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HP Wanted $1.2B For WebOS and Palm

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the is-that-in-monopoly-money dept.

HP 139

PolygamousRanchKid passes along this quote: "As baffling as it may seem, HP was trying to rid itself of Palm without taking a loss on its purchase, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told [VentureBeat]. The company seemingly ignored that Palm's value had fallen significantly since HP purchased the smartphone pioneer in April 2010, thanks to the spectacular failure of the HP Touchpad tablet. And the fact that HP didn't make any progress with its new webOS phones, the Pre 3 and Veer, didn't help either. ... The $1.2 billion asking price shines some light on a story we heard from another source: At one point, HP's team tried to pitch the sale to Facebook but was practically laughed out of the room. And yes, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was present at the meeting, although he apparently didn't say much (I'm sure whatever he was thinking at the time would have been gold)."

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Probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542282)

If only the Zuck would tell us...

Re:Probably (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542414)

Well, you can't blame HP for trying. If the folks at Facebook think the masses will clammor for a Facebook phone when the mobile market is already saturated, maybe they'd take the bait on acquiring WebOS, something that is more or less device-ready and which they could own themselves?

Owning an OS puts them on the same footing as Android - not as advantageous as Apple who owns the OS and the device, but it would be a step up from licensing a phone to customize for your app. Facebook today is still just an app.

Re:Probably (3, Insightful)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542578)

So far, Facebook has seemed content to grow their core business rather than branch out into other offerings. They also don't currently sell any physical items at all (as far as I know), so going into a really tough market like mobile devices would be a huge investment without any guaranteed payoff.

Re:Probably (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542926)

So far, Facebook has seemed content to grow their core business rather than branch out into other offerings.

Seems like Zuckerberg learned something in the time he spent talking to Steve Jobs.

-jcr

Re:Probably (4, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542912)

Well, you can't blame HP for trying.

After all, Schwartz managed to sell Sun to Oracle for vastly more than it was worth.

-jcr

Re:Probably (4, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543086)

There is no such thing as a 'saturated' market - only if the market is selling a commodity, with no room for the price floor to drop or the feature/functionality ceiling to be raised.

In this case, the 'smartphone market' is anything but saturated. There are a half dozen or so competitors (HTC Sense + Android, Windows Phone, Android, iOS, Symbian, Blackberry), and they each have a non-trivial percentage of the market. There is room to improve on each and every one of those platforms. webOS improves in a number of ways on each of those platforms, some of which Android 4.0 -tries to implement.

webOS is simply superior in a number of areas - hardware requirements and performance being one of them. Its downfall is shit hardware: well designed handhelds have never, ever been HPs strength (and they've fucked it up consistently since they bought Compaq for the iPAQ line).

IMO, if anyone were to be a good buyer for Palm, it'd be HTC. That would be a pretty picture, IMO.

Re:Probably (3, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543226)

well designed handhelds have never, ever been HPs strength

Now you've gone and pissed off the HP calculator people. Kiss you karma goodby. I hope they can't track you down IRL.

Re:Probably (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543712)

well designed handhelds have never, ever been HPs strength

Now you've gone and pissed off the HP calculator people. Kiss you karma goodby. I hope they can't track you down IRL.

Yeah, they're gonna chase him around with their wheelchairs.

Re:Probably (2)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543828)

Riding wheelchairs or dragging their walkers, them smacking this kid upside the head with one of their old-school calculators will knock him out cold.

Re:Probably (1)

jds91md (2439128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38545318)

I am actually laughing out loud, being a dedicated HP 12c and 15c owner myself. Since LOL no longer conveys it, I felt like typing it out. -- Josh

Re:Probably (3, Interesting)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543256)

I agree, the only time a "saturated market" exists is when you're talking about items that aren't often replaced or when people aren't buying those items. If the market was saturated, we'd see GOOD new cell phones showing up at discount outlets being sold for a loss. WebOS products weren't didn't fail because the market was saturated, they failed because of poor marketing and not listening to what consumers wanted hardware wise. While I liked the pebble design, the market wants 4"+ screens or Apple products. Had the hardware been more appealing to the masses, the OS would have caught up. I sold a number of people on WebOS products, despite their dislike of the hardware, after demoing the software. IMO, WebOS and WP7 are the only two mobile OSes that make sense from a usability perspective.

