By Sayoko Knight Teitelbaum
This morning I read an article in today’s FT about Meg Whitman’s move to overturn her predecessor’s decision to spin off HP’s PC arm. Apparently, it’s been well received by the board as it received unanimous vote.
I was interested to read about the fate of webOS and see if Whitman was also going to overturn Léo Apotheker’s decision to stop producing hardware for their smartphone and tablet operating system, webOS. As of now, it looks like she will not overturn this decision, perhaps two in one day would be a bit much. Or perhaps she agrees with the decision that HP can’t compete in this highly competitive market. Or perhaps she has other plans for the operating system, webOS. I am hopeful that Whitman is going for the latter.
We’re currently in a two horse race, with Apple and Google as the only ponies in play. While Android has been positioned as the open source operating system, it’s hard to predict the fate of Android, in the light of Goggle’s acquisition of Motorola. Could Android one day be exclusive to Motorola? Will other manufacturers want another alternative?
I think yes. And here’s where I think webOS can come into play. Since webOS uses WebKit functionality for its browsing capabilities, it’s a natural platform for developers to build web technology driven apps, such as HTML5. webOS should join the open source movement and become free and open to any and all hardware manufacturers. It should focus on marketing it’s own app store and signing up developers to participate in its ecosystem. It should continue to develop the operating system and be the OS of choice for HTML5 developers.
Maybe they have a shot to disrupt this two horse race we’re currently watching? Either way, I’ll be watching from the sidelines.