Longtime PalmSource executive Jean-Louis Gassée knows how bad things can get once your mobile platform falls out of favor with the general public. Gassée, who served as chairman of Palm’s subsidiary that unsuccessfully tried to license the long-dead Palm OS to third-party vendors, tells The New York Times that history is now repeating itself with BlackBerry and that he will be surprised if the company finds a buyer now that it’s considering putting itself up for sale. More →
FierceWireless had an interesting interview this week with Jon Rubinstein, the visionary CEO who almost brought Palm back from the grave. Palm’s innovative last webOS revision included many features that have later become commonplace in rival operating systems: multitasking, smooth messaging integration, a clever notification system. It’s not surprising that Rubinstein not only feels that Palm was a trailblazer but that other companies have still not yet caught up with how Palm implemented all these features a few years back. More →
When former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein signed off on selling his company to HP for $1.2 billion, little did he realize he was giving it the kiss of death. In an interview with FierceWireless, Rubinstein now says that he’d do things differently if given another chance, and he described HP’s acquisition of Palm as “a waste.” In particular, Rubinstein regrets that HP shut down Palm’s webOS operating system despite the fact that other companies are still mimicking its innovative multitasking system. More →
Late Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs was known for being insanely competitive, but this takes things to a whole new level. Reuters reports that documents unearthed in a civil suit against Apple, Google (GOOG) and Intel (INTC) show that Jobs once allegedly “threatened to file a patent lawsuit against Palm if that company’s chief executive didn’t agree to refrain from poaching Apple employees.” Former Palm CEO Edward Colligan, who described the feud with Jobs in a sworn statement, claims he told Jobs that such proposed collusion between the two companies was “likely illegal” and that he wasn’t intimidated by Jobs’ threats. Colligan provided his statement as part of a lawsuit filed by five tech industry employees who allege that major tech firms have engaged in a series of gentlemen’s agreements to not poach one another’s workers.
Though Hewlett-Packard was unable to produce webOS devices that consumers were interested in buying — at a positive margin, at least — CEO Meg Whitman still thinks the beleaguered platform has legs. After unsuccessfully trying to sell or license webOS, HP decided late last year to donate its $1.2 billion platform to the open source community. The firm still plans to launch new webOS devices in the future, however, and Meg Whitman explained HP’s position while speaking with CRN. Read on for more. More →
Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm, has left HP. AllThingsD broke the news Friday afternoon, noting that Rubinstein had served his promised 12-24 month tenure with the company before leaving. “Jon has fulfilled his commitment and we wish him well,” HP spokeswoman Mylene Mangalindan told AllThingsD. Rubinstein led the team responsible for the original iPod and left Apple in 2006 to eventually join Palm as CEO in 2009. While at Palm, Rubinstein was responsible for, among other projects, the development of the Palm Pre and Palm’s webOS mobile operating system, both of which were transferred to HP in 2010 When it acquired Palm for $1.2 billion. HP has since open-sourced the mobile operating system after failing to gain traction with its Pre, Pixi, Veer and TouchPad products. More →
HP recently made the decision to open source webOS, the mobile operating system it acquired when it bought Palm in April, 2010. While it’s arguable that HP was responsible for the demise of webOS, several former Palm executives told The New York Times that the operating system was doomed from the start. “Palm was ahead of its time in trying to build a phone software platform using web technology, and we just weren’t able to execute such an ambitious and breakthrough design,” former senior director of software at Palm Paul Mercer said. “Perhaps it never could have been executed because the technology wasn’t there yet.” Mercer explained that webOS relied too heavily on WebKit, which meant applications weren’t able to run as smoothly as they did on an iPhone. It also didn’t help that Palm wasn’t able to get a heavy developer following. A source speaking to The New York Times also said neither Palm nor HP could find the right engineers or leadership to help the platform take off and that there weren’t enough programmers to help build the OS. HP’s CEO Meg Whitman confirmed recently that new webOS hardware is still on the way, however, so perhaps the company has started to work out some of the operating system’s initial setbacks. Probably not, though. More →
There’s no question about it: HP made one of the biggest blunders of the year when it comes to how the company handled Palm and webOS. During the past 12 months, HP relieved one CEO who was hired less than a year earlier in October 2010, killed off its webOS hardware, hired another CEO, brought webOS back from the dead and then open sourced it. The company also announced that it would discontinue its Pre, Veer and TouchPad products, but then flip-flopped and said we can expect new webOS devices in the future. It’s a confusing company to say the least, so let’s start all the way at the beginning and trace the curious path HP took with webOS this year. More →
Hewlett-Packard has made some wild decisions regarding Palm and webOS following the acquisition in 2010. HP bought Palm for $1.2 billion in April of last year, killed webOS hardware, and then reportedly tried to sell Palm and the dead operating system for $1.2 billion, VentureBeat said Wednesday. Among the companies approached by HP? Facebook. According to the report, HP tried to offload webOS to the social network but the company was “practically laughed out of the room” by Facebook executives. HP eventually cut its losses and announced that it would contribute webOS to the open source community. Then, earlier this month, HP stunned the industry again when it said new webOS hardware, including a possible new tablet, is in development. More →
Amazon is reportedly a front runner among multiple companies currently in talks with Hewlett-Packard to purchase its struggling webOS business. VentureBeat cites an anonymous “well-placed source” in reporting the HP is looking to dump what’s left of Palm and webOS as quickly as possible, and Amazon is nearing a deal to make the acquisition. Read on for more. More →
HP will lay off as many as 525 employees from its Palm division this week AllThingsD reported on Tuesday. HP killed off its webOS mobile operating system in mid-August when it also announced it would discontinue the development of webOS devices such as the TouchPad and Palm Pre family of smartphones. “As part of this decision, the webOS GBU is undergoing a reduction in workforce,” an HP spokesperson explained. “Today’s actions are part of this initiative. During this time, we stand by our commitment to our webOS customers and will work to ensure that support and service for customers are not adversely affected. HP is exploring ways to leverage webOS software.” More →
BGR has exclusively learned that Hewlett-Packard Executive Vice President Todd Bradley is looking to leave HP. While HP reported last week that the company plans to discontinue its webOS smartphones and tablets and is interested in splitting off the PC business, we have heard that Todd Bradley has been considering a departure from HP for several months. “He’s out interviewing for every CEO job he can,” a source familiar with Bradley’s plans told us. With the drastic change in direction for HP, it’s not surprising to see that the leading internal choice for the CEO role, passed over for an outsider, is looking to leave the company. After all, it was Bradley who spearheaded the Palm acquisition and he has been very focused on turning HP into more of a consumer company, something that is now essentially out of the question. Read on for more. More →
Oh nooo. That was the first thought that crossed my mind as I began to read Jon Zilber’s post on HP’s company blog. Quoting Mark Twain? Oh no he didn’t. In a nutshell, Zilber’s intent was to correct the world’s press, which collectively played Taps while standing over webOS’s grave this past week. “To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports about the demise of webOS have been off the mark,” Zilber wrote. “HP has made these tough decisions to ensure that our efforts with webOS remain tightly focused. Far from burying webOS, our goal is to ensure the platform’s evolution as a robust operating system for an increasingly mobile and connected world.” OK, time to set the record straight. Read on for more.