Re:Probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38543402)

I agree, the only time a "saturated market" exists is when you're talking about items that aren't often replaced or when people aren't buying those items.

Like TV sets. That's why the rumors of Apple entering that market make no sense at all.

Not Saturated but Captured! (1)

madhi19 (1972884) | more than 2 years ago | (#38545818)

It not about market saturation it about ecosystem capture. You buy a smartphone then you buy apps for that phone on either the Apple or Google marketplace what do you do two years from now when you decide to get a new smartphone? Considering that you invested say more or less 100$ in apps will you switch ecosystem and lose those apps or stay inside whatever ecosystem you were in. This is why the smartphone OS market is so hard to crack for everybody but the few who got there first.

Ouch (4, Insightful)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542286)

1.2 billion for a property which they've mostly continued to run into the ground, apart from the patent portfolio?

Re:Ouch (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542542)

you'd have to remember that it was worth 1.2billion _ONLY_ because hp bought them! no-one else would have paid so much money for webos ip.

because, uh. you could just like, take meego base for free. and even that ain't worth 1.2 billion and webos is less parts than that.

Re:Ouch (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542590)

Yeah, webOS is a nice platform, but they probably could've developed their own mobile OS for less than a billion dollars. And I can't imagine the patent portfolio is worth enough to ever pay back what HP spent on the acquisition.

Re:Ouch (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542662)

The issue is time. Development from scratch requires a lot of it.

And installed base (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542820)

and customers who ahve already bought in, a eco-system, outside developers that are already fluent, programs already designed for the system, etc.

Re:Ouch (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38545456)

That would be true IF there weren't several already rock solid bases to build off of, but that isn't the case. you have Android, MeeGo, and several Linux embedded versions you could easily build off of and roll your own for a hell of a lot less than a billion because most of the hard work is already done and you could concentrate on customizing it to your platform and needs. That is why when ms Noyes at LinuxInsider asked me what i thought the next big OS would be I said there answe was simple, there won't be any. Those that want to stay proprietary will stick with MSFT and Apple and once they sign the NDAs will be able to customize to their needs and those that want the community to help or want more control will simply go Linux or BSD based.

There really isn't a point in reinventing the wheel anymore like there was in the old days when OS/2 and NeXT and WinNT were born because the old models had fundamental flaws, frankly all the real nasty problems have been pretty much solved and any of the above could be a solid base for a product easily. Why do you think Google used the Linux kernel instead of writing one from scratch? its not like they couldn't afford to, it was just kinda pointless when there was already one there that did what they needed with a Linux they could live with. they could have just as easily signed an NDA and had the entire WinMo source code if that would have been their wish but by going with a FOSS kernel they could see what the community cooks up and roll the best ideas into their own product easily.

So I doubt we'll suddenly see some completely new OS pop up on the scene and I was stunned when they announced how much HP was gonna pay for Palm. I had to double check to make sure it wasn't the first of April because i thought surely nobody would be THAT stupid, but I guess it just shows that the old HP is long gone and if the current HP board had a sensible thought between them their heads would probably explode. Personally i bet even being opened up as FOSS won't save WebOS as there is already too many familiar with Android and the ecosystem for it is too highly developed. As MSFT is learning its the apps stupid and having a truly great mobile OS don't mean dick if all the apps folks want isn't already there and waiting.

Re:Ouch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38545566)

Why do you think Google used the Linux kernel instead of writing one from scratch?

Google did not "write" Android.

They bought a company. Android.

Re:Ouch (2)

Targon (17348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542916)

WebOS had a lot of potential, and if HP had made the Pre 3 the priority and released it in March of 2011, it would probably have done quite well(with marketing support). WebOS still has a lot of potential as an OS, but HP has grossly mismanaged it and placed the priorities in the wrong places.

Basic concept, the Veer was NEVER going to be a wildly successful device, it was a niche device with its small size. The Pre 3 would have been your mainsteam/flagship, and tablet sales are very much linked to how popular the PHONES are. So, what did HP do, they pushed out the Veer, followed by the Touchpad, with no mention of the phone which would have sold more units than the other devices. Then, before they even try selling the Pre 3(which was already manufactured and boxed), they cancel the whole thing.

I maintain that if the Pre 3 was released at the time the Veer was, there would have been a lot more interest in the Touchpad when IT finally was released, and things could very well be different right now.

