HP mulling WebOS licensing

webOS HP mulling WebOS licensing

The inevitable looks like it's about to happen, HP has started talks with various potential partners to see if anyone's interested in licensing its WebOS for handheld devices. Apparently a number of companies are interested, although this generally doesn't mean anything until a license agreement has been signed.

The inevitable looks like it's about to happen, HP has started talks with various potential partners to see if anyone's interested in licensing its WebOS for handheld devices. Apparently a number of companies are interested, although this generally doesn't mean anything until a license agreement has been signed.

According to Bloomberg, WebOS is being considered as a choice to Google's Android OS and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, something that almost has to happen if HP wants the platform to survive. It's a dog eat dog world in the mobile device OS market with Apple and Google dominating it at the moment. WebOS is somewhere at the bottom of the pecking order having been a proprietary solution owned by Palm before HP bought the company and although it has a lot of unique features and several benefits over its competitors, it lacks market share.

Samsung is rumoured to be one of the companies interested, but considering the company is already involved in just about every single mobile OS platform, bar iOS, at least directly, this isn't entirely surprising. The question is who else will jump on board,  as HP needs all the device partners it can get to grown the ecosystem for its WebOS, especially as its lacking in developer support for apps. The way the market has developed, this has become a key part of any mobile OS, as if you can't offer the apps your customers want, they'll go elsewhere.

HP is also expected to be putting its WebOS on its desktop and notebook computers, but as a virtualised environment rather than as a dual boot solution. The reason behind this move is so that users could access their mobile device apps even on their desktop, something that could prove to be a small win for HP. That said, if it remains exclusive to HP PC's, it's not likely to go down well with WebOS users, as very few consumers tend to like to get tied in with a single brand for all their products, notwithstanding Apple users.

Source: Bloomberg

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.