Oracle, the leader in Java development tools plans to enter the mobile space. Oracle founder, Larry Ellison revealed considering the purchase of Blackberry maker Research in Motion or Palm. The confident Larry added “I had the idea we could enter the smartphone business and compete”.

Plenty of companies were considering the deal and Larry Ellison confirmed in court testimony that his company- Oracle- had considered snapping Palm back in the day. While Oracle thought, HP purchased the Palm for $ 1.2 billion.

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HP has decided to open source parts of webOS 3.0.5 and labeled it as community edition. Though we are very happy about this baby step towards open sourcing, the actual open sourcing is far from real at present.

According to a blog post at HP webOS developer blog

Note that this release is not directly related to our Open webOS project, which remains dedicated to open sourcing an up-leveled version of webOS…

…We are publishing this legacy code to provide members of our community around the globe the ability to work with legacy devices using the current platform. One of our core values is that as many components of future and legacy operating systems should be open to the community. We value the contributions the webOS community has made over the past few years, and hope that this additional release will help you better understand the platform and create a constructive environment for moving forward as Open webOS itself is released.

Finally some sense towards the legacy devices…!!!

Phil McKinney, the ex CTO at HP, is also known as an ace innovator in the industry. He left HP last year to pursue his “other interests”.

His book Beyond the Obvious: Killer Questions That Spark Game-Changing Innovation promotion saw an interview of his with fellow author Rick Mathieson. According to McKinney

[The Palm acquisition] was going to be a long term effort. Palm was struggling and HP was stepping in, doing the acquisition, and we were basically going to take three years hands-off. Palm was basically going to get cash infusions, resources, and expertise. But Palm was going to be given three years to basically get itself positioned to be a market leader in its space. Now, fast forward to July of 2011 and, one, you had a swap out of the CEOs – Leo comes in as the new CEO – and HP, for whatever reason – I was not a part of this decision – made the decision to kill it, one year into the three year program. This is an example of not committing long term to the resources and not having patience for innovation.

McKinney was in the core team that was responsible for the acquisition of Palm, but he was not there when the plug was pulled.

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John Rubinstein has reportedly left HP. The Palm chief boarded HP when HP purchased Palm in July 2010.

Rubinstein said that he had intended moving on since before the launch of the TouchPad, but that he was asked to stick around and help them with the webOS transition.

He had told the following to All Things D on webOS

well, if HP invests in it the way it says it’s going to and they can build a community around it — and that’s not just people developing for the platform, but other companies using it — it will do well.

We wish him luck in his future endeavors..!!!

Meg Whitmen et al have decided to fill in the vacant spot of the Chief Strategy Officer at HP. This spot was previously held by Shane Robison, who took retirement. In addition to being CSO, Veghte will also be heading HP’s Cloud and webOS open source programs.

According to the press release by HP,

HP Names Bill Veghte Chief Strategy Officer

PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 17, 2012

HP today announced that Bill Veghte has been appointed chief strategy officer.

In addition to his new responsibilities, Veghte will continue in his current role as executive vice president of HP Software.

As chief strategy officer, Veghte will be responsible for keeping HP on the cutting edge of innovation. He will work with HP’s senior business and technology leaders to help define the IT industry’s future and make certain HP continues to lead the way. Veghte’s new role reaffirms HP’s commitment to providing customers with the latest platforms, products and services needed for success in a rapidly changing world.

“Every 10 to 15 years, fundamental shifts occur in the IT industry that redefine how technology is delivered,” said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer. “From mainframes to client/server to the internet, companies that identified the opportunity first and developed the right strategy came out on top. As we move forward, HP intends to stay on top, and I believe Bill has the knowledge and vision to keep us there.”

In addition to helping drive strategy for the company as a whole, Veghte will lead HP’s cloud and webOS open source initiatives.

Veghte joined HP in 2010. In the most recent fiscal year, he grew HP’s software business by 18 percent. Prior to HP, he spent two decades at Microsoft in a variety of senior leadership positions. Most recently, he managed the company’s $15 billion global Windows® business and was instrumental in the delivery and launch of Windows 7.

