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PreCentral: Could a Kickstarter campaign raise enough to make new webOS devices?

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Could a Kickstarter campaign raise enough to make new webOS devices?

There's been a big question mark hanging over webOS since HP announced their plans to open source the operating system: then what? Come September, assuming HP has met their roadmap obligations, Open webOS 1.0 will be free and available for anybody to use. But for it to stand any chance at lasting relevance it's going to need to be put onto devices that people can actually buy.

Last month we talked about the massive hurdles that one would have to overcome to build a webOS smartphone or tablet. Chief among them (and chief among Palm's problems before they were bought by HP) is money. You need money to buy components in bulk. You need money to pay for engineers. You need money for certification, factory space, packaging, and a million other pieces that are needed to bring a modern computing device to fruition. You need money.

We'll admit, Derek was being his typical sardonic self when he threw in the line, "You aren't getting it from Kickstarter, are you?"

That was a week after Kickstarter's biggest project to date - kooky game Double Fine Adventure had raked in $3.3 million over the course of a month from more than 87,000 backers. For those not familiar with Kickstarter, here's a crash course: Kickstarter allows enterprising entrepreneurs to publish a product proposal on the site and collect pledges from potential customers. They have to set a pledge goal and deadline, and backers aren't committed until both the deadline has passed and the project has reached its goal. For Double Fine Adventure, the developers were looking for $400,000 in pledges to get their game up off the ground. They got eight times that amount.

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