Kinda hard to avoid today's big tech news, HP are selling their PC business and sunsetting webOS, including their Pre phones and TouchPad tablets. Wow. Didn't see that coming - at least, not yet. The theory seems to be that tablets are taking a big chunk out of the PC market, and HP couldn't compete, so they're getting out. Aka, they're giving up on becoming Apple, and want to become IBM. Wow.
MG Siegler was also surprised, and thinks Facebook should buy webOS. Hmmm... Nah. His summary: HP to Apple, you win.
I loved my Pre phone, and thought webOS was great. I will say that every webOS device seemed sluggish - even the newest ones - so perhaps there was an underlying performance issue which HP couldn't get past... performance matters, one of the reasons the iPhone and iPad are so successful. Neither Palm nor HP were able to get much developer enthusiasm going for building webOS Apps, so that was a problem too; we are living in a world where IOS is Coke and Android is Pepsi, and everything else is ... something else. Sorry RIM. Sorry Windows Phone. And ... sorry webOS.
There are a kazillion articles and blog posts and everything out there, reporting is mixed with editorializing and speculation, have fun sorting it all out. I found it ironic that early in the day Wired featured the birth of HP today (Aug 18, 1947), Engaget posted about a new 64GB TouchPad, and PreCentral was excited about a new TouchPad with 1.5MHz processor.
John Gruber's takeaway was The Tablet Effect; we are living in a post PC world now, and HP doesn't want to be the leader in a dying market. Huh.
So be it! Onward... at least as a developer there is one less platform to worry about. As Joe Hewitt Tweeted: "my hard work ignoring webOS has finally paid off".