We need to face facts: WebOS is dead. Barring the unwavering support of the enthusiast community, the former mobile OS will never become a commercial product and, LG investment or no, the possibility of WebOS surviving a sale is nil.
WebOS is no more, has ceased to be, is bereft of life, and it rests in peace. It is an ex-OS.
HP is going through the same doldrums all PC makers are facing. Had they put a modicum of energy into updating the TouchPad and the WebOS mobile line, they probably could have made it out of the horse latitudes of the downturn, but as it stands they jettisoned an amazing amount of valuable cargo, including support for the WebOS team. What LG is supposedly buying is a ready-made stack for their smart TV offerings and not a real OS. What HP is selling is dead weight.
TV operating systems are about as low as you can go in the graphical environment game. TVs face a snails-pace upgrade cycle, are orphaned by their makers, and are nearly invisible to the consumer. Slapping WebOS into a TV is tantamount to sticking it onto a medical device – you’re assured a slow and steady obsolescence.
The last big news out of WebOS came over a year ago, with the release of 3.0.5. The Community Edition wiki was last updated in August. If there is such a thing as a zombie OS, this is it.
It’s over. Even if the rumors are true that LG would even consider picking this thing up over, say, using a ready-made Android stack, is a testament to the fire-sale price HP would consider and, more important, LG’s efforts to grab some of that enthusiast cool. After all, LG is fighting Samsung for mind and market share and a little WebOS magic could (but won’t) pull them partially out of a deep hole. But don’t bet on it.