Some analysts have speculated that Nokia should buy Palm to get even more patents and a "better OS". Others have been quick to shoot them down, saying that Symbian will improve and MeeGo is more promising. Most of them are ignoring the middle ground, which may make much more sense than either extreme.
I'm not saying Nokia is going to buy Palm. It's unlikely. But if they do, here's why: Symbian and MeeGo are less important than Ovi. It's not about replacing either OS, but about extending the reach of the development platform.
The move would not necessarily force them to support three smartphone/tablet operating systems. The base technologies are so close to Maemo that the next WebOS version could simply be the Palm GUI running on MeeGo.
Nokia's WRT would be made compatible with WebOS apps, and Qt would become the new native SDK. At that point, does it really matter to Nokia whether they gain more US users with Symbian^3, WebOS or MeeGo? It'll be the total that counts, and Nokia is in a real hurry to grow their customer base in the US if they want North American developers to take them seriously.
Being backed by Ovi would provide WebOS with the huge credibility boost it needs, raising Palm's value, but only for one company - Nokia.