The travails of WebOS continue with Gram

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WebOS is that superb and widely-acclaimed mobile OS that was created to replace the aged and legendary Palm OS. While hailed on multiple fronts for its nice user interface and multitasking capabilities, WebOS never quite made a splash in the scheme of things. Poor hardware and lacklustre marketing made sure of that.

With HP’s purchase of Web OS gave hopes of a brighter future for the platform, but the computer maker bungled things up too and eventually decided to ditch making WebOS devices, and rather concentrate on licensing the OS out.

A Web OS SpinOff

The latest news is that HP have spun off the Web OS division into an independent company named Gram. Gram is continuing the legacy of HP, and so are not a consumer hardware brand, but are focusing on software, User Experience, Cloud, engineering and partnering (licensing).

webos devices

My wife’s HP TouchPad running WebOS is still in service. Each time I pick it up, I see the sad potentials of what a great device it could be if it got enough traction.

The question is, With the successes of Android, the galaxy of hardware manufacturers behind Tizen, and Firefox OS already attracting manufacturers, who exactly is likely to license WebOS? I am lying through the skin of my teeth if I claim to have the answer to that question.


  1. I think one of the problems of today’s software/OS industry is this parent litigation threat that is greatly popularized by Apple as it did touchscreen devices. I think any hardware manufacturer intending to licence that WebOS or even any other OS for that matter will first put into consideration the possibility of patent litigation should the platform gain traction.

    Spending so much resources to popularize the platform after licensing it only to be destroyed by companies like Apple that hates competition will be a harrowing experience for any hardware manufacturer. Sticking with the already popular platforms like Google’s Android or going with Windows Phone that has the backing of almighty Microsoft is a lot safer these days but unfortunately, you also face stiff competition from so many hardware manufacturers with any of the two.

  2. Adopting anything new always has its risk.

    Any company adopting a fresh webOS now may be pouring water down a duck`s back!

    What would be the purpose? How are you going to woo/convince Developers to start developing for your “new ” platform?

    I opine that it will take the mighty resources of the big three (Samsung, Microsoft or Google) to pull such a stunt successfully. And I can NOT see why any of them would do that now.

    Apple? (o yea?)

    But then, the mobile landscape is like Charly Boy’s Show ~ ANYTHING can and DOES happen!

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