An early release of WebOS 2.0 for developers demonstrates that the mobile OS still has some life in it, and indicates that new WebOS devices are on the horizon. Rival platforms should be prepared for another strong player in the smartphone and tablet arenas, and avoid counting WebOS out too quickly.
Suffice it to say there are some unique features that bring some pizazz to WebOS 2.0, but none of the details for the new WebOS suggest that there is anything groundbreaking about it as a mobile OS. So, should Apple, Google, RIM, or Microsoft even pay attention to WebOS? Rivals don't need to be concerned about WebOS in and of itself, but the combination of WebOS with the marketing and distribution power of HP is another story.
Some have argued (and many still do) that WebOS is a technically superior mobile operating system than Apple's iOS, Google's Android, or any other smartphone OS on the market. Whether or not that is true, Palm was unsuccessful at taking any significant chunk of the smartphone market and was eventually bought by HP.
Now, WebOS has a second chance--and this time it has the marketing credibility and established sales and distribution channels of HP on its side. An excellent technology with poor marketing is doomed. A poor technology with excellent marketing can succeed. An innovative technology with superior marketing is virtually guaranteed.
WebOS 2.0 is expected to be available by the end of this year. There are nohardware specs for new WebOS smartphones, tablets, or other devices yet, but, its coming soon and competing platforms have reason to be concerned.