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HP Considering Selling WebOS Says Report

So, a day after we reported that HP was trying to revive WebOS by offering discounted Touchpad tablets to developers, we now learn that it is considering selling the software platform.

An article (opens in new tab) by Nadia Damouni from Reuters claims that HP is looking to sell the unit, a sale that could generate hundreds of millions of dollars, but in any case, less than what HP paid for Palm ($1.2bn in 2010).

Surprisingly, enterprise business powerhouse Oracle is said to be interested in the sale which is being overseen by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Palm's patents, both mobile and non-mobile, are likely to be the main attraction of any transaction, which means that other suitors could include Apple, Microsoft, Samsung or Google.

There's also a chance that HTC could buy HP, as it has long been thought that the Taiwanese manufacturer is contemplating launching its own operating system.

HP abandoned WebOS not because of its poor technology or performance, but because of the unsustainable sales levels of its Touchpad tablets and Pre smartphones.

The division was axed by HP's former CEO, Leo Apotheker, who has since been replaced by Meg Whitman. Apotheker also initiated the process that would have seen HP's Personal Service Group either spun out or sold altogether; this process has since been halted.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.