The rumors are that Amazon is negotiating to buy Palm and WebOS from HP.http://www.geekwire.com/2011/amazon-buying-palm-lot-sense
Todd Bishop at GeekWire doesn't think this makes sense. I disagree.
Amazon has been working with Kindle and developed a great e-Reader. They are now cannibalizing the RIM playbook hardware to produce the Amazon Fire, which is now available for Pre-Order. They have to manage two OS platforms to deliver these products. May be they want to evolve around one platform that they control.
I don't think they are so bothered about the hardware assets of the HP tablet - the real value is in the WebOS software. Remember, developing for WebOS is basically developing for HTML5. If Amazon acquires WebOS they can integrate their app marketplace, streaming, kindle and other services on a platform they own. However, there is another benefit. The apps they develop for WebOS can run as HTML5 web Apps on Android and iOS with very little development effort.
Amazon will have control of their own platform and won't be at the mercy of Google's choice of development direction. You already see this on their Android platform. Amazon has been promoting it's own marketplace rather than depending upon Google's Android store.
WebOS is already highly portable. Apps developed for the HP tablet were ported to IOS for the iPad and ran faster than on HP's own tablet.
No, Buying WebOS makes a lot of sense. Take ownership of their own destiny with a good OS platform and continue to use contract manufacturers to build the hardware.
Is Microsoft dissuading Facebook from buying their own OS?
What I am amazed at is that Facebook hasn't snapped up WebOS. It would be a great way for them to get their own OS platform for phones and tablets and allow them to compete in a vertically integrated way with Apple and Google.
The reason they haven't done this is probably Microsoft.
As a major investor in Facebook I am sure Microsoft won't want Facebook buying their own OS. They would prefer Facebook to build functionality in to Windows Phone/ Windows 8 to give Microsoft an edge in the phone and tablet wars.