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.