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Former Palm CEO knocks HP for killing webOS as rivals continue to steal its features

Published Jun 12th, 2013 12:55PM EDT
Palm CEO Rubinstein Interview HP

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.

“Talk about a waste,” he tells FierceWireless. “If we had known they were just going to shut it down and never really give it a chance to flourish, what would have been the point of selling the company? I think the deal we had with Verizon really hurt us, but who knew that at the time? These things are all hindsight.”

Rubinstein says that he alone wasn’t responsible for Palm’s fate, however, and notes that the company “was dying when I got there.” He also claims vindication by saying that carriers have finally realized that forcing device manufacturers to carry their bloatware is a losing proposition.

“We always argued with the carriers,” he says. “They wanted to have their specific goofy services and stuff, and they would pressure to try and support their stuff when we didn’t want to. All of that stuff has gone away. No one uses that stuff anymore.”

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.