HP began developing WebOS devices after their purchase of Palm in 2010.

You may have read my post a few days ago which mentioned I had recently purchased an HP TouchPad.

Well as fate would have it, the TouchPad was discontinued the very day I received it. HP also announced plans to discontinue their line of WebOS phones, including the Palm Pre, which I also happen to own. News headlines are prophesying the ‘death’ of WebOS on mobile devices, and there are even rumours that HP will be selling its computer hardware line and moving exclusively to software in the near future.

So where does that leave me, the up-until-now loyal WebOS user? I have two devices, both of which I’m actually quite pleased with, but with no technical support to speak of (at least in the near future). That means I will no longer be able to update my devices, and as pesky as those system updates often are (I’m looking at you, Windows Update), they truthfully are an important means of fixing bugs and installing software. Now that HP has officially pulled the plug on WebOS, it also means that any app support for my devices is virtually obsolete. Of course, there’s always a chance that HP will sell WebOS to another company, which means that technical and app support could be resurrected, but there’s certainly nothing promising on the horizon.

As I mentioned above, I’m actually quite happy with my TouchPad, especially since I bought it at a great (read: discounted) price. But it’s also hard to ignore the countless proselytizers on the web who are determined to make me think otherwise. Tech blogs are grinding out articles with “Sell Your HP TouchPad Now!” and “Top Ways to Get Rid of Your TouchPad!”  as headlines. Many experts have devoted themselves to discouraging readers from purchasing a TouchPad, even at the insanely reduced prices currently being offered by some stores.

In the world of technology, a device carrying an extinct OS is like a dangerous disease, threatening to ‘contaminate’ the user. But for me, exterminating my WebOS devices is not an option. I’m willing to live with an outdated OS– bugs and all– and I’m still looking forward to enjoying a product I paid good money for, even if it has been discontinued.

I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned this before, but I’m a PhD student in History, and thus am used to dealing with odd and outdated items from past. Instead of treating an extinct OS like a dangerous disease, I’m willing to celebrate the fact that it is a remnant from a particular time in technological history.

And in the media frenzy surrounding the TouchPad’s demise, I hope that other WebOS users will remember to do the same. 🙂

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