HP's tablet and smartphone strategy has been covered in haze ever since it acquired Palm. But a much clearer picture is beginning to emerge. We now know that although HP plans to launch a Windows 7-based tablet, it will be targeted at the enterprise market.
This has led many to surmise that the company wants to placate Microsoft while still leaving ample room for a WebOS-based tablet. However, the Palo Alto computer giant, renowned for its loyalty to Microsoft, will not be so accommodating when it comes to the smartphone market.
HP's Executive Vice President Todd Bradley, made it very clear in an interview with CNBC that Windows Phone 7 is not part of the company's plans. Instead, it will be relying solely on WebOS for its push in the smartphone market.
Ever since the HP acquisition of Palm went through, we've been waiting with bated breath for news of a webOS tablet. Despite HP's assurances they were moving in that direction, we haven't had any direct evidence until now. Palm has filed an application with the USPTO asking for a trademark on the name "PalmPad". It's unthinkable this could be anything else.
Previous rumors have pegged a webOS slate with the internal codename "Hurricane". Clearly, this was far to awesome of a name to actually grace the product. As for the HP Slate running Windows 7, it's nowhere to be seen. The launch of the iPad may have lit a fire under HP, because this PalmPad device is rumored to be out sometime this fall. That sounds like a lot of wishful thinking to us, but only time will tell. What do you make of this? A webOS tablet, nothing at all, or Palm Foleo 2?
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.
Apple and Adobe have been trading verbal blows quite regularly, with both companies even accusing each other of being a “closed system” at an unwittingly hilarious point in their duel. But Apple’s resolute vow to never allow Flash on the iPhone and iPad means Adobe, whether it likes it or not, will have to concentrate on other mobile devices. And it does seem to have the blessings of nearly all other major players in the smartphone market.
But Adobe might just be counting its chickens too early, especially given its failures to bridge the vast gulf between desktop and mobile versions of the Flash players. It can’t really afford another failed attempt.
Many viewed the advent of netbooks as a golden opportunity for Linux to capture the popular imagination. But netbook vendors and users never really warmed up to Linux. It might have failed to grab one massive opportunity, but it has a chance at redemption in the booming market for mobile internet-enabled devices.
British chip designer ARM and five system-on-chip (SoC) vendors – IBM, Freescale Semiconductor, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments - have formed a not-for-profit company called Linaro to provide “new resources and industry alignment for open source software developers using Linux on the world’s most sophisticated semiconductor System-on-Chips (SoCs).”
Linaro will be rolling out new releases of optimized tools, kernel and middleware software every six months, making Linux-based distributions such as Android, LiMo, MeeGo, Ubuntu and webOS compatible with semiconductor offerings from different vendors. This should, in turn, help reduce time-to-market for ARM- and Linux-based devices, including smart phones, tablets, digital televisions, automotive entertainment and enterprise equipment.
"ARM and our partners have a long history of working with, and supporting, open source software development for complex SoCs based on the ARM architecture," said Warren East, ARM CEO. "As a founding member of Linaro, we are working together with the broader open source community to accelerate innovation for the next generation of computing, focusing on delivering a rich connected experience across the diversity of devices in our daily lives."
Following the acquisition of Palm last month, Hewlett Packard (HP) wasted no time in scrapping its much hyped Windows 7-based Slate project, sparking speculation that HP would putting its newly acquired webOS platform to good use in a tablet form factor. Well, we don't have to speculate anymore.
During HP's quarterly financial call, company CEO Mark Hurd has confirmed that his HP plans to release webOS devices "beyond smartphones into form factors such as slates and web-connected printers." And just like that, we can be excited about HP's tablet plans all over again.
Maybe even more so this time around. The general consensus has been that Windows 7 might not be the ideal OS for a tablet, as it wasn't designed for mobility. The same can't be said for webOS, which only stands to get better with the financial backing of an industry heavyweight like HP.
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?
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?
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?