HP completes Palm acquisition, eyes webOS hardware

By on July 1, 2010, 2:02 PM
Hewlett-Packard announced today it has completed its acquisition of Palm at $5.70 a share, or about $1.2 billion. The world's largest PC maker now has a mobile operating system of its own and plans to use it in a wide variety of devices, continuing development of Palm's Pre smartphone line, but also starting work on new slate PCs and netbooks powered by webOS.

Palm's revamped mobile platform has received a lot of praise from reviewers for its intuitive interface and multi-tasking abilities. Unfortunately, a failed marketing strategy in conjunction with Sprint and the slow uptake from the developer community resulted in poor smartphone sales. With HP's full backing and global strengths, Palm's former chairman and CEO Jon Rubinstein is confident that webOS will be able to reach its full potential -- and I really hope it does.

Rubinstein will continue in charge of webOS software development and webOS based hardware products, reporting to HP's Personal Systems Group executive VP Todd Bradley. In the run up to Palm's acquisition, however, the company lost some of the talent behind its platform, including user interface wizard Matias Duarte, who joined Google's Android team as the new user experience director, and public relations VP Lynn Fox who jumped ship without a set destination.

User Comments: 2

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SourDo said:

It's a long shot, but I hope someone high up at HP was a big fan of Palm's Grafiti input system and would like to bring it back to WebOS (for use with a finger). As I understand it, Palm in the end lost the court battles against Xerox regarding Xerox's patent that they were claiming Grafiti violated. But perhaps HP can buy or license that patent. For old-school Grafiti fans like me, Grafiti II just wasn't an adequate replacement for the original Grafiti, and in the end Palm just abandoned that kind of input system.

If HP brings the original Grafiti to webOS devices (and has a decent app store), I would buy them over iPhone or Droid devices just to get back my favorite input system of all time.

fwilliams said:

just my 2 cents

I wish HP would have just backed Android or Meego instead of trying something that does not seem to have much of a chance. Oh, well. Good luck to them anyway.

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