Nothing much to add here except we hope these changes bring some good for the webOS platform, which is now pretty “dead” dead…!!!

For people on webOS 1.4.5 devices, you were definitely missing on a decent document editor for your Pre, Pre+, and Pixi. Worry not, for Picsel SmartOffice Suite has arrived.

Picsel has released a version of it’s SmartOffice suite for 1.4.5 devices complete with viewing, creating, and editing MS Office documents, which can be further shared via Dropbox or Google Docs. Future updates will improve support for PowerPoint, while Adobe PDF is also supported.

You can download the Picsel SmartOffice Suite from https://developer.palm.com/appredirect/?packageid=com.picsel.app.smartofficepre&applicationid=1000135

Nothing much to add here…!!

Agreed that the webOS (and Palm) was ahead of it’s time. In fact it was so ahead that the technology needed to perfect it just wasn’t there. Majority of the blogosphere has unanimously agreed that webOS never had a fighting chance and Apotheker killed it like a fly (we know its sad).

But Mobile Health News has something different to report

Andrew B. Holbrook, a research associate at Stanford’s Department of Radiology, developed an application for the TouchPad to control the MRI’s operations by interfacing with a PC server located outside the MRI room. Computers currently used to control MRI machines are cumbersome, requiring special construction to reduce their amount of metallic components which pose a safety risk.

The TouchPad has multiple features useful for healthcare applications: its mostly plastic construction is ideal for being used near the MRI’s magnetized chamber (any metal components found within the tablet, such as a vibration motor and speakers, can be removed while keeping the device functional), and webOS’s multitasking support allows users to quickly switch between multiple applications.

So who knows if maybe Meg Whitman gives it a shot and the Touchpad as well as the webOS are resurrected. What if she undoes what Apotheker has done? Only time will tell.

PS: Apart from Symbian, I have not seen an OS that is as fierce when it comes to multitasking. webOS was almost there but it was euthanized by an overly eager fool.

As promised by Meg Whitman, the HP webOS decision was to be taken in 3-4 weeks. Three weeks have passed, and Meg has said in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro that the decision will be taken in another two weeks.

She is most concerned about webOS and the 600 odd employees that formed the webOS GBU. HP might be considering Windows 8 as it’s next operating system but we can never be too sure about it. Maybe she’ll revive webOS.

Stay tuned for more..!!!

HP has released their financial report for Q4, and the results are not quite good. HP has lost a good $3.3 Billion post taxes. Out of this, a solid chunk of $2.1 Billion was a direct loss due to killing of the webOS platform, with thanks from the Mad King (aka Apotheker).

That makes it pretty square. HP has spent a Lot of money on the webOS platform. We just hope they keep it  alive.

Source

While everyone was skeptical that HP might soon announce a plan for it’s ill fated webOS, Meg Whitman surprised everyone (well, not everyone) by saying

It’s really important to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision.

Well said Meg. This decision is a wise decision as per me. Unlike Leo Apotheker, who just went madly destroying everything, Meg thinks she can arrive at a worthy decision within three to four weeks.

While it was highly speculated that the brilliant webOS would be sold off to the highest bidder from an array of heavyweights, Meg responded by saying

If HP decides [to keep webOS], we’re going to do it in a very significant way over a multi-year period

…it’s a very expensive proposition, but HP can make that bet.

Well, good going Meg, is all we have to say. Hope that you take a decision that is as much in favor of HP as it is in favor of the developers who word pretty hard to keep the platform alive.

Source

The rumor mill was churning crazy that after retaining the PC business, HP was going to kill webOS. But Todd Bradley refutes the claim.

He stamps these as “unfounded rumors”. According to Engadget

He went on to say that "accolades for the operating system are broadly known" and that the company is focusing on how to "effectively utilize that phenomenal software."

While Meg Whitman is all for webOS, rumor has