08/23/2011, 12:35 PM
If (and I emphasize IF) there is a licensing agreement in place right now, just not announced, then yes. This who debacle was genius. Here's how I see it.
You've got a Catch 22 with webOS. There are no developers for it because nobody owns the hardware, and nobody owns the hardware because developers don't write software for it. How do you get through this?
Answer: Give the hardware away.
Suddenly you have a large user base and developers can be enticed to write software for you platform.
The problem is that it's really exensive to give the hardware away. If only there were a cheaper way. Oh wait. There is. You PRETEND to want to sell the hardware and after a period of time, when it doesn't sell, you get out of the business and write the whole thing off as a giant tax deduction. You wouldn't be able to do this if you just sold them for a loss.
Nothing about what HP does makes any sense, unless the goal was to get out of the hardware business and write off the losses. But it does make sense if you want to get devices out, build a user base, and get a big tax deduction out of the whole thing.
Somehow though, I'm getting the feeling like HP doesn't have a master strategy with this and is flying by the seat of their pants. However, if Samsung comes out and announces a deal has been made, then it was brilliant.
Oh, and for everyone who thinks this will forever tarnish HP's reputation, I think you're wrong. Things change so fast and chances are in a year, any ill will from this whole event will be forgotten.