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Apple, RIM, Google All Bid On Palm

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the face-palm-apple dept.

Businesses 117

imamac writes "It seems HP was only one of many bidders for the struggling Palm. The others included Apple, RIM and even Google. You may now commence speculation on why the various companies wanted Palm."

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It seems to me (5, Insightful)

breakzoidbeg (1260428) | more than 4 years ago | (#32920848)

That Palms Patent portfolio would have been the target. Palm has been around for years, and they have a deep patent well to draw from.

Re:It seems to me (3, Informative)

Meshach (578918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921024)

Agreed it seems pretty obvious. At least not "really, really weird at best" like the article says. A more reliable source [sfgate.com] says it better.

Re:It seems to me (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921128)

Not to mention they built a better phone and OS than any of their competitors.

Re:It seems to me (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922508)

Right what's why they went out of business.

Re:It seems to me (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922986)

Right what's why they went out of business.

Staying in business and having the best product often have little to do with each other.

Re:It seems to me (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32923288)

Case in point: Apple.

Re:It seems to me (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925976)

Case in point: Apple.

Parent is hardly trolling. It's a well-known fact that Apple's marketing is so impressive they could sell piles of donkey shit to Warren Buffet.

Re:It seems to me (1, Flamebait)

IHateEverybody (75727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32923462)

Right what's why they went out of business.

Palm didn't go out of business. They are about to be bought out by HP in part because they were low on cash and were likely to go out of business in the future but there is a distinction and it is fairly important for the purposes of this discussion. Palm has suffered from a lot of self-inflicted wounds over the past ten years: constant financial restructuring, giving up control of its operating system, falling behind technologically, and struggling to catch up in a brutal market full of much larger competitors.

Despite all this, Palm didn't actually go out of business, they actually did a very good job of catching up with their competitors, reaching parity with them in some areas and surpassing them in others. They also built a solid foundation on which they could grow in the future. If they hadn't done all this; Palm likely would have gone out of business for real, being bought out only for their patents instead of being bought by a company that wants to use their tech to build their own business.

Re:It seems to me (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32923602)

I don't think you've seen the Pre / Pre Plus, otherwise, you wouldn't be saying that. And I'm saying this from and Android fan perspective.

HTML/CSS based interface (which means all app scale smoothly, 40+ apps running simultaneous without even skipping a heartbeat (providing real-time snapshots of running tasks with their card system), an awesome notification system, a unified contact system (from various sites, contact lists), and had both a walled-garden/homebrew dual approach.

Unfortunately, too many people are hard up on the iP* products that they don't even bother looking at alternatives. I didn't buy it because the only carrier here that has it is known to be misleading in their prices and I'd rather not support that, and doesn't have the Pre Plus either now that it's out. If it were available unlocked to AWS, I'd get it for several of my family members.

Re:It seems to me (2, Informative)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925066)

Better OS, sure. Better phone? Ehh, I don't know about that.

I just picked up a Palm Pre a couple weeks ago, yeah I was late to the show. The OS is really (really) nice. I prefer it over the iPhone and I think it blows Android out of the water. But the hardware isn't great and the form factor is rather bad. The phone takes 3-4 minutes to boot and must be rebooted fairly frequently. The only way to turn on your screen is to press an awkwardly placed button on the corner, even harder to get to when you have the slider open. The web browser works far better than I ever expected for any phone, but it's limited by the relatively low screen resolution. The CPU is not fast enough (but are they ever?) and causes awkward delays when trying to answer phone calls.

I held out on buying a Pre for so long because I wanted to see a taller, slimmer, faster and perhaps touch-only model of the phone. Now I know it's what they needed. Instead, they waited a year to dish out AT&T and Verizon re-hashes of the same old stuff. I wish they were purchased by someone better than HP, but if they ever release a WebOS-based tablet I will definitely be interested.

Re:It seems to me (1)

wbo (1172247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925446)

If you have to reboot your Pre frequently then I suspect something is very wrong either with some of the software you have installed or with the phone itself. I have used my Pre heavily almost every day for a year now and the last time I had to reboot it was over 3 months ago (and that was for an OS update).