Re:Ouch (1)

Nos9 (442559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543684)

I ditched my Pre after the HP fiasco with WebOS and bought a new Android phone. Look I can actually use Flash on it (one of the selling points on my Palm Pre was that a Flash player would be out in a few months when I bought the Pre shortly after launch). And people develop stuff for it.

Re:Ouch (2)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 2 years ago | (#38545510)

WebOS had a lot of potential, and if HP had made the Pre 3 the priority and released it in March of 2011, it would probably have done quite well(with marketing support).

By March 2011 it was all over already. WebOS itself was great, but the hardware already had a tainted reputation, and the commercials Palm had put out had already alienated customers.

In my opinion, if Palm had released the Pre 3 hardware as the Pre 2, that may have stopped the slide, but only if they had much better commercials and had kept some faith with developers. (Did developers even ever get all the APIs for the hardware?) Palm was a PDA company, for Christ's sake. They should've been able to put out a jumbo-sized Pre (by which I mean 4"+) in their sleep, Instead, they went for the low end -- first with the Pixi, and then with the Veer.

I really think that the Pre 2 was the death knell for Palm. It all but proved they had no follow-up ideas for WebOS on phones. (Well, no good ones, at least. They had the Veer, which was a terrible Idea.)

As a tablet platform, I think WebOS has a lot of potential, but they've got to do something to bring developers back, and they need the equivalent of at least the Amazon Appstore for WebOS. People want apps, movies, books, and music on tablets. 300 apps (even including the Kindle app) isn't going to cut it. But I don't know if HP will be able to meet that expectation.

Think... (5, Funny)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542316)

In a few years, Facebook might buy HP for $1.2 billion.

Re:Think... (2)

d4fseeker (1896770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542366)

I'm sure they wait until the value falls to a reasonable level =)

Re:Think... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542384)

In a few years, Facebook might buy HP for $1.2 billion.

in a few years the facebook fad will be over

Re:Think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542424)

in a few years this society fad will be over

Re:Think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542642)

Agreed, and the world will be a better place.

Re:Think... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543268)

But the S/N ratio on the rest of the internet will get worse.

I kind of miss AOL. All that stupid that you could filter away so easily.

We will feel that way about Facebook someday.

You mean googlebook... (2)

Tyr07 (2300912) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542462)

If anyone is going to purchase anything, it's google.

Google plus now integrated with newly acquired googlebook!

Re:You mean googlebook... (0)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542522)

Google already have, what, two operating systems, if you count Chrome? WebOS is just a skin on linux, like android so I fail to see the advantage for them is doing that, unless WebOS starts to compete with android and they want to shut it down.

Re:You mean googlebook... (4, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542794)

Neither webOS or Android is just "a skin" on Linux. Android uses a Linux kernel, but the rest of the stack is almost entirely custom and completely unrelated to anything most people would recognize as "Linux." webOS is closer, but still involves extensive custom engineering, especially for the graphics/video components.

Re:You mean googlebook... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542934)

Linux is the kernel. Google just stripped out all the GNU stuff that comes with it.

Re:You mean googlebook... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38543054)

Serious question: do you still work for Microsoft?

Re:You mean googlebook... (1)

Tyr07 (2300912) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543358)

I ment if anything google will buy facebook and therefore by proxy only such a purchase would be by the new googlebook should facebook look at purchasing HP.,

Re:You mean googlebook... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38545782)

Google can't afford facebook.

Re:You mean googlebook... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38543468)

WebOS is simply better than android. It is also better than iOS. This is especially true for tablets, it is the only mobile OS that allows for any kind of real multitasking. But android has the apps. Google should buy WebOS and get it to run android apps natively along with a few aesthetic changes to get it looking more androidish, but keeping the all important card system. Then release it as Android 5.0, and watch apple fade into irrelevance. 1.2 billion is a small price to pay to take the tablet market from Apple and probably dominate the smartphone market even more.

Let me call...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542326)

.....my devalued assets expert

It could only be HP (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542364)

Buying something and only then wondering what they could do with their purchase.
It has happend before. It will happen again.
Move along there, nothing to report.

Except, I'd really have liked to be a fly on the wall at the meeting with Facbook.
HP showing its usual ineptitude.

Disclaimer,
I worked at HP for 28years until they laid me off last year. Now I earn twice as much looking after the same customers & systems that I did before. Go figure.

