HP Should Open-Source WebOS

From the time that Palm introduced WebOS and the Pre to the point at which HP bought the company many developers and those with technical knowledge that exceeds mine said that WebOS was the only other smartphone OS that was truly competitive with Apple's. Android has since continued to improve, however.

HP promised tablets and new smartphones, based on WebOS, this year. However none of them have emerged to date. Meanwhile Palm's market share continues to decline. Soon Palm could simply be irrelevant, unless the promised tablet is magnificient (capital G) and rises above other non-iPad tablets. 

Palm was at a disadvantage vs. the iPhone because it failed to line up developers ahead of time or appreciate the critical nature of apps to the mobile user experience. The lack of apps and some poor hardware choices doomed the Pre and Palm simply never recovered. 

Now I think that HP should open-source WebOS and make it an Android competitor. HP is unlikely to do that given that the company spent $1.2 billion on Palm -- mainly for WebOS. However the market wants a viable Android competitor, especially one that's open source and I think it could be quite successful for HP in longer-term ways. It would be easier to build an ecosystem for example. 

As I said I don't think it will happen but I think it's probably the only way to save Palm/WebOS from total obscurity, unless HP surprises with some absolutely stellar devices. But I won't hold my breath.