The screen on the Pre should automatically turn on when you open the slider so you shouldn't need to be able to hit the power button to wake up the screen while the slider is open. If yours doesn't do this then you may a hardware problem and you should be able to get it replaced under warranty.

The CPU is a bit on the slow side but I think a faster CPU would greatly decrease the battery life which would have to be compensated for by including a larger (and heavier) battery which would make the Pre thicker and less convenient to carry around.

Apple vs. Nokia (1, Interesting)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921254)

You got it! Apple for one likely wanted to use these to support their case against Nokia and as a defense as well. The way patents are given these days; a pioneering company like Palm likely has many broad patents that Nokia is "infringing" upon. And yes both Nokia and Apple are patent trolls looking to get a free lunch.

Re:Apple vs. Nokia (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922166)

Nokia may not be a patent angel, but when it comes to patent trolling, Apple and other US companies make the rest of the world look like amateurs.

America. The world's most litigious society blazes the trail as always!

Re:Apple vs. Nokia (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925146)

My money is on RIM. I look forward to the first Palm/RIM interface.

Re:Apple vs. Nokia (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925464)

My money is on RIM. I look forward to the first Palm/RIM interface.

If only RIM was named Face..

Re:Apple vs. Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32923328)

Nokia is not a patent troll. They need to engage Apple head-on regarding a bunch of touch screen patents, and offense is the best defense. Nokias patents are also real technology patents, not the trivial software patents Apple managed to get accepted.

Otherwise, Apple would keep the mobile scene in a death grip. Nokia is doing the whole industry a service.

Thank God for HP here.

Re:Apple vs. Nokia (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32923510)

To me, patent trolls are companies that people are companies that don't actually create any products themselves, but just hold patents and use them to extract money from companies that do create products. They are parasites.

Neither Apple nor Nokia are patent trolls.

Re:Apple vs. Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925952)

Just because your definition of a patent troll is wrong doesn't mean Apple and Nokia aren't patent trolls.

"Patent troll is a pejorative term used for a person or company that enforces its patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic"

If I didn't know better I'd say someone had just described Apple's business model.

Re:Apple vs. Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32926662)

No, but it would open up a lot of Palm's innovation for those companies to draw on. Nokia was at the top of the world in cell phones technologically a few years ago and imho they still make some of the best models, so I could see them wanting to expand their own patent portfolio to try and reclaim that position from Apple and HTC. It could be a chance for them to expand from a niche market provider to having more general appeal, which, again imho, would be terrible for those of us who like being catered to by Nokia, but would be better for the company's bottom line. And we all know how much Apple loves patents. Google could be wanting to do some hardware development for themselves or let the Palm-now-Google engis do it for them.

It's not the same as patent trolling and patents are definitely part of the equation. And PR/brand recognition.

Re:It seems to me (1)

travisco_nabisco (817002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921266)

Agree that the patent portfolio was the only reason to buy Palm. If I remember correctly, back in the day of the PDA, Palm bought HandSpring, the better device maker, and got all their patents.

Re:It seems to me (1)

collinc (899981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921714)

Frankly, I'm surprised more people haven't put in bids yet. The Palm brand has been around for what amounts as forever in the industry. Their platform is sound. Heck their brand name alone is worth spending money on acquiring, to say nothing about their patent portfolio.

Re:It seems to me (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924726)

For Google and Apple, yes. For RIM it would have been about aquiring a new OS. RIM has desperately needed a new OS for some time now. WebOS would have done very well with the Blackberry name attached to it after RIM changed around a few things to BB it up a bit. WebOS's notification system is still ahead of its time and would have been a key feature for new BB handsets.

Patents? (3, Insightful)

levell (538346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32920854)

I don't understand why Apple or Google (Or Nokia) would want Palm. At least if the main asset was WebOS - none of these companies would ditch the mobile OS they are backing in favour of it.

So my wild arsed guess is that Palm had enough patents that the various companies thought would be useful in the court battles that are just beginning. But at the price a company like Palm would fetch - the patents must be valuable!

It would fit with HP paying more - they get the patents and WebOS and they weren't previously backing a mobile OS.

Re:Patents? (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 4 years ago | (#32920890)

It would fit with HP paying more - they get the patents and WebOS and they weren't previously backing a mobile OS.