Re:It could only be HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542532)

I worked at HP for 28years until they laid me off last year. Now I earn twice as much looking after the same customers & systems that I did before. Go figure.

Sounds a bit like bitterness to me.

Re:It could only be HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542718)

I worked at HP for 28years until they laid me off last year. Now I earn twice as much looking after the same customers & systems that I did before. Go figure.

Sounds a bit like bitterness to me.

Why would s/he be bitter for earning twice as much now?

Re:It could only be HP (2)

Deflatamouse (37653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542906)

Bitter that he didn't earn twice as much for the first 28 years?

Re:It could only be HP (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38544514)

Bitter from being laid off and humiliated by your former employer.

Being terminated is not fun and when it is not your fault it is infuriating. Since he is mentioning his dedication it shows that in his mind he gave everything to them and they still did not give a rats ass.

I would be upset too even if you are making twice as much now. It comes to show you can't trust your employers. Don't stay with a company because they treated you nice and gave you a career. Stay for a few years but look after the man in the mirror or your family. In the end you are only an expense and your employer can easily survive if you fell over dead tomorrow. Sad, but true.

Re:It could only be HP (2)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38544092)

From the same company that rejected Wozniak's Apple I, they appear to try to make Xerox feel better about that PARC thing.

Re:It could only be HP (4, Interesting)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38545198)

(Shrug) That was the correct decision on HP's part. No analogies between Woz's garage and Xerox PARC can be drawn, IMHO. An inexpensive 6502-based micro board didn't fit into HP's marketing and sales strategies in any respect. No traditional HP customers would have been interested in early personal computers, and no rock-star product managers were itching to pivot the whole company in that direction, as later happened with printers.

Instead of helping to launch a new industry, the Apple I would've died on the vine at HP. They could have been dicks about it and stopped Wozniak dead in his tracks, but instead they told him to party on with their blessing. Under the HP Way it was considered a good thing for entrepreneurs to get their start at the company, and Woz was perhaps one of the last employees to benefit from that kind of forward thinking.

It's simple. (2)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542368)

They wanted to show that they tried every option, but they didn't actually want to sell Palm.

Why sell it and have someone else potentially give it a heartbeat again? They put it down and kept its assets in the event that they could use the narrowed field to their advantage in deep-diving back into the mobile market in the future.

Re:It's simple. (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542606)

I am a Palm fan from way back, but really, what is the company even worth now? They don't own the original OS (that was spun off into another company years ago), they don't manufacture devices anymore, and while webOS is pretty nice, it's not different enough to set itself apart from Android and iOS. And didn't HP basically can all the old Palm employees, anyway?

Sad to see a once great company trashed this way, but I'm not sure there's much to recover from it at this point.

Re:It's simple. (3, Funny)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542676)

What?!! Are you saying they weren't serious when they offered it to Facebook? That's ridiculous. They have perfect synergy: Palm makes phones and Facebook has a mobile app and uses mobile phones. See? They fit together perfectly.

Re:It's simple. (4, Funny)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543542)

Facepalm...

Re:It's simple. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543752)

Facebook is in the marketing and social networking market. Not phone/tablet market.

If they did buy it then Google, Apple, and MS would compete with their own social platforms and ruin facebook. Windows 8 has tweet-orama and facebook applets in Metro. That would quickly change if MS viewed Facebook as a competitor.

A very dumb move to buy them out indeed.

Re:It's simple. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543472)

They wanted to show that they tried every option, but they didn't actually want to sell Palm.

It's not that. I'd imagine that all of HP's touchscreen-based printers run WebOS under the hood. If so, then HP is so dependent on WebOS that they can't afford to sell it without requiring the buyer to license it back to HP. This makes any sale problematic from both ends of the deal.

Re:It's simple. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543794)

They wanted to show that they tried every option, but they didn't actually want to sell Palm.

It's not that. I'd imagine that all of HP's touchscreen-based printers run WebOS under the hood. If so, then HP is so dependent on WebOS that they can't afford to sell it without requiring the buyer to license it back to HP. This makes any sale problematic from both ends of the deal.

Where did you get that? They've had touchscreen printers way before they bought WebOS. From my limited exposure to them, it appears they run under CP/M..

Re:It's simple. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38544384)

I got that from the stories about the sale that said that printer licensing was one of the conditions.

