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He added that Palm's technologies are now seen in Apple, Android and Windows devices

Former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein said that selling Palm to Hewlett-Packard (HP) was a "waste," considering Palm's technologies are now seen in today's most popular devices.

Rubinstein told FierceWireless in an interview that Palm's innovative technologies were lost in the sale to HP, and he would reconsider the Palm/HP sale if he could go back in time. 

"I'm not sure I would have sold the company to HP. That's for sure," said Rubinstein. "Talk about a waste. Not that I had any choice because when you sell a company you don't get to decide that. Obviously, the board and shareholders decide that. If we had known they were just going to shut it down and never really give it a chance to flourish, what would have been the point of selling the company?"

Rubinstein added that Palm's technologies, like multitasking and Synergy, are now seen in mobile operating systems like iOS, Android and Windows Phone. He said it's even said in desktop operating systems like Mac OS X. Palm may have been ahead of its time.

"It's not just mobile platforms," said Rubinstein. "If you look at the notifications on Mac OS X, it looks just like webOS, too. We did a lot of things that were very, very innovative. Obviously, multitasking, notifications, Synergy, how we handled the multiple cards… Our over-the-air updates and mechanism has been updated by everybody. Our whole Synergy concept is now becoming much more common. I don't think anyone has implemented it as well as we did yet, but clearly they're all heading down that direction."

For those who need a refresher, Palm was an American smartphone manufacturer founded in 1992. During its time, the California-based company developed smartphones like the Pre, Pixi, Treo and Centro. It later released its one and only tablet, the TouchPad. Older devices ran the Palm OS Garnet operating system, but webOS was introduced as a replacement in 2009.

In April 2010, Palm was sold to HP for $1.2 billion USD. Rubinstein stuck around after the acquisition, and HP seemed optimistic about its new purchase. 

"Palm's innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP's mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group, at the time of the acquisition. "And, Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team. The smartphone market is large, profitable and rapidly growing, and companies that can provide an integrated device and experience command a higher share. Advances in mobility are offering significant opportunities, and HP intends to be a leader in this market."

But a little over a year later, HP said it was discontinuing all production of webOS devices. In August 2012, HP created a wholly-owned subsidiary called Gram, which consisted of Palm's remaining components. 

So what is Rubinstein doing today? 

"I'm on two boards," said Rubinstein. "I'm on Amazon and Qualcomm. And there's a logic behind those two boards. I'm a big believer in mobile and integration of the home, and wearable computing and all that stuff, and having it all tied up in the cloud. There's sort of a common theme across those companies. I think they're uniquely positioned for the future of where things are going. That's how I spend some of my time. I help out some small companies with some time. And I'm taking some time off as well right now."

Source: FierceWireless

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By lagomorpha on 6/12/2013 10:44:29 AM , Rating: 2
For those who need a refresher, Palm was an American smartphone manufacturer founded in 1992. During its time, the California-based company developed smartphones like the Pre, Pixi, Treo and Centro. It later released its one and only tablet, the TouchPad. Older devices ran the Palm OS Garnet operating system, but webOS was introduced as a replacement in 2009.

Palm was making tablets before the smartphone was a thing. The Palm 3e and Palm7 weren't very capable compared to modern tablets but they seemed neat back in 90s.

RE: No...
By Brandon Hill on 6/12/13, Rating: 0
RE: No...
By lagomorpha on 6/12/2013 10:53:26 AM , Rating: 2
And I suppose there's some fundamental difference between "laptops" and "notebooks" as well?

RE: No...
By karimtemple on 6/12/13, Rating: 0
RE: No...
By Motoman on 6/12/2013 11:41:56 AM , Rating: 5
I don't.

Nor between laptops, notebooks, ultrabooks, netbooks, whatever.

They're all laptops of different sizes. Creating a new name for every size of something is sheer stupidity.

RE: No...
By eagle470 on 6/12/2013 11:48:54 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, those marketing people work hard to be that stupid!

RE: No...
By Mitch101 on 6/12/2013 4:20:48 PM , Rating: 2
I sleep better at night without those creepy Palm commercials they ran near the end. Shivers.