One slight correction, HP still make the iPaq, which runs Windows Mobile 6. Though arguably that particular mobile OS has come to the end of its piece of string.

Re:Patents? (1)

HoeDing (828412) | more than 4 years ago | (#32920936)

The tech in webos would only scratch the surface in regards to how large palms patent portfolio must be.

Re:Patents? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32923236)

This is too easy.
They'd want Palm to keep the WebOS from appearing on a competing phone.
No need to troll.

Re:Patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32923834)

Apple, Google, RIM means kill, marry, adopt

Apple = kill it,
Google = Merge code with android and take market share
RIM = adopt it as a starting point for a real smartphone OS

All would benefit from having the patents, but i doubt Google/RIM would use them aggressively.

Re:Patents? (1)

lintux (125434) | more than 4 years ago | (#32923854)

> but i doubt Google/RIM would use them aggressively
You know that RIM used to be known as "Lawsuits in Motion" several years ago, before it started backfiring and several companies sued them? :-)

Re:Patents? (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925740)

Well RIM really doesn't have a good OS going forward at this point. If they could integrate WebOS with their push email and messenger then use their great keyboard you could have a very hot device.
For Apple it would be to have the patents so no one could use them to defend themselves from Apples patents.
For Google it would be have the patents to defend themselves from Apple and probably Microsoft.
For Nokia it would probably to have patents to use to attack Apple with.

My sneaking feeling is that Palm has a lot of patents on sync. The Palm devices where really the first device I remember that did a desktop sync like the iphone / ipod does. I believe that is why Apple never went through with their threats at Palm. Those patents could mean that Apples iTunes and Microsoft's Activesync are all infringing.
Of course this is all a guess off the top of my head.

Honestly WebOS is great mobile OS. The SDK sucked but they are fixing that. The UI is very good and it is easy to use.
The prefect mobile phone IMHO would be.
The WebOS UI.
With Android's or iPhone's app store.
With RIM's Email, messaging, but with Android'ss gmail and IM support.
Garmin's navigation.
On HTC, Samsung, and or Motorola's hardware.
With iPhone4's battery life.
And with Microsoft's Zune pass.

Patent warfare averted? (-1, Redundant)

RobKow (1787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32920860)

Given Palm's patent portfolio, this outcome was probably one of the better ones. I can only imagine the stupid patent lawsuits from Apple with the extra ammunition.

Re:Patent warfare averted? (0)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922168)

Patent-based threats are just a part of business. They all do it, and Apple is not the worst offender by far.

Re:Patent warfare averted? (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925094)

Yes, but don't you understand his post is not based on reason, but on blind hatred of Apple? I was wondering how far I'd have to scroll to find someone who decided to frame this in a negative light with respect to Apple, and I didn't have to scroll far.

Do they need a reason? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32920878)

...other than greed?

Simple (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921018)

You may now commence speculation on why the various companies wanted Palm.

When you masturbate, your penis is in your palm.

Re:Simple (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922336)

Holy crap, flamebait? Everybody poops and everybody masturbates. Afraid of the truth much?

Really hope Google takes palm. (0)

hilather (1079603) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921022)

This would give them an instant beachhead in the cell phone manufacturing world.

Re:Really hope Google takes palm. (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921106)

Apple was really pissed when Google won the AdMob bid, now i think Apple will try and win this, with all the lawsuits going around about patents, i think it need the pressure to put on others.
Although the OS would be more of what RIM is in line for, as both OS's are close.
HP has no chance.

aaa.. (2, Informative)

novar21 (1694492) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921108)

umm HP already won the bid. Unless Google makes HP an offer its a done deal.

Re:Really hope Google takes palm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921248)

I'd prefer an outsider to take over and maintain the type of competition the economy so desperately needs these days.

BeOS (3, Funny)

maliqua (1316471) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921054)

They all just wanted to release a new BeOS!!! seriously what else would you want with palm ?

Re:BeOS (4, Informative)

jaak (1826046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921160)

BeOS was sold when Palm spun off PalmSource, which is now owned by Access http://www.access-company.com/ [access-company.com]

Re:BeOS (2, Insightful)

vbraga (228124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921858)

From a great operating system to a shitty mobile browser, how sad.

