins as Google transfers to having more control over their OS.
It will be interesting to see if Google strangled its own operating system with this purchase.
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