$1.2 billion was the amount HP spent on acquiring Palm, together with webOS, back in April 2010 and allegedly it’s the same amount the company asked for when it tried to sell before killing webOS and turning it open source.
According to Paul Mercer, former senior director of software at Palm, there was little hope for webOS from the very beginning. “Palm was ahead of its time in trying to build a phone software platform using Web technology, and we just weren’t able to execute such an ambitious and breakthrough design”, he added, before saying that “perhaps it never could have been executed because the technology wasn’t there yet”.
Applications, due to the fact that webOS was built on basically the same technology as browsers, were not running as smooth as those on Apple’s iOS. That aside, the platform didn’t manage to generate enough buzz and enthusiasm between developers. A former member of the webOS app development team said nothing else: the biggest problem was “Palm’s inability to turn it into a platform that could capture the enthusiasm and loyalty of outside programmers. <...> There were neither the right leaders nor the right engineers to do the job”.