In March of this Year in my Italian blog deliriotecnologico I had write about the decision of HP to pre-install WebOS on every devices that it produce , my opinion was very positive about the HP decision to continue to support the Free Software Business Model, for my point of view was a sign of maturity of HP in relation to the “new times”.
Even If WebOS is not exactly Free Software because, like Android and Meego, it permits for many components and applications to use Apache like licences that allow to make a source code closed, in any case this fact is a progress in to the direction to share software knowledge and efforts.
HP already is active supporting free software donating code for printer driver, pre-installing gnu/linux OS , providing open drivers for their notebook, etc… Adopt a free software based OS as WebOS in all HP devices is a further step forward. In any case have control over the software and OS (shared with others) it’s an important step for an hardware producer company, and this is an import reason why is very good for HP to use and develop WebOS every where.
Nokia with Meego was in the same position , to have their own OS for doesn’t start to depend from others OS producer, and sadly in the moment that Meego is ready to “give back” in term of profits the investments done , Nokia abandon it… For HP the hypothesis to abandon WebOS is a un-rational move like for Nokia was to abandon Meego.
My impression is that these Companies was pressed from “outside” against the company interest. These companies have the intelligence and power ( not less than BlackBerry and Apple) to be really independent even in term of OS software.
WebOS , like Meego ( that for be onest I have not already tested), on my Hp Touchpad is very mature , and outperform others OS in term of multi-tasking , interface and gnu-linux support for professionals ( I use on it Ubuntu 11.04 chroot ) ; i prefer WebOS more the Android even in terms of interface; I use Android 2.x in others devices , even if I have not already tested Android 3.x and Android 4.X