RE: No...
By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 12:23:12 PM , Rating: 2
Unless the difference in size alone almost completely changes the ergonomics of the platform, as between a Nexus 4/Nexus 10 or iPhone/iPad. PDA vs. tablet remains valid.

RE: No...
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 12:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
of course it does
I can't put a nexus 10 to my face or shove it in my pocket. Form does determine function. Anybody who wants to say otherwise might as well call watches clocks.

RE: No...
By augiem on 6/12/2013 10:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
Get bigger pockets.

RE: No...
By GTVic on 6/12/2013 2:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
No, the technology of the time limited the size and capabilities of the device. A PDA is just an early generation mobile device (smartphone, tablet, whatever).

RE: No...
By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 2:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
My PDA had a web browser, more than one choice of office document software -- compatible with MS Office, MPEG-4 video, MP3, games, maps.... pretty much everything. I don't think you really know what you're talking about.

RE: No...
By DT_Reader on 6/12/2013 5:43:55 PM , Rating: 2
I see a distinction between devices like PDAs and tablets and smartphones with touch screens, and laptops and netbooks without them. Also, laptops and netbooks are multi-tasking, while the others generally only run one app at a time.

Frankly, I'd prefer the functionality I had with my Pocket PC back in 2003 running on today's hardware. I think Microsoft in particular has taken giant steps backward. Anyone remember MS Transcriber? That was awesome - if they'd port that to Windows Phone 8 or Surface I'd switch from Android. Heck, Transcriber was way better than what they offered on Windows XP Tablet Edition, so MS has basically blown it in the tablet space since forever.

RE: No...
By vol7ron on 6/15/2013 12:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
So then there's no difference between an Escape, Explorer, Expedition, Excursion, or Mac-10 Truck? They all take gas, have wheels, and drive... they're all just automobiles. Might as well call them all cars?

RE: No...
By timothyd97402 on 6/16/2013 12:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
Give us all a break. In your example, the various sizes of notebook computer all pretty much have the same usage scenario.

A smartphone is a phone, and without jumping through some hoops, a tablet is not a phone. I read books on my tablet and I do not on my phone. The typical usage scenarios are different.

There are now "phablets" and I see that they could help you make your point but most of us do not carry around 7 inch phones and most tablets do not offer 3G voice/data.

RE: No...
By lagomorpha on 6/12/2013 1:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
Well technically there's no fundamental difference between a smartphone and a tablet either,

Yes there is. With the exception of the iPhone, smartphones can be used as phones.

RE: No...
By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 1:51:00 PM , Rating: 2
There are tablets with cell calling enabled. I'm going to need you to try a real rebuttal.

RE: No...
By Just Tom on 6/14/2013 11:57:45 AM , Rating: 2
The rebuttal was fine. Every smart phone IS a cell phone; the vast majority of tablets are not.

They are all computers though...

RE: No...
By Belard on 6/12/2013 3:42:38 PM , Rating: 3
PDAs were early versions of today's tablets... nothing more.

The Commodore Vic20 / Apple II were PCs in every respectful way you can think, yet they are nothing in power and function of today's computers.

RE: No...
By vol7ron on 6/15/2013 12:53:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah and Apple had the Newton from '93-98.

At the end of the Newtown life, Palm/Handspring had Compact Flash cards that enabled you to make your PDA a smartphone, which ran on Sprint network.

It's the fact that the majority of public either wasn't aware of these technologies, or didn't understand them, that there's a big hubbub. I am not as phased by these "new" devices. Sure, they're shinier and faster, but that's expected if you've ever heard of Moore's law.

I can't be impressed by something that's not much more functional than something I had 20 years ago. Sure I can get excited, after all, I am a tech enthusiast and someone still has to make and offer them for sale; but I can't be impressed by a thought that hasn't much changed in over 20 years. That'd be like taking a No.3 pencil and deciding to use No.2 lead.

