This is the way of things; just as the sun sets in the west, so do companies fire people when they get acquired. Palm is reportedly laying off a number of employees now that the sale to HP is complete. No one is talking hard numbers right now. But considering the size of HP, it makes sense to ditch redundant administrative positions. We don't know if any engineers are getting the boot. Palm is going to need them to come back from the dead a second time.
Talking to All Things D, a Palm spokesperson said, "Part of the integration strategy is consolidation of functions and operations, as appropriate." We assume the staff was aware of this possibility, but it's still rough. Given HP's resources we hope these unfortunate employees get a nice severance package. After all, they stuck with Palm this far as others were jumping ship left and right.
Following months of paperwork, Hewlett-Packard on Thursday announced it had completed its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm and now plans to use the company's webOS platform for new tablets and netbooks.
"Under Jon Rubinstein, former Palm chairman and chief executive office, the Palm global business unit will report to Bradley," HP said in a statement. "Palm will be responsible for webOS software development and webOS based hardware products, from a robust smartphone roadmap to future slate PCs and netbooks."
HP acknowledged that, with its backing, webOS is expected to shine in the mobile market, something it was never really able to do under Palm's leadership.
"With webOS, HP will deliver its customers a unique and compelling experience across smartphones and other mobility products," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. "This allows us the opportunity to fully engage in growing our smartphone family offering and the footprint of webOS."
You know what's all the rage right now? Music streaming. You know who the newest player in that space is? HP. After buying up Palm in a $1.2 billion deal, HP has picked up music streaming service Melodeo for around $30 million. Quite the deal by comparison. Get ready for the audio streaming wars.
Both Google and Apple are working on streaming services of some sort. Google actually showed off this feature at Google I/O. But Apple has been silent since it acquired Lala a few months back. We can only assume they plan to do something with it. Melodeo's main product is called nuTsie; an app that allows Android, Blackberry, and WinMo phones to stream iTunes playlists.
We would be shocked if this service didn't end up in WebOS in the near future. We'll keep an eye on this one. Before you know it, a streaming music solution will be as important as an app ecosystem.
Android users will no longer have to put up with websites pocked with vexatiously barren patches. The full version of Flash 10.1 for Android will be be in the hands of handset makers on Tuesday. It has been redesigned from the ground up to provide an identical experience across various devices, including PCs , smartphones and tablets. A device with at least Android 2.2 (Froyo) is needed to run the rich media player in its new, mobile-friendly avatar.
"We may not see a huge number of these devices available on Tuesday, but the pipeline for Christmas, CES, Mobile World Congress next year is really exciting," Anup Muraka, director of technology strategy at Adobe, told IDG News Service. Though the mobile version promises a rich media experience on par with PCs, it boasts some new mobile-specific features, including support for multi-touch and accelerometers.
The latest version of the Flash player will soon debut on BlackBerry, Palm webOS, Windows Phone 7, LiMo, MeeGo, and Symbian phones .
Following the $1.2 billion acquisition for Palm, many believed Hewlett Packard (HP) was looking for a fast-track way into the mobile device market, but that isn't the case, says HP CEO Mark Hurd.
"We didn't buy Palm to be in the smartphone business, Hurd said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch technology conference earlier this week. "And I tell people that, but it doesn't seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a Web operating environment...We have tens of millions of HP small form factor Web-connected devices...Now imagine that being a Web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition."
Hurd's comments certainly are in line with what HP has been crowing about ever since it purchased Palm, which is the IP portfolio. And while smartphones might not be on the agenda, HP did recently say that it plans on building a tablet around the newly acquired mobile OS.
When TechCrunch revealed that HP was killing its Windows 7 Slate shortly after the acquisition of Palm, many came to the logical conclusion that it probably had something to do with WebOS. Officials from HP were pretty tight lipped on the matter considering Steve Ballmer showcased the HP Slate as a poster child for Windows 7 tablet computing, but fans of the device were forced to assume the worst.
The Windows 7 slate might never see the light of day, but if you believe the guys over at the Examiner the HP Hurricane featuring Palm's WebOS could be hitting stores by Q3. If this turns out to be true, it would be no small feat considering that the current x86 architecture of the Windows 7 slate would be incompatible with WebOS which requires an Arm based processor. The result would be a complete hardware redesign over what was shown a few months back.
At the end of the day whether the sources at the Examiner are legitimate or not it seems likely this is the direction HP will pursue in the coming months. Tablet critics seem to agree that mobile OS platforms scaled up stand a far better chance of winning over the masses then desktop OS's scaled down.
We'll have to wait and see what happens, but does anyone out there still think HP will launch a Windows 7 tablet?
The Maximum PC Podcast is back, with another heaping helping of tech news, questions, and rants. This week, Gordon, Nathan, Alan and Andy discuss HP's Palm buy, Infinity Ward, the HTC Incredible, and just why it is that Steve Jobs hates Flash so much.
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It was only a few weeks ago that Palm was spiraling downward and was put up for sale. Several possible suitors were rumored, including HTC, Lenovo, and Huawei, but none of them made a move. Now technology heavyweight HP has announced they will be acquiring Palm for $1.2 billion. This works out to a respectable $5.70 per share of common stock. HP hopes to close the deal by July 31 of this year.
In a press call to discuss the deal HP was very straightforward in their plans to continue on with WebOS. saying they would be " doubling down on WebOS". This is a relief to many Palm fans who worried the smartphone maker could be acquired for intellectual property and dismantled. HP also talked about plans to scale WebOS to a number of larger devices. Tablets anyone?
Palm's existing hardware roadmap is not currently being altered, but HP's scale an deep pockets should make for some interesting new paths. Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein is expected to remain on as well. Do you think this is a good buy for HP? Anyone still planning on getting that HP Slate, or will you wait for the WebOS version?
There are a couple of questions surrounding Palm these days, such as will the company be sold, and if so, who's going to snatch it up? According to a recent Reuters report, Lenovo has replaced HTC as the front runner to scoop the struggling smartphone maker up.
Nokia, Motorola, and Research in Motion (RIM) have all also been mentioned as possible suitors, though if you talk to Palm CEO Jon Rubinsteign (and the Financial Times did), Palm can get by on its own.
"I believe Palm can survive as an independent company. We have a plan that gets us to profitability," Rubinstein said, adding that Palm is working "fast and furious on new handsets." Palm is also considering licensing its webOS to other manufacturers, Rubinstein said.
Naturally, Lenovo had no comment on any potential interest in acquiring Palm.
Palm's Jon Rubinstein has made it clear that he still believes in the struggling smartphone maker. Rubinstein is open to takeover offers, but sees another way forward. From Rubinstein's point of view, Palm has one main asset, and that's WebOS. While Palm's hardware isn't selling well, many tech enthusiasts drool over WebOS and what it's capable of. Rubinstein said he is looking into licensing WebOS to other smartphone makers to boost revenue.
After the February revenue warning that Palm would miss expectations, the stock has been in free fall, interrupted only by occasional rumors of an outside takeover. Still, Rubinstein is positive saying, "We have a plan that gets us to profitability.” That apparently includes developing new handsets, which could be their best bet. The Pre was announced over a year ago and has long since been eclipsed by a new iPhone and the Android explosion.
Whether or not Palm continues on as an independent company, Rubinstein intends to give it his best shot. We're particularly pleased to hear Palm is moving ahead with new hardware, as we really are impressed by WebOS. We'll just have to see how much slack Palm's main backers, Elevation Partners, are willing to give the besieged company. So is Palm going to make it, or not?