Re:BeOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922426)

Haiku lives!

Seriously, given how long its been since BeOS was updated, it's not like whoever owns it these days would have any less work patching it up to a competitive release than forking Haiku and polishing it -- the only advantage would be the BeOS name. Since Haiku is MIT licensed, there wouldn't even be the penalty of GPLish license virism.

Re:BeOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924736)

Nothing is as sad as the faith of Amiga. I'd have linked http://www.amiga.com/ [amiga.com] but they're so poor they can't afford web hosting anymore. I remember them selling some games for PDAs last time I visited them. *sigh*

I'd be lost without madam Palm (-1, Offtopic)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921074)

and her five lovely daughters.

Re:I'd be lost without madam Palm (0, Offtopic)

captnbmoore (911895) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921124)

I thought here name was Rosie

Re:I'd be lost without madam Palm (0, Offtopic)

mrsnak (1818464) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921732)

Shake hands with my wife...

Re:I'd be lost without madam Palm (0, Offtopic)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922026)

Ewwwwwww.

Isn't it obvious? (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921088)

Apple wanted Palm's handwriting recognition technology, so they could reintroduce the Newton.

Re:Isn't it obvious? (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921592)

Palm did not have handwriting recognition. Palm used gesturers to represent letters.

What palm does has, as been mentioned, is patents. Palm, along with Apple, is practically the only independent innovator in the PDA market, which we now see fully formed in the from of smartphone, a device with was instrumental in creating.

HP was probably a little more motivated as they have seem have set a path to growth of snapping up good hardware companies with good portfolios that can then be used to create products.

I suspect that Apple and RIM simply wanted to cut out the competition. Google, being a young company with little wisdom, would have benefitted from the hardware experience Palm.

Re:Isn't it obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924512)

Whoosh.

Re:Isn't it obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922384)

Does the Newton have one of those old fashioned telescopic antenna's?

Re:Isn't it obvious? (4, Informative)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922534)

To explain the joke, Palm got started selling its Graffiti software for Newton to replace Apple's dismal handmall reaquisition.

Clear for apple (5, Funny)

postmortem (906676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921090)

They want their antenna design.

Marginally Useful (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921200)

I can see why those three would bid, but it's also clear why HP was willing to pay more - they gained something entirely new. So, they'll gain a real competitive edge from the buy, not just a fanciful IP one.

Re:Marginally Useful (1)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922084)

I think you've got it backwards, sir. IP is the competitive edge these days.

To jack up the price for HP (4, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921296)

HP paid $1.2 Billion. That's about $1 Billion more than it was really worth. I think Apple, RIM, and Google deliberately hobbled HP by bidding up the price but not high enough that HP would not still take that dinosaur into their house.

Re:To jack up the price for HP (1)

SillySnake (727102) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922968)

I think they had $500 million or more in cash.

Re:To jack up the price for HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32923018)

HP paid $1.2 Billion. That's about $1 Billion more than it was really worth. I think Apple, RIM, and Google deliberately hobbled HP by bidding up the price but not high enough that HP would not still take that dinosaur into their house.

Palm webOS is not a "dinosaur". It's brand new and arguably the best modern smartphone OS out there. It just needs time and money to develop - time and money that Palm did not have, but which HP does have. Palm and HP need each other (as HP has been going nowhere in the mobile business), so it was a good match and money well spent.

Re:To jack up the price for HP (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925418)

HP paid $1.2 Billion. That's about $1 Billion more than it was really worth. I think Apple, RIM, and Google deliberately hobbled HP by bidding up the price but not high enough that HP would not still take that dinosaur into their house.

Palm webOS is not a "dinosaur". It's brand new and arguably the best modern smartphone OS out there. It just needs time and money to develop - time and money that Palm did not have, but which HP does have. Palm and HP need each other (as HP has been going nowhere in the mobile business), so it was a good match and money well spent.

You can't really say that because webOS had it's chance to sell well to consumers and nobody bought it. Phones must be culturally hip to sell well. WebOS does not need more time, it needs the documented ability to get you laid if you pull it out in a bar.

