Someone needs to tell HTC to let WebOS rest in piece

A good move for HTC will only make things harder for companies going mobile without going broke


A third operating system would expand HTC's options and increase its distinctiveness by making it one of the few successful smartphone makers to build hardware for three operating systems, especially after having demonstrated it has the expertise to successfully add its own OS add-on features that run underneath Android to as a way to take more advantage of the hardware than a relatively generic OS would.

"We can use any OS we want," Wang said."We are able to make things different from our rivals on the second or third layer of a platform. Our strength lies in understanding an OS, but it does not mean that we have to produce an OS."

Don't bring WebOS back to haunt IT

That's great news for HTC, and probably a good decision for it as well. Having a little leverage can only help when your main market is a slugfest between two operating systems you don't own, developed by companies with hardware divisions that compete with your own.

It's bad news for IT, though. Competition is usually a good thing, but in operating systems it's better to have two or three big products in the mix just to keep things lively.

Even so, every additional operating system or piece of hardware adds to support, acquisition and repair costs, not to mention the higher cost of cross-platform app development and mesh of security holes that will inevitably poke through any effort to run four different operating systems on 100 different smartphone form factors and let them all connect to sensitive corporate apps and data.

HTC can and probably should buy WebOS. The acquisition makes a lot of sense for it.

There's no way IT should consider it as a viable option – or even a permissible one – on BYOC or corporate acquisition lists.

There's no good reason to add it, no major gaps in capability it will fill and, if the company requires diversity in purchasing just to support for the time being products that are ultimately doomed to failure, there's always Windows Phone 7.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo Credit: 

FocusTaiwain, Taiwanese state-owned news agency.

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