On Wednesday April 28th after the stock markets closed HP bought Palm which many people say is a buyout for the Palm OS. The HP Slate which has been a letdown from a hands on experience by a few tech analysts have said Windows 7 simply isn’t optimized for a “slate/tablet” style device, thought it suits netbooks and laptops just fine. After a recent hands on, with the HP Slate, many analysts are saying that Windows 7 is not the route to go for HPS success into the Slate PC market.
Most of the Higher profile Slate PC’s such as Dell, Notion Ink, Neofonie, and others have gone the Google Android route as their operating system of choice for the next generation of Slate PCS. HP was the lone company to be developing a Slate PC that functioned on the Windows 7 operating system.
HP and Palm are the perfect pairing for Slate PC computing. Palm uses its well designed iPAQ hardware to run the Palm OS, and for a change gets a competitive smart phone. The Pre and the Pixi either get re-engineered by HP into something more useful, or they fade away. Meanwhile, HP’s tablet gets an OS suitable for a portable device. Not only does HP get a great operating system that is very unique for its Slate device, it also gets around 2000 third party applications for its device in one day.
HP has long been saying it will use software to differentiate its products. Now it actually can. Owning and controlling its own OS has many benefits, starting with being able to dictate who can make applications, when the product is updated, and ensuring that the hardware and software work together as seamlessly as possible. Going with the proprietary OS will shield it from potential lawsuits or necessary licensing deals with Apple or Microsoft.
HP’s acquisition of Palm means the mobile wars extend to slate tablets: iPhone vs. Android vs. Palm, all over again.
But this acquisition isn’t strictly about phones. This is about HP’s future mobile OS. Bradley said several times HP will “invest heavily” in WebOS, and use it on slate PCs, Netbooks, and phones. HP was not ready to talk about possible time lines as to when a WebOS slate or WebOS Netbooks would be available, but said it planned to increase the $190 million Palm was spending annually on research and development.
HP has made some quasi-ok Smartphone’s in the past, but they have been based on Windows Mobile and unless HP is moving to Windows Phone 7 that line is dead in the water. HP still does have a couple of Windows Mobile Smartphone’s that are pretty decent, in terms of hardware.
With this purchase, lots of research and development will now go into the WebOS and it looks like the HP Slate will be running this operating system, has it gives them the distinction they need to be competitive in the Slate PC market, and gives them a large developer community in which to add applications.
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Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.