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1HP’s webOS Top Contenders to Buy the Palm Operating System

Amazon.comThis online superstar has been mentioned by more than one expert as a potential buyer of HP’s webOS. But with its Android-based Kindle Fire ready to ship, does that really make sense? Or maybe Amazon would eschew Android for the chance to own its own all-in-one software-to-hardware integrated device.

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Research in MotionIt’s been a tough road for RIM recently as it’s seen its once superstar Blackberry smartphone overshadowed by Apple’s iPhone and more recently by a host of Android-based smartphones. RIM fought back with its Playbook tablet on a new operating system, but that effort fizzled. Would RIM take a chance on yet another new OS?

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IBMIBM has a long rich history in the operating systems space, but doesn’t participate in client hardware markets where webOS has made its mark – smartphones, tablets and HP once talked about putting the OS on PCs as well. Could webOS become a server operating system? Would this granddaddy of tech companies find value in the patent portfolio?

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OracleOracle is reportedly a top contender to buy webOS, and speculation is that the applications, data base, and now hardware vendor wants the technology for its rich patent portfolio. Whether it plans to do anything else with webOS would remain to be seen.

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IntelIntel has recognized that it must diversify from processors to platforms in order to continue its growth. WebOS may be one path to help it to do that. Not to mention, again, the patent portfolio.

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FacebookOne industry analyst said that Facebook would be a perfect fit for webOS because of its scale, large developer community, and movement towards being a content sharing powerhouse.

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HTCThis handset maker has produced both Android and Windows Phone 7-based smartphones. But with Google acquiring Motorola mobile, it may be looking for its own OS now that one of its top partners has purchased its own hardware.

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SamsungSamsung also has been a partner of Google in the smartphone space, and may be smarting since the Google, Motorola mobility deal. Again, it could be looking to hedge its bets with its own OS.

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HPSince taking over the top job at HP, Meg Whitman has not ruled out bringing back webOS-based devices, most likely in a 2.0 version. After all, TouchPad did fly off the shelves once HP reduced the price to $99 to start with. HP pulled TouchPad just six weeks after it hit the market at price parity, but not feature parity and elegance parity to Apple’s leading TouchPad. It takes more of a commitment than that to enter a market.