HP & Intel open Palm sale talks; webOS printers still in pipeline

HP is still quietly shopping webOS around among with other Palm assets, according to sources, but insisting that potential buyers of the platform agree to license it back for use in future HP printers. Intel has just entered discussions with HP, a source close to the negotiations spilled to VentureBeat, while Qualcomm – despite sidestepping any suggestions of interest in webOS – is also said to be still in the running.

HP has been wedded to the idea of webOS in printers since the early days of its Palm acquisition, though we're yet to see the platform actually show up in a paper cruncher. The OS would presumable replacing Android in models similar to the HP eStation C510, shown above, which used Google's open-source platform – along with a reskin from HP's own software engineers – on a removable control tablet with social networking integration and other multimedia tools.

The guess is that HP has already been working on its webOS printer line-up, and is keen not to scrap those new models in the pipeline while still washing its hands of webOS responsibility. Also up for grabs are Palm's patents, themselves potentially a money-spinner in this age of high-profile litigation.

Previous potential buyers cited in earlier leaks include Oracle and Samsung, though most companies publicly named have been quick to distance themselves from rumors.