HP Claims Someone Snuck Android Onto Its TouchPads, Opens Investigation
October 6, 2011 9:51 AM
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Android on TouchPad team dealt a setback in their efforts
TouchPad's fire sale
, which saw units selling for as little as $88 USD, the short-lived Hewlett-Packard Comp. (
) webOS tablet is chic again. Given that webOS, appears on its last legs in terms of support from HP,
developers are rushing to port
Google, Inc.'s (
) Android OS to the device to extend its lifetime.
shipped several TouchPads
mysteriously running an Android 2.2 "Froyo" kernel. The Android porting teams reached out to HP inquiring about these units. They argued that under Android's open source licens, HP must release the source code for these devices, including the firmware that drives multi-touch and wireless functionality on the device.
, HP's Phil Robb, director of HP's open-source program office, claims ignorance of the Android build -- or at least feigns it.
But rather than leaving it at that, he goes on to say that HP is launching an investigation into how Android made its way onto those tablets. He writes, "We presently believe that some person or persons unknown may have facilitated the delivery of these Android-based units strictly against the policy and authorization of HP."
"Regarding your specific request for source code below, I must decline at the present time. HP has never authorized the distribution of any binaries for Android in association with the HP Touchpad. Therefore, HP is not under any license obligation to provide any corresponding Android source code to you."
Mr. Robb requested any information on the devices, to help it track down who put the supposedly unauthorized Android build on them.
HP's comments seem to infer that component supplier Qualcomm, Inc. (
) illegitimately and possibly illegally put the OS on the devices. The Android-endowed units flash the logo QuIC, or Qualcomm Innovation Center, a Qualcomm engineering subsidiary that works on optimizing open-source software for Qualcomm and its partners' products.
But QuIC at least claims to be oblivious to where the units came from as well. It sent a letter to developers denying that it manufactured or distributed the tablets in question.
Thus an interesting "Whodoneit?" mystery has emerged in the case of the Android TouchPads. Hopefully the Android development team gets to the bottom of this.
That said, HP's vows to "investigate" the incident feel a bit like beating a dead horse. After all, HP essentially said loud and clear that it didn't care about TouchPad or webOS fans, when it discontinued the device and began
laying off the webOS team
. So why would HP care if someone put Android on it?
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Someone hates the customer being right
10/6/2011 4:28:57 PM
Here we go again! The company that is the top selling computer maker in the world hating every moment of it. First they hated their profitable top selling PC division so much they want to sell it, then they hated the fact that Hurd had bought a mobile phone maker with their own OS so they could move smoothly into the easily foreseeable mobile future so much they just binned the whole thing.
Then, to make doubly sure everyone knew they hated selling computers they bought an overpriced software company that operates in the same market as Oracle and IBM, but they have all their clients tied up in long term contracts, so HP would get just meagre pickings for the next decade.
Of course, everyone at HP knows that in the next 4 years there are going to be around 500 million people begging for mobile computing devices, like smart phones and tablets, and they don't want to be part of that! WHAT? HAVE A SLICE OF YUMMY 500 MILLION SALES? BAH! HUMBUG!
Ok, so let us see who thinks this HP Tablet with Android on it is a good idea for a marketable product: Shareholders? Yep! Customers? Yep! Media Journalists? Yep! HP sales people? Yep! HP Engineers? Yep! Competitors? Nope! HP Board of Directors? NOPE!
If the HP Board of Directors want an indication of the path ahead of them if they keep up with their current nonsense, just look at Nokia: laying off staff left, right, and centre because no one is buying their out of date products.
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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