HP to sell webOS for “hundreds of millions”?

Hewlett-Packard The fate of HP’s webOS mobile operating system has been unclear since HP’s decision to exit the webOS hardware business in August. A decision may finally be close at hand though. Citing “four sources close to the matter,” Reuters is reporting that Hewlett-Packard could sell webOS for hundreds of millions of dollars, a sum significantly less than the US$1.2 billion it paid when it acquired Palm in 2010.

Amazon.com, Research In Motion, IBM, Oracle Corp and Intel Corp are among the companies apparently interested according to industry sources. Whether any of these have any plans to launch their own webOS products or are more interested in the patents behind webOS remains unclear.

There is also a new wrinkle in the saga. The report also indicates that HP’s new CEO, Meg Whitman, is also considering reversing the company’s webOS decision. A new webOS tablet is not out of the question. “The question now before us is what do we do with webOS software and do we come back to market with webOS devices,” Whitman said. “It obviously will not be the same device but it will be version 2.0.”

Should HP take another swing at the webOS business or is it time to let someone else have a crack at it?

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