I very much doubt the current crop of web-enabled printers run anything remotely resembling CP/M. They have built-in Wi-Fi hardware, Ethernet, and full-color, full-motion playback of help videos. That's way, way, way past anything you could do easily in many RTOSes, much less something as primitive as CP/M.

If they aren't running WebOS, it is inevitable to assume that they will. They'd have to be idiots to license somebody else's OS when they have their own OS with in-house programming teams that they can leverage.

Re:It's simple. (3, Insightful)

sincewhen (640526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38545172)

They'd have to be idiots

I think you've identified the problem.

Its good to want things, builds character. (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542392)

but when I dream, I get a pony.

Re:Its good to want things, builds character. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542572)

but when I dream, I get a pony.

Inception: We need to go 20% deeper. [youtube.com] *BWAM!*

Zuckerberg... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542416)

Let's get this straight. Zuckerberg is a lucky SOB who hit the big time by accident. What he was thinking was probably something like 'this is boring, I wanna go out and score some chicks and get laid'... he isn't a nerd, he's a rich kid surrounded by lawyers and believe this, if Jobs got kicked out of his company, Zuckerberg will definitely get sidelined eventually.

Re:Zuckerberg... (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542464)

Zuckerberg does have that killer instinct for business that Jobs had. Luck did have something to do with it, but he;d have been reasonably successful if someone else beat him to it.

Some might call it sociopathy of course, but Apple did a lot better with Jobs than without, and I dare say facebook would struggle without a clear leader.

Re:Zuckerberg... (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542550)

Zuckerberg has the killer instinct for business that Gates had. Take somebody else's idea, hustle them out of it, and then sit and wait for all the MySpace users to go someplace more cool.

So where's that Facebook IPO?

Re:Zuckerberg... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542650)

Yup. Edison too. Actually Steve Jobs too, since Wozniak was the brains behind the actual technology.

Not going to disagree with you, but there's a certain skill to spotting the right idea to steal, as well as actually committing the theft. Whether they deserve their success or not I make no comment but I know I'd not be able to be successful in the same way.

Re:Zuckerberg... (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542770)

Yeah, I'd have to agree. People are quick to call Zuckerberg a genius for the groundbreaking idea that was Facebook, yet Facebook was nothing more than a slightly less tacky MySpace, and before that we had Friends Reunited which was almost identical.

There was absolutely nothing groundbreaking about Facebook, Zuckerberg just had the contacts and the business sense to be able to cash in on it and grow it better than even the likes of Rupert Murdoch failed so hard to do with MySpace.

Re:Zuckerberg... (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542846)

But also the sense to execute it in a way that people wanted to use it. There /is/ something to that.

Re:Zuckerberg... (1)

unimacs (597299) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543036)

I think you undervalue Jobs' role in the creation of Apple. For example, Woz really had no idea how to package the components into a case that would appeal to anyone other than a hobbyist. It was Jobs insistence that the Apple II have a switching power supply to reduce heat. Woz knew little about them. Basically every desktop computer uses a switching power supply now.

Woz has had little impact at Apple since 1978 or so. I don't think he had any involvement in the creation of the Mac.

Don't get me wrong. Without Woz, there never would have been an Apple computer to sell, but without Jobs, Woz would have likely never created a computer at all and would have spent his career at HP.

Re:Zuckerberg... (1, Flamebait)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543846)

Zuckerberg does have that killer instinct for business that Jobs had.

Um, no. He's a 27-year-old who sweats so much when asked a mild non-softball question on TV that he has to wipe the perspiration off his head and take off his jacket. [youtube.com] . Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were mature adults when they were 27 (1982). Zuckerberg is a child.

Re:Zuckerberg... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542708)

Does he still think all Facebook users are "Dumb F*cks" as he so eloquently put it? I sure don't want to be one of those so I don't use Facebook at all.

Re:Zuckerberg... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542710)

I'm the original poster and my point was, he started something for his buddies and it grew out of all proportion. He didn't start something, send millions on marketing, etc. It's a one pure fluke that it took off. Remember when AOL was the only way for most people to get on the internet! Now I don't know anyone who uses AOL. :) Facebook could easily go the same way. Yahoo is about to bite the big one (if the Chinese buy it). I have already closing my email accounts with them, began the process yesterday. Anyhoo...

Re:Zuckerberg... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542824)

The smart peeps are on MySpace....

Google could snap Palm/webOS for patents (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542438)

Use the stash of Palm's patents against the obvious patent trolls. HP should then embrace Android.

