HP hedges mobile bets by buying Palm and webOS

I love that this industry is full of surprises. This week has brought a couple. One is HP getting seriously into mobile by buying Palm – I think this is good news since webOS, based on JavaScript and the W3C DOM, is an interesting platform that was otherwise near to death. But surely HP is Microsoft’s trusted partner and might be expected to back Windows Phone 7? That’s the other intriguing aspect. HP has suffered as Windows Mobile has stuttered, and with mobile fast becoming the computing client that matters most, Microsoft’s platform does not look like a safe bet.

HP’s problem though is that webOS does not look like a safe bet either. In the context of HP’s overall business, Windows Mobile, now Windows Phone, makes more sense; and it cannot afford not to do the Windows stuff alongside whatever is planned for webOS. As HP told the Reg:

HP intends to continue selling Windows-based devices. "We believe in choice," Bradley said. But it sees a brighter future in offering Windows phones and tablets alongside systems based on webOS, which debuted earlier this year on the Palm Pre. "With Palm, HP acquires a strong operating system to deliver a unique customer experience," Bradley said.

It’s a mixed message, which means it is hard to articulate, and hard to make it work.

Nor it is the first time HP has wavered over Windows for mobile devices. Remember when HP rebadged the iPod, back in 2004? It was a short-lived experiment, to nobody’s surprise. This deal makes more sense than becoming an Apple OEM, but it will still be hard for HP to pull off.

The other surprise, also mobile related? Apple no longer lovers Mac developers.

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rate this post
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:

  1. Palm Ares: an online IDE for WebOS development
  2. HP contributes webOS to open source. Where next for HP mobile devices?
  3. HP will not do Android or Windows Phone 7 smartphones – but what chance for webOS?
  4. HP discontinues WebOS, considers PC spin-off. Should have stuck with Microsoft
  5. Which mobile platforms will fail?

Comments are closed.