Re:To jack up the price for HP (1)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924328)

HP paid $1.2 Billion. That's about $1 Billion more than it was really worth.

Something is worth what someone will pay for it. Therefore, HP paid what it's worth.

I have no doubt that there will be a positive ROI on the purchase.

Re:To jack up the price for HP (2, Informative)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925262)

By that definition, fraud doesn't exist, just FYI. It's a really fucking dumb meme you're spreading.

Re:To jack up the price for HP (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925496)

HP paid $1.2 Billion. That's about $1 Billion more than it was really worth. I think Apple, RIM, and Google deliberately hobbled HP by bidding up the price but not high enough that HP would not still take that dinosaur into their house.

HP is famous for spending more than the target is worth - or what it si worth, but then blowing-it when it comes to selling/integrating it later

Why not Microsoft, Nokia, or Sony? (3, Insightful)

CaroKann (795685) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921320)

I think these companies missed out on a good thing.

Microsoft would gain the WebOS, plus some phone hardware. In Microsoft's hands, the WebOS could have been offered across multiple hardware platforms, creating a good competitor to Android. Or, Microsoft could have simply folded aspects of the WebOS into Windows 7.

Nokia would have immediately regained a good, solid foothold in the US market.

Sony would have gained a versatile OS to power its device portfolio.

Re:Why not Microsoft, Nokia, or Sony? (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921548)

I think any of these companies could develop an OS for less than $1.2bn and I can't see it taking them that much time either. It's not like they would have to start from scratch.

How are they not starting from scratch? (1, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922502)

I think any of these companies could develop an OS for less than $1.2bn and I can't see it taking them that much time either. It's not like they would have to start from scratch.

That's true of Nokia, since they have Meego.

But Microsoft and Sony - Microsoft did pretty much start from scratch, it's Windows Mobile 7. And Sony has less than nothing, not even really having mobile hardware at the moment.

For them it could have been a big boost. But Sony is for some reason staying out of Mobile, and Microsoft turns down anything that's not somehow C# based.

Re:How are they not starting from scratch? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924284)

And Sony has less than nothing, not even really having mobile hardware at the moment.

For them it could have been a big boost. But Sony is for some reason staying out of Mobile,

What about Sony-Ericsson?

Re:Why not Microsoft, Nokia, or Sony? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925814)

I doub't it.
First they would have to wade though endless software patents and try and find none infringing ways to do things.
WebOS is actually a really good OS for mobile devices and that is not an easy thing to make. Take a look at WinMo as an example of how hard it can be.

Re:Why not Microsoft, Nokia, or Sony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921998)

Sony would have gained a versatile OS to power its device portfolio.

Clearly, you have forgotten that SONY is uninterested in an OtherOS.

Re:Why not Microsoft, Nokia, or Sony? (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922016)

Microsoft would gain the WebOS,

Not in a million years. Remember the Kin. MSFT could buy the Pre, spend two years porting windows 7 to it then sell a few thousand units and write it off on their tax.

Re:Why not Microsoft, Nokia, or Sony? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922068)

MS would have killed WebOS never will they put forth anything based on linux. Their CEO called it a cancer.

Re:Why not Microsoft, Nokia, or Sony? (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:Why not Microsoft, Nokia, or Sony? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32923100)

if MS had bought it ... they'd release a new phone 18 months late and then kill it after a few weeks.

if Nokia had bought it ... it'd show up as another series of phones in their product lineup and just slot in there and be noticeable only by customers who're looking for it

if Sony had bought it, the primary future development of WebOS would be DRM-related and the future phones will be sleek and thin, but overheat easily

Re:Why not Microsoft, Nokia, or Sony? (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32923212)

I can imagine it now, Microsoft buying Palm for WebOS then like the Kin it gets canned. If Microsoft purchased a race horse by the time it got through all the layers of admin crap that is Microsoft you would have a camel.

Re:Why not Microsoft, Nokia, or Sony? (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925512)

I can imagine it now, Microsoft buying Palm for WebOS then like the Kin it gets canned. If Microsoft purchased a race horse by the time it got through all the layers of admin crap that is Microsoft you would have a camel.

