HP's lost is Microsoft's gain?
Now this is a classic "Your lost my gain" scenario, just hours after HP announced that they're discontinuing webOS's development, Microsoft Senior Director of Windows Phone 7 Brandon Watson quickly step-in and took the opportunity to attract more developers to create apps for the Windows Phone platform. Saying (via twitter) "To Any Published WebOS Devs: We'll give you what you need to be successful on #WindowsPhone, incl.free phones, dev tools, and training, etc.". Microsoft with its vast resources and knowing the importance of apps in the smartphone and tablet space, it looks like they're doing all they can to attract more developers to create apps for their Windows Phone platform.
Just minutes after posting the message, Brandon already got a number of inquiries from interested developers and assuming all top notch WebOS developers jump-ship and went to Microsoft, this will greatly increase the number of developers and the quality of apps for the Windows Phones. WebOS currently have at least 10,000 apps while there are more than 17,000 apps and 36,000 developers for Windows Phone Platform, if 50% of webOS apps and developers went to Windows Phones platform, that will greatly increase the population of apps and developers for the Windows Phones, but those numbers are miniscule compare to Google android 250,000+ apps and Apple's iOS 500,000+ apps.
HP said that they're just discontinuing the hardware and “not walking away from WebOS” it's still not clear what will happen to the platform, if HP will license it or just sell it another company. If I were a developer and I'd go to Windows Phone platform, not only that they're giving you a free phone, training and tool to succeed, the competition is also small compare with Google or Apple.