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Businesses HP Handhelds

Does HP + Palm = Facepalm? 236

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sum-less-than-whole dept.
ChiefMonkeyGrinder submitted a bit of commentary on yesterday's news that Hewlett-Packard was buying Palm. From TFA: "When I first read the news that HP was buying Palm for $1.2 billion, my first reaction was that HP had lost its marbles ('clueless' was how I tweeted it). Why, I wondered, did it need to pay $1.2 billion for a dying platform when it could have used the increasingly popular Android for nothing? (OK, it probably picked up a few useful patents, as well.) I also thought that it didn't have the resources to enter the extremely competitive area of smartphones."
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Does HP + Palm = Facepalm?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:31AM (#32029178)

    HP competitor Acer (number 2 in notebooks worldwide behind HP) is coming out with a line of smartphones of its own, and it needs this purchase to leapfrog them.

  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:02AM (#32029576)

    Palm has a lot of talented employees, .

    Not anymore they don't. I'm a hiring manager in Silicon Valley and I can tell you that any Palm engineer with sense has been interviewing and most have gotten away already.

  • Re:My take (Score:4, Informative)

    by wbo (1172247) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:09AM (#32029686)
    Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Be's IP bought by PalmSource and not by Palm Inc? Keep in mind that PalmSource and Palm Inc. are not the same company (although they worked closely together.) That would mean that Be's IP is currently owned by Access.

    I remember PalmSource using some things from Be in PalmOS 6 - which unfortunately never got used in any devices before Access bought them.
  • by Enter the Shoggoth (1362079) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:11AM (#32029716)

    When I was a young buck working my first developer job in college Compaq had the best little handheld ever was the iPhone of was iPaq. It ran Windows CE, which is shit today because it's hardly changed since 1996. However, in 1998, it was amazing. We developed some software for them (and the customers went with $4000 ruggedized B&W models as opposed to the $500 or $600 iPaq, which was awesome. HP bought Compaq, started making the iPaq with cheaper and cheaper parts. it got shittier and shittier and slower and slower and Microsoft focused on bastardizing it into a phone and HP said meh. Then iPhone comes along (which I have and love btw), and everyone's like, oooh, it's never been done before, well arguably not as good, but still, iPaq as a bad-ass machine in its day and HP fucked it...guess what they'll do with Palm, who it could easily be argued beat out iPaq only to fuck themselves with incompetence.

    While I'm at it, fuck Android...bring on the flamebait. The irony of the parallels between the phone computer was between Apple/iP* and Google/Android and Apple and Microsoft back in the day is clear. Microsoft copied from Apple and released an open, but shoddy platform. Google is copying from Apple and releasing an open, but shoddy platform.

    I may be alone here, but I hope Apple wins this one. I'm sure I'm alone in being excited about actual innovation coming out of Redmond with Windows Phone 7...but it looks like their glossing over some clunkiness (typical).

    Whilst I do agree with your comments about the iPaq as someone who has seen the whole HP/Compaq/DEC train-wreck from the inside* I feel bound to point out that the bad things happened when Carly arrived on the scene and got a whole lot worse when they aquired Compaq - a lot of bad performers on both sides were promoted to way above their own level of competence and unfortunately the few digital staff who had survived became very resentful of the situation.

    In short from my perspective it was the two great engineering firms HP and DEC that have become sullied by a culture of mediocrity that Compaq brought to the party.

    * my wife was a DEC engineer and I was a HP contractor pre-merger

  • Re:My take (Score:3, Informative)

    by Svartalf (2997) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:52AM (#32030540) Homepage

    BeOS is owned by Access, who bought PalmSource, the previous successor in interest to the OS.

  • Re:My take (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheNumberless (650099) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:10AM (#32030900)

    Proposition 1: The only reason someone would pay more for these shares than the tender offer is if they think another offer is coming, and the last time I checked, the only other interested party was Lenovo.

    I'm not entirely sure what happens to the borrowed shares owed when stock is shorted, but my guess is that people who've shorted Palm's stock and still owe outstanding shares stand to lose a lot if the stock becomes delisted. I imagine many people were shorting Palm, and perhaps they were willing to pay more than the HP buyout price to make sure they get the stock back to their creditors while they still can.

  • Re:Lots of Patents (Score:2, Informative)

    by hipp5 (1635263) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:15AM (#32031002)
    They also have a large medical equipment division.
  • by benmhall (9092) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:52AM (#32032684) Homepage Journal

    On Palm/BeOS: No, Palm/HP doesn't own BeOS.

    At the time that BeOS was sold to PalmSource, there were two Palm companies: The hardware (called PalmOne at the time - later renamed to Palm) and the software (called PalmSource).

    PalmSource (the software behind PalmOne, Sony, Dana, Tapwave, and other PalmOS 5.x devices) bought BeOS assets for $12m, PalmSource eventually was bought by Access Software, a Japanese company. They used Be technology to create PalmOS 6. It never shipped in a device.

    Access eventually sold rights to PalmOS 5.x back to PalmOne (the hardware company). PalmOne renamed themselves back to Palm and shipped PalmOS and WinCE devices until the Pre and WebOS. Now Palm is being sold to HP. I'm not sure what Access is doing with the PalmSource software. I know they ship an emulator for Nokia's Maemo devices, such as the N810/N800.

    So, HP/Palm/PalmOne own rights to PalmOS 5 (and all of PalmOne/HandSpring's IP), Access owns rights to BeOS and PalmOS 6 (and 5, I think.)

    What a tangled web this is.

  • by Pengo (28814) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:38PM (#32038086) Journal

    Maybe you missed the memo, but Palm is now on Verizon and soon to be on AT&T.
    They haven't been exclusive to Sprint for some time now.

    But yes, I agree with your points. Given the money and more important, marketing channels that HP already has in the retail sector for their computers, they could rock out with a solid tablet offering.

    There isn't many technical shops or mass-chains (Walmart, Target, Costco, BestBuy, etc. that do not already have HP shit on their shelves..)

    If HP puts some quality products out the door at a good price, they could knock this out of the park. WebOS is an amazing platform, and is in my opinion much more refined than android. (I own an Android phone, and used an iphone for years, have never owned a palm phone myself .. only played with them..) From my experience thus far on a Nexus One, Android is a steaming pile of shit and i wish i never bought into the hype of it.

Veni, Vidi, VISA: I came, I saw, I did a little shopping.