No: by the time it was through all the "layers of admin crap", you'd have glue.

Re:Why not Microsoft, Nokia, or Sony? (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32923394)

Agree 100%.

Especially for Microsoft - with their funding the WebOS team could have been given the task of developing WinPhone7 (i.e. WebOS rebranded and with silverlight). They'd actually get a pretty damn good OS out of it then. Considering their current implementation is terrible (sounds like it was designed by a committee of people who've never used a smartphone) it's a no brainer.

Plus graffiti would be perfect for tablets - it's easy to write and much more accurate than standard handwriting recognition.

Be Inc included (5, Informative)

Henriok (6762) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921414)

It would have been an epic irony if Apple had bought Palm and gotten the remnants of Be Inc with it. I love the tech industry! I made a graph over the turbulent history of Palm, sorting out the finer details in the timeline. For those of you that haven't payed attention the last 20 years. http://alltommac.se/files/2010/04/palm-history-graph.png [alltommac.se]

Re:Be Inc included (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921514)

wow by going off that graph the company is a sinking ship, so much to survive, selling off parts and then buy it back later, merging and splitting up... i have a treo somewhere at home, was good (although the touch screen would always make calls in my pocket) looks like people USE palm for its patents, get what they want then sell off the company.

Re:Be Inc included (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32923426)

My god, that graph is a real mess, surely that is not how your brain works. You seem to be switching between people and companies and technologies.

Re:Be Inc included (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32923822)

It was made to illustrate a mess, so I'm glad you got the point.

Re:Be Inc included (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924680)

It would have been an epic irony if Apple had bought Palm and gotten the remnants of Be Inc with it.

Where's the irony? It would permit Steve to put the last nail in BeOS' coffin, proving how great NeXTStep 11, er, OSX is. Well, to him. Seems like a natural thing to do when you're leading a cult of personality. Maybe not logical, but then "you're holding it wrong, don't hold it like a phone" is batshit insane. Regardless, it would have made absolutely zero business sense for Apple to buy Palm. Apple does not need the tech (too late to go BeOS anyway) and would not get the customers.

Re:Be Inc included (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925522)

It would have been an epic irony if Apple had bought Palm and gotten the remnants of Be Inc with it.

Where's the irony? It would permit Steve to put the last nail in BeOS' coffin, proving how great NeXTStep 11, er, OSX is. Well, to him. Seems like a natural thing to do when you're leading a cult of personality. Maybe not logical, but then "you're holding it wrong, don't hold it like a phone" is batshit insane. Regardless, it would have made absolutely zero business sense for Apple to buy Palm. Apple does not need the tech (too late to go BeOS anyway) and would not get the customers.

Except Palm already sold-off the remnants of Be Inc

Jon Rubenstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921742)

Apple wants him back!

Has anyone ever used the WebOS? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922522)

The hardware is a little suspect but the OS itself is the best mobile OS out there. True multitasking, great scheduling (with support for multiple Exchange servers), integrated Facebook, etc. The messaging app is fantastic too. HP says that they won't make another phone, which is too bad. With a decent handset, WebOS is head and shoulders above anything else currently available.

Re:Has anyone ever used the WebOS? (3, Informative)

billhuey (183070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922648)

Yes, iPhone & Android fanboys just don't know.

However WebOS has its fair share of nasty bugs that include a system-wide memory that forces you to reboot at some point. The messaging app is barebones and need notifications for when a user comes online.

The cloud aware contact integration is pretty much out of this world at this point. I was able to add a simple Jabber protocol and it was able to 'join' folks I know against all existing contacts intelligently.

The browser could be better as well, fewer bugs. Overclocked kernels running at 720mhz with 24M compcache seems to be the magic sweet spot now for the original Sprint device.

A lot of folks in the homebrew community is pretty hardcore about hacking this device.

Re:Has anyone ever used the WebOS? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924274)

The main killer features I found were all to do with web-based service integration - pulling in your Facebook/Google/yahoo contacts into a pool where you link them together, their IMAP IDLE support, and Google Calendars support. I've yet to see anything quite as impressive elsewhere.

