I agree with the fundamentals of your argument, the risk of taking on a new OS and HP's lack of real commitment thus far to webOS. I feel the need to correct your statements on Linux/iOS/Windows.
Originally Posted by daexpression
First, iOS is a mobile OS only used on iPhones/iPods/iPads. It is not a desktop OS. In reading your statement I believe you have iOS confused with MacOS, which is Apple's desktop OS.
Second, you ask if any Linux flavor has gone mainstream. You assert that none has, although you mentioned Android as being successful. Since Android is a Linux flavor and it is highly successful, you prove that your own assertion is dead wrong. This also leads me to believe that you don't really have an idea of what Linux is. Linux is an operating system kernel with some tools provided by the GNU Project. Android is Linux, webOS is Linux, Meego is Linux, Tivo is Linux, Linux runs on 60% of the servers that power the Internet and 90% of the worlds 500 fastest computers. You use Linux every time you do a Google search or make a call on an Android phone. Linux itself is highly successful. Try reading up on it before you comment:
Linux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Last, in the battle of mobile operating systems, Google has a problem. Actually it is several problems. Google has not done a good job of defending Android to attacks from Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft has successfully extorted licensing fees from major Android ODMs. Some folks even believe that Microsoft is making more from Android then Google or the ODMs are making. Plus those ODMs are paying extra for Google's services (Play Store, Maps, YouTube) on top of Microsoft's licensing fees which totally negates the argument that Android is free. Google just recently started to care more about how Android looks. Before, vanilla Android looked atrocious. Google had a real problem with selling Nexus (vanilla Android) devices because of this. This also prompted HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and Amazon to skin the heck out of Android in order to make it palatable to the end user. Samsung, the majority maker of Apple hardware, went a little too far in making their skin look and behave like iOS and were successful sued by Apple. Google just sat on its hands and said that Samsung should have used the more vanilla (and unsuccessful) version of the Android UI. Google also shocked ODMs by purchasing Motorola (to secure patents it should have had at the beginning) making them believe that Google will push its latest and greatest on its own hardware first. Android is suffering on tablets because of a lack of polish in its tablet UI and apps. It is very telling that the only truly successful Android tablet, the Kindle Fire, does not look or behave like other Android tablets, Amazon is loosing money on the hardware and the OS and only making money on their services. Plus Amazon won't even put Android and their tablet OS in the same sentence.
I believe that open webOS still has a shot in the mobile space at Android's expense, even though it is a long one. Both will soon use the same version of the Linux kernel making the hardware transparent. The major problem I see with OWOS will be with apps. HP/Gram will have to execute a flawless strategy to get developers to use Enyo across all platforms (iOS, Android, Windows) and make the apps easily portable to webOS. HP is definitely not know for executing flawless strategies.