Look at this "iPhone like" color Palm [palminfocenter.com] from 2001.

what patents? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542516)

...how much patents are were left anyhow? why does everyone assume all the companies have patents - or that they have them left without licensing.
palm os was owned by palmsource, one version sold to garnett.. the only ip palm was sitting on was pretty much webos - I guess they thought they were smart fooling garnet to buying palm os from palmsource and then ditching it.

webos was then developed inhouse at palm(not palmsource).

that's how I gather it anyhow. so who owns the ip, the little there was to begin with? seen hp been doing much cease and desists lately? no? though google might still buy it, they got more money than sense(motorola is sort of a similar example, they don't sit on much patents either, the motorola that once was had been hacked up many, many times already).

(their devices can be used as prior art without buying what's left of them)

Re:what patents? (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542534)

It's not an assumption -- I've seen it written very specifically about Palm a number of times (but couldn't tell you from memory).

Re:Google could snap Palm/webOS for patents (1)

jds91md (2439128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38545404)

Look at this "iPhone like" color Palm [palminfocenter.com] from 2001.

Oh, you're killin' me. I miss my wonderful Palm PDA's. Well, I don't actually miss them because I still have them. My Treo 650 is my backup's backup cellphone. They simply worked really well, did everything I wanted back then. --JSt

Pre3 (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542524)

The summary sucks (big Palm fan here, BTW). The Pre3 was never even released. It probably could have done alright. In any case, something that's never released cannot be a failure. I'd personally love to get my hands on a Verizon model (but not enough to pay $500).

Re:Pre3 (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542626)

Me, I'd love to get my hands on Kim Kardashian's shaved pussy. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose...

Re:Pre3 (1, Funny)

bandy (99800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542854)

Me, I'd love to get my hands on Kim Kardashian's shaved pussy. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose...

I take it that you'd pay $500?

Re:Pre3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542986)

Actually, Palm was selling the Pre 3 unlocked in Europe on their website for about two days before the HP kill hammer came down. It was a quiet, or more like dead silent launch -- no press release, no advertising, but technically it was released if not for very long. They also sold off the remaining inventory of EU Pre 3's in the firesale.

Never released in the US though.

Overvalued... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542546)

Zuckerberg: "I could code your crappy little OS in a few months. I guess my time is worth around $4 million an hour."

Maybe They Should Try Selling it on eBay (1)

RonMcMahon (544607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542610)

Given that there have been no takers, perhaps HP should post this little nugget on eBay and see what offers come in. As long as they set the reserve at whatever tax loss value may still reside with keeping WebOS et al., any higher bid should be considered a gain.

Re:Maybe They Should Try Selling it on eBay (1)

mythar (1085839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543088)

no, that's not the HP way. i expect they'll be unloaded by HP for $99, then flipped on ebay for a fat profit.

It's been all downhill (1)

Aunt E Virus (2542600) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542614)

since Platt. Thanks, Carly. Thanks, Mark. Thanks, Cathie. Thanks, Directors. And to think I actually kidded myself into thinking I could retire on my options. WebOS? Thanks, Léo. Thanks, Brian Humphries. See you at the unemployment office.

What has HP been thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38542620)

If "Thinking" is the correct word... WebOS is a great little OS. They could have made it a contender if they had just stood behind it. Instead they released a lackluster product, tried to sell it for about (what?) two months and then declared that since it didn't shoot to first place it is a total failure...

Honestly - with the number of bits of stupidity coming out of that company in such a steady stream I am surprised they haven't went out of business yet.

Lol (4, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542654)

They considered selling off their hardware business (accounting for 33% of their revenue), and now they don't want to take a loss selling a company that they bought and ran into the ground.

Who, exactly, is running this company, and why?

Re:Lol (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543018)

They considered selling off their hardware business (accounting for 33% of their revenue), and now they don't want to take a loss selling a company that they bought and ran into the ground.

Who, exactly, is running this company, and why?

Palm wasn't exactly doing very well before HP bought them; so they didn't exactly run it into the ground.
Now, I'm not saying that the lack sales, etc. of any products they have produced through the Palm unit has not hurt the price at all - it probably has.
Just saying, it's not entirely HP's fault. They probably overbid on it to start with.