Re:Has anyone ever used the WebOS? (1)

Geeky (90998) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924596)

The main killer features I found were all to do with web-based service integration - pulling in your Facebook/Google/yahoo contacts into a pool where you link them together, their IMAP IDLE support, and Google Calendars support. I've yet to see anything quite as impressive elsewhere.

Actually I hated the integration of contacts and don't use it now. When I want to make a phonecall I don't want to be wading through dozens of people I only know on Facebook. It just clutters the address book.

Re:Has anyone ever used the WebOS? (1)

cartzworth (709639) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925024)

You actually look through your address book? I just start typing...

Re:Has anyone ever used the WebOS? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32923060)

HP says that they won't make another phone, which is too bad.

No, HP said no such thing.

There will be more phones using webOS.

What the HP CEO said, which was misinterpreted, was that there would also be non-phone devices using webOS: printers, pads, etc.

Re:Has anyone ever used the WebOS? (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32923304)

HP did not say they will not make another phone, a new Palm phone is very likely.

Here's hoping that Google wins... (1)

epp_b (944299) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922628)

I mean, really, who cares if whatever they'd use it for would be in beta for five years?

RIM over-complicates every step of working with their devices and has a system deliberately created with a central, single point of failure.

I don't think I need to describe to the Slashdot crowd why Apple should keep away.

Here's to me... (1)

epp_b (944299) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922636)

Not reading the story. Disregard that, I... um... never mind.

Re:Here's hoping that Google wins... (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922712)

um...... try reading TFA...... and some of the comments.... HP ALREADY WON

Re:Here's hoping that Google wins... (1)

mwolfe38 (1286498) | more than 4 years ago | (#32923516)

well, the winner of the bid doesn't necessarily "win". Perhaps the losers in this bidding war are the true winners.

BeOS (1)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922924)

They wanted the rights to BeOS. :)

They all wanted decent calendar & address apps (1)

Fencepost (107992) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922998)

Although they'd probably have been better off donating a few million to http://www.gorilla-haven.org/ [gorilla-haven.org] to get Pimlico's DateBk6 (http://www.pimlicosoftware.com/ [pimlicosoftware.com] ). I'm still amazed at how relatively crappy the calendar and address book apps are on Blackberries 10 years after people figured it out properly on the Palm, and I don't think I've ever heard of anyone being truly happy with address books on any of the big smartphones.

Happens All The Time (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32923786)

Google bid up 4G Spectrum to force the neutrality rule.

Verizon and AT&T both bid up the other's acquisitions in order to cost them money. Some of it may have been to get what's left of Palm, but I bet the Majority wanted the other to overpay for that patent portfolio.

Why buy Palm? (1)

mbstone (457308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924164)

Um, because there is a large user base out there that needs a migration path? Because some of us still have Palm memo, contact, and calendar databases?

HP *needs* Palm more than the others (2, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925370)

Because HP isn't in the OS business, yet. Think about it, right now, HP is beholden to Microsoft for stuff to run on their hardware. And right now, it is clear that MS is screwing up right and left in anything OTHER than a desktop OS/Office suite. They have *no* mobile solution. And mobile is the future.

Apple has lead the way, and Google is catching up fast. We're not sure where RIM is, but they have annoucned a Tablet, which means that *maybe* they have an OS for it.

But HP's "slate" will be an abysmal failure, UNLESS they have a killer OS ... something that can take on the iPad and really revolutionize the market. And who has a Tablet OS that's actually good enough to take on Apple?

Why, that would be Palm. Poor Palm, hamstrung by lackluster marketing and so-so hardware, with mediocre sales as a result. Yet, their OS (and patent portfolio) is so valuable, I'm surprised half of Silicon Valley isn't trampling over each other to get it.

A Tablet running WebOS could actually compete with the iPad. *If* if were marketed properly, and *if* the hardware was good too. Ironically, HP is the only company I would trust to make decent hardware, even after the purging of all their good engineers due to Carly. But they have the muscle and the East Asia contacts to make it happen.

In other words, HP could make Microsoft irrelevant in the mobile marketplace... With Google playing catch-up. Now wouldn't *that* be ironic?

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925804)

They all wanted a Palm job. Who doesn't, really?
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