WebOS Sale Will Reportedly be Announced Today
October 11, 2011 12:24 PM
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HP looks to wash its hands of Palm
Fans of Palm, Inc. surely loathe the world's largest computer maker, Hewlett-Packard Comp. (
). After all, HP
purchased Palm and its webOS mobile operating system in April 2010
and then succeeded to
run it into the ground
in less than a year and a half. But there's hope yet for webOS fans as HP is
near to announcing plans to either sell or spin off the languishing Palm unit.
While webOS still has some loyal fans, it's now essentially dead on the market. Once viewed as the strongest competitor to Apple, Inc.'s (
) iPhone, Palm's mismanagement led to its 2010 fire sale to HP. If Palm was in bad shape before the sale, it quickly found itself in an even worse position. HP refused to invest the capital necessary to make the webOS devices serious market entrants, squandering the strong mobile operating system that Palm had maintained and produced.
A spinoff of the Palm unit is a possible, but unlikely outcome. A new Palm, Inc. would likely lack the cash necessary to offer a competitive hardware lineup, and lack the influence necessary to attract third parties to a licensing-driven scheme, particularly in the packed smartphone market.
The most likely final outcome is a sale of webOS (or what's left of it) to a mobile hardware maker interested in using the OS on some of its devices. Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
unequivocally stated that it had no interest in buying webOS
. Thus the most likely bidders would seemingly be
), Amazon, Inc. (
), or Google Inc. (
) (who could use parts of webOS, e.g. its slick multi-tasking interface to improve the Android operating system).
It's important, though, to remember that much of the talent on the webOS team has
already left or been laid off
. Thus if a third party takes on the platform, it will have significant rebuilding work to do, to restore the webOS team to full functionality.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
10/11/2011 9:30:23 PM
Google will undoubtedly buy it. This will make the Motorola purchase look like a run down the slip'n'slide when you consider the practical patents for multitouch gestures, the most well-rounded Java license in the mobile industry, and various great hardware designs such as the gesture area and the Touchstone.
If you've seen a TouchPad, you already know its the closest copy of an iPad ever made. It is the same exact shape, size, and layout (all the way down to a single face button and top-right corner power button.) Even the packaging it comes in is nearly identical to Apple, but that actually applies to most HP mobile devices including the Pre 3 and Veer.
Apple never threatened to sue HP over the iTouchPad, even when it had potential for success in June, because they knew they couldn't win.
Palm had all the patents
, and that is what HP was originally after in the first place, that is, before they decided to stop making mobile hardware a year later.
10/11/2011 11:10:05 PM
I keep wondering why the TouchPad has a front-facing button at all. webOS 3.0.2 rendered it superfluous, and I never touch it. whenever I use someone's iphone or particularly any android, I'm puzzled by the need to keep pressing a particular button to do this or that.
10/12/2011 9:42:19 AM
Without powerswiping, you need the front-face "tasks/home" button; getting people on to the idea of powerswiping isn't immediately effective as doing so isn't supported until you install Preware and a system modification (presumably not to infringe on others' IP.)
So out of the box, a front face button is obviously required.
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