So from their perspective, the unit has not gained anything but hasn't really lost much of anything either; an trying to get the same price is taking a big of a hit - no ROI on the purchase (e.g. interest, etc.); just not as big of one as selling it off for less than they paid (resulting in a negative ROI instead of breaking even).

Just saying, there's multiple ways to look at it from an accounting view; take your pick for which one is your favorite.

Re:Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38543518)

They took a car with a faulty transmission and drove it off a cliff. Sometimes driving backwards is better than free falling.

Re:Lol (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543636)

These decisions were made by different CEOs. The last HP CEO wanted to turn HP into another SAP (his previous employer) and turn HP into a totally different company and sell its hardware division. He also decided to spread fud about webOS not being supported which made consumers not want to buy them as he wanted to leave the tablet market. The other CEO Hurd bought it.The board fired him within a week which was the right thing to do.

You can't just become something else unrelated as it has failed many many times if you study business cases.

The current CEO decided to do a risk analysis, and determined it was totally retarded and made no business sense to sell its hardware division. Unfortunately, she did not do an analysis with WebOS because HP laid off the whole staff from the last CEO.

What irks me is WebOS failed because of the last CEO, not because of the product itself. It was only on the market for what a month! Then HP told everyone they were selling it. Once that happened consumers stayed away from it. Then the CEO basically said, see they are staying away from it therefore it is a failure! bla.

I am agaisn't excessive CEO compensation, but a bad CEO can really fuck up a company and its product line as evident in HP. People always chose Windows over Linux, Mac, OS2, because they want to bet on the winner and not invest in a failed product. This sealed WebOS before people even knew what it was sadly. It was brand new to the tablet world when HP pulled the plug.

I forgot the lady's name but she seems to have more business sense than the last 3 CEOs. I would try to save WebOS, but it maybe too late. Development has stopped and Andriod and IOS are moving ahead and getting more and more updated. Even Windows Phone 7 which is behind is starting to catch up in capabilities to it.

What a mess and I am glad I am not the CEO of HP. ... ok I would actually like to run it into the ground for a year and collect a golden parachute and become rich, but still besides the point.

Re:Lol (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543936)

HP's problem is worse than just having a bad CEO. They have a screwed up board of directors which means they are in the process of hiring a stream of bad CEOs, or if they should happen to get a decent one, firing him for a minor transgression when they should be working to keep him.

There is no way that I would purchase anything significant from, work for, or invest in HP at this point in time.

It would be good however to short their stock.

Re:Lol (1)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38544052)

HP's problem is worse than just having a bad CEO. They have a screwed up board of directors which means they are in the process of hiring a stream of bad CEOs, or if they should happen to get a decent one, firing him for a minor transgression when they should be working to keep him.

Agreed, maybe someone should keep an eye on the them [wikipedia.org] ?

There is no way that I would purchase anything significant from, work for, or invest in HP at this point in time.

This is the damn truth. I pity HP's employees as well because they undoubtedly have a morale problem.

Re:Lol (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38544316)

Leaving its core strength's and biggest revenue generator is not a minor transgression. That would have been the worst business deciscion in history right up with IBM letting MS market DOS to competitors and creating the clone market.

It is funny because CEOs keep justifying outsourcing and doing things to harm employees as a fudiciary duty to the shareholders and how they need the board of directors needs, yet no one can fire the ones at HP. Believe me many hedge fund managers have tried but do not have the support of everyone including HPs own employees who have some shares.

But the move to fire him was so the board of directors could keep their jobs. I agree they should be fired. They selected Carly Fiona which in my opinion is one of the worst rockstar CEOs today. Is the current board of directors the original board?

If I were Icahn, I would view a nice hostile takeover of HP with a new board. The current CEO is doing the right things currently but it is too early to tell. She is the only ones with the brains that dictate that "Gee. Perhaps we should focus on HPs core strengths!" she is treating employees a lot better from what I read. But still she admits she is an outsider an Amazon.com is not a tech company. They are a distributer and retailer company. She would probably be a better CEO of Barnes & Noble than HP which is a different market. Again, the board failed to see that and it shows they have no clue what their own company even is. GOD.

It might recover but we will wait and see. If your own CEO does not even believe in the value of your own products or its employees it is time to bail out.

Greedy exec + access to loads of money = Problems! (1)

snemiro (1775092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542728)

Nothing new under the sun. "living on the moon" execs are enjoying the new yatch, while workers are trying to keep up with mortgages and food. It happens in every institution, starting from Govt, public and private companies.... BTW, the Ark B is ready to go...

