In a seemingly unexpected turn of events, HP announced that it will be killing off their WebOS product. For those unaware, HP’s WebOS is a fantastic mobile operating system that just never caught on with the public, mostly because of a lack of relevant hardware and a scant ecosystem.
The software overall was both beautiful and innovative and pioneered the card multitasking view that we now see in Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). In a statement taken from the computer giant via their press release:
…HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.
The fate of WebOS is both tragic and heartening. The idea that a platform so inspiring and innovative could so easily fail is a scary proposition for the mobile industry, however, it leaves really four major players left in the smartphone game (Windows Phone, iOS, Android, Blackberry). It’s my belief, and this is opinion, that the mobile market might only be able to sustain three major players and a few other small ones, so with WebOS leaving the game it leaves Windows Phone as the fourth and up-and-comer of the bunch, with Blackberry continuing to cede market share.
Windows Phone still has a long way to go before it can pull down the numbers of it’s major competitors (iOS and Android), but the Mango update brings it up to par with features and functionality and at this point, it’s just a matter of getting the word out and getting devices into peoples hands. One thing Windows Phone has in its favor is a thriving app market and ecosystem and a solid hardware manufacturing base. For WebOS. It’s a shame. You will be missed…kinda.