No kidding?
By retrospooty on 6/12/2013 10:38:56 AM , Rating: 5
Throw that into the captain obvious bin... With Palm's lousy hardware, HP buys essentially a great OS with TONS of potential for 1 billion dollars... The intent was to grow it. Then less than 1 year later they put zero development into it and shut the whole thing down. I have said this before, but its like getting the first, first round draft pick, choosing RG3, sitting him on the bench for a year, then trading him off for no money or future trades... A total waste.

RE: No kidding?
By Wolfpup on 6/12/2013 10:54:26 AM , Rating: 2
Yep. Heck, PalmOS still does lots of things better than iOS, Android, or Windows Phone 15 years later.

If Palm had had the resources, they could own the mobile market now, and I'm not sure but what it wouldn't be better than what we actually have.

RE: No kidding?
By retrospooty on 6/12/2013 11:01:33 AM , Rating: 2
LOL. True.

That and WebOS was really slick. I could really see WebOS if it picked up. 2 years later with Jelly BEan like speed optimazaions on some decent modern hardware and it would kick ass. The UI still hasnt been bested.

RE: No kidding?
By unimatrix725 on 6/12/2013 12:25:35 PM , Rating: 1
Hell while we are necromancing an OS. Why not port Mac OS 9.2 to the arm chips. Its way better and cooler than the iOS shit that they are pushing and about to kill with a gui change. But yeah WebOS is slick, pissed I got screwed over during the fire-sale. That should have told HP something. They had to fire the lines back up to fulfill the demand created. Maybe HP "bod" will get off the meth and put something great out....?

RE: No kidding?
By retrospooty on 6/12/2013 12:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
"Maybe HP "bod" will get off the meth and put something great out....?"

Judging by the past decade if pure idiocy I highly doubt it. But you are right, its the BOD that is the issue at HP. They keep hiring complete and utter idiots to run the company.

Let's not get crazy
By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 10:49:33 AM , Rating: 2
Palm had some good ideas, late to the game they owned in the early 2000's and fell asleep on. Dude's trying to make it sound like they brought the future to the world. Don't get all sassy because a couple people picked one or two things off your dead OS's corpse.

RE: Let's not get crazy
By retrospooty on 6/12/2013 1:02:28 PM , Rating: 2
"Dude's trying to make it sound like they brought the future to the world. Don't get all sassy because a couple people picked one or two things off your dead OS's corpse."

Yup... This is from a guy that ran the company that had the best OS and could have made it huge... They just kept going as they did the for the previous 7-8 years, futzing around with cheap, lousy hardware and couldn't figure out why people didn't like sending their phones in 4-5x for repair. Palms hardware engineering was a joke... Believe me, I know, I worked there. It was an absolute sham. Then on top of it, they farm out the poor hw design to manufacturing using the the absolute rock bottom lowest bidder (Mostly Inventec and HTC)

Gee, why doesnt anyone want to buy it? Why dont carriers want to sell it? The OS is so great!

RE: Let's not get crazy
By karimtemple on 6/12/2013 1:58:59 PM , Rating: 2
The OS did need a little polish, but I don't fault the dev group for that. They were never given a real chance.

I find your assessment to be spot-on. Good insights, too. Palm leadership fell asleep at the wheel, got shaken awake by the iPhone and took years to respond, all with stupid slow hardware and an anemic marketing initiative. It was painful to watch. I thought something exciting was going to happen with the HP thing, but I should've known better.

RE: Let's not get crazy
By GreyMulkin on 6/12/2013 10:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
My introduction to Palm was with the Centro (I know..., I know..), but it was head-and-shoulders above its contemporary competition.

I continued with them when they realease the Pixi, which I think had the best form factor (the Pre's keyboard slider was so shoddy) but worst performance. Even as sluggish as it was, it was still a much better experience than what's on offer now.

But, yeah, webOS is still the best mobile operating system, even after all the "modern" updates to Android and iOS.

I think they were just too small a company to compete with MS, Google, and Apple.

Everything HP has aquired
By Ammohunt on 6/13/2013 11:43:51 AM , Rating: 2
Applies, Look at all the potential they had will all the IP they picked up from just DEC and Compaq..totally pissed away. They run their business like crap.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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