Re:Greedy exec + access to loads of money = Proble (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543104)

It goes like this.. CEO of HP plays golf with CEO of Palm. Palm: my company is such a mess, we are going nowhere...HP: hey, I've got some 20Gs sitting here and... I will buy your company for those 20G if you pass me 10%, ok? Palm: deal!

Re:Greedy exec + access to loads of money = Proble (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543704)

Actually Palm is not that bad. Blackberry gave it a black eye, but tablets is where WebOS could have made a difference. WebOS was a great OS in 2009 and HP didn't want to let Apple and Google eat up the market leaving HP out of computing.

When Hurd left, the new CEO viewed it as a failure and never invested heavily into the product. He then went on and told customers, BestBuy, and suppliers he has no plans to sell it. Gee, that really makes me want to go out and buy one now. lol

So BestBuy got nervous and pulled the plug within 60 days of launch! UGH

Sunken costs are not popular at HP as witnessed with them killing the Alpha processor because they invested in Itanium, but the last CEO didn't care and made some enemies at the board of directors.

HP is a horribly managed company starting with Carly Fiona. When accountants run the company the value goes into the shithole and greed takes over. All the good employees leave and you have a company with accountants and no engineers left. Either HP is going to have to rebuff WebOS and beg BestBuy and Walmart for forgiveness, or sell it for pennies and accept the loss. That is a tough one for the CEO as the board of directors and shareholders will have a riot if they do not get every penny back! Ouch

I had a friend like that... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38542860)

I had a friend like that... bought a bike for eighteen grand, rode it for eight years, when he went to sell it, he insisted the price was eighteen grand. Didn't get any takers.

Smartphone pioneer? (1)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543006)

What? Smartphone pioneer? How do they figure that?

They were a PDA pioneer, but did very little, if anything revolutionary or pioneering in the Smartphone space. They just did what everyone else was doing... they did not pioneer anything in that space. They were already pretty much washed up and a has-been by the time the smartphone revolution rolled around. Not saying their phones weren't nice or quality or anything, just saying they weren't anything revolutionary.

Re:Smartphone pioneer? (2)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543888)

They were already pretty much washed up and a has-been by the time the smartphone revolution rolled around. Not saying their phones weren't nice or quality or anything, just saying they weren't anything revolutionary.

Exactly right. Palm in the 1990s was pioneering, but they stumbled once smartphones came along. Not sure why, really - I mean, everyone could see that manufacturers would put more and more stuff on phones and eventually everything a Palm Pilot could do, a phone would one day be able to do. But Palm was a one trick pony that didn't adapt (or at least, didn't adapt fast enough).

smartphone pioneers? (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543024)

smartphone pioneers? That's not how I remember Palm, they were the people that made PDAs cheap and popular.

have they asked Nokia? (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543160)

Nokia still needs a modern OS which can support multi-core chips and over 512MB of RAM. Microsoft isn't able to provide that until well into 2012 so Nokia might want a capable modern OS before the end of their world in late 2012. That's when nobody knows who Nokia is anymore.

LoB

Re:have they asked Nokia? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38543730)

Windows phone 7 mango can and is a decent OS. Windows 8 and Windows 8 phone will be there by the time they make a webOS product.

Re:have they asked Nokia? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38544298)

How does it stack up to what the software on the N900 could do a couple of years ago? If Nokia can't use it to make a better Nokia phone then it's not a step forward. I haven't seen mango but I suspect something that only just got multitasking and was dragged screaming into the 1990s is not going to stack up very well against anything else. So, you are in a better position to answer that question - what features can it offer that exceed what Nokia already had? Remember that MS Exchange synchronisation was already on the older platform so you'll need something other than that.

To be fair, TouchPad didn't get a chance to fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38545618)

It probably would have failed anyway, but the market never got the chance to make the ruling on that. Apotheker slaughtered the product 3 weeks after release.

Patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38545748)

If Palm and WebOS come with enough patents, then they might worth a lot.

Patents are critical these days. If you are a scummy company like Oracle, Microsoft, or Apple; you need to patents to use offensively, to restrain free trade. If you are anybody else, you need patents for defense against those scummy companies.

Also, if you one of those scummy companies you need to buy up patents before your potential victims can get the patents to defend themselves.

It's practically all that goes on in tech these days.

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