Today, in an almost insultingly brief statement in the middle of a press release about something else entirely, HP killed off its most recent acquisition, and perhaps its most beloved platform: WebOS, the mobile OS designed by the scrappy gurus at Palm. It's a bitter, inconsequential end for an OS that in its own way paved as much ground as the iPhone, and that even in its current decrepit state is a damn fine platform. WebOS, you deserved better.
Palm's WebOS operating system, seen on the Palm Pre and Pixi, is the great underdog of the mobile world: critically adored, but commercially ignored, to the point that Palm actually had to sell itself to HP to stay alive. Since we've last had a big WebOS announcement, Android has exploded in popularity, Microsoft entirely rebooted their platform, and the iPhone came to Verizon--so today's announcement of the new HP (not Palm) WebOS devices is a do or die moment for WebOS. The lineup that will decide that: The Veer mini-smartphone, the Pre 3, and the TouchPad tablet.