Device operating systems

OS Watch: What’s Up With WebOS?

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) having a new face, but an uncertain future; Samsung Corp. not playing nice anymore; and consumers not giving up their iPhones are among the items heading up this week's operating-system chronicles.

  • WebOS gets a second chance at life: HP's freshly-minted CEO Meg Whitman told investors Thursday she would continue to look for ways to optimize WebOS. The company saw renewed interest in its TouchPad tablet based on the OS after it dropped prices to $100, but it has also been busy laying off its workforce in that division. Whitman has the opportunity to reclaim and reinvigorate the OS in-house because no one appears to be interested in licensing it instead, but –- with only one day on the job under her belt –- she hasn't said what she'll do yet. (See HP's New CEO Sets a Spinoff Deadline, HP Names Meg Whitman CEO, HP Plots a CEO Ouster , HP Brings TouchPad Back From the Dead and HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz.)

  • Gloves are off at Samsung: Samsung is ditching its respectful and passive approach to its patent spat with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) in favor of a more aggressive plan of attack, it told the Associated Press Friday. Samsung was holding back because Apple happens to be one of its important components customers, but Apple might be "seeing other people" -- the cause for Samsung's new, more hostile stance. (See Apple Rains on Japan's LTE Tab Parade, Apple vs. Android Patent Spat Goes Global, Apple Escalates Samsung Lawsuit, Apple Sues Samsung for iCopying and OS Watch: Samsung Countersues Apple .)

  • Apple iPhone is sticky: Apple is expected to announce its enigmatic iPhone 5 on Oct. 4, which may be one of the only reasons Fanboys might give up their iPhone 4s. According to UBS Research , Apple's smartphone has an 89 percent -- and growing -- retention rate. Its closest follower, High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), only retains 39 percent of its customers, but most other rivals are seeing their rates decline. This is one of the few times it's good to have a sticky phone.

  • Samsung wants nada for bada: Samsung is mulling opening up its bada OS to third-party developers for free next year, reports The Wall Street Journal. Open-sourcing bada, instead of buying another OS, would help to lessen its dependence on Android and move its software to other devices, including connected TVs. (See OS Watch: Samsung Disses webOS.)

  • Operators want more OSs: The wireless operators are itching for a third choice in OS, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam told investors this week. He suggested that bada, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Windows Phone and BlackBerry are all possibilities in the race for third. "And I think that over the next 12 months ... it will coalesce, and you will start to see one emerge as a legitimate third ecosystem," he proclaimed. (See OS Watch: Windows Phone Races for the Bronze .)

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

  • sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:52:49 PM
    re: OS Watch: What’s Up With WebOS?

    HP has burned a lot of bridges with its suppliers and developers around webOS and the Touchpad. It's hard to imagine it really reclaiming it, but it may not have a choice if no one else wants it either.

    DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:52:48 PM
    re: OS Watch: What’s Up With WebOS?

    I don't think there is really any market demand for WebOS as it stands now. It has no dominant hardware running it but it was able to do some interesting things with blurring the line between online and offline content. And so did Motoblur, but we see how that turned out.

    DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:52:48 PM
    re: OS Watch: What’s Up With WebOS?

    I wonder if there would be a way to take what they've learned in apps development and support a viable partner who has strong hooks into the enterprise (like MSFT or RIM) as that seems to be where HP is going to move its focus.


    sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:52:48 PM
    re: OS Watch: What’s Up With WebOS?

    What would that mean for webOS though? HP licenses it [just parts?] to Microsoft or RIM and kills off the rest for good?

    miles4000 12/5/2012 | 4:52:45 PM
    re: OS Watch: What’s Up With WebOS?

    I hope HP does something soon regarding webOS. With the recent firesale of the Touchpad there are a lot more users out there.  Just check precentral  forums and member numbers recently. If HP is serious about continuing with webOS at a minimum they should release another OS update asap. 

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