This afternoon Qualcomm has announced that they will acquire all of HP's remaining Palm-related patents. They will also be acquiring from Hewlett-Packard a number of other patents in the mobile sector, including those under the titles' iPAQ and Bitphone. This purchase will apparently also include both patents and patent applications.
If you say the name HP, most of us automatically think about computers. HP is one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world. The problem for HP is that the computer market is shrinking rapidly with declining sales in the face of the booming popularity of smartphones and tablets.
This week former CEO of Palm Jon Rubinstein spoke up on Palm and the software and user interface elements the company created that are now being adopted industry-wide. For those that knew the mobile operating system webOS as created by the former company called Palm, the release of iOS 7 - as well as many other updates to OS' both mobile and desktop - the similarities to certain unique elements cannot be dismissed.
It's not every day you hear of a smartphone technology getting its own massive 22,000 word, 55-page write up. But that's just what's been announced this week as the article known as "Palm: I'm Ready to Wallow Now" is offered up on the back of the decades-long history of the operating system. Writer Thom Holwerda speaks of the death of the mobile operating system and the long - surprisingly long - life it had before its demise.
Michael Pryce-Jones, senior governance policy analyst for the CtW Investment Group, stated that he will be campaigning against HP directors G. Kennedy Thompson and John Hammergren at HP’s annual shareholder meeting on March 20th. Pryce-Jones states that both Thompson and Hammergren should be held responsible for “HP’s missteps” including the fall out from its acquisition of the UK software company, Autonomy. Pryce-Jones does not want to campaign against HP’s board chairman, Raymond Lane, because he feels that unseating Lane would result in destabilization in HP’s future.
Apple's Steve Jobs allegedly threatened Palm with a patent nightmare if the company's execs didn't agree to a no-hire talent poaching policy, new court filings suggest, with Google, Intel, and others all cited as implicit in the pact. Jobs' proposal, detailed by a legal filing quoting former Palm CEO Edward Colligan, was made back in 2007, with the Apple co-founder concerned about employees switching between the big names in tech at the time, and heavily suggesting that Palm should opt in to a no-hire treaty, or face a potential firestorm of patent lawsuits.
HP CEO Meg Whitman has already said that the company plans to release their own smartphone at some point, but details were pretty scarce. We even spotted a possible HP smartphone in some benchmark details that same day. So, it's not too surprising that the company is reported to have said that they plan on getting back into the smartphone and tablet business.
It’s hard not to still feel the pain over the demise of webOS, although maybe you can take comfort in the fact that HP was working until the very end on new devices. webOS Nation has unearthed a video from design company Transparent House that shows a webOS device without a portrait QWERTY keyboard. Both Palm and HP's webOS devices offered portrait QWERTY keyboards, but it looks like a full touch experience was being working on behind the scenes.
HP's open-sourcing of webOS continues today, with the release of the underlying Isis web browser along with a governance model and more of the Enyo components developers will need to create their own webOS devices and apps. Enyo has already been downloaded 40,000 times in the three weeks since its release, the team says, and now there's the Isis Project, "a fast, standards-compliant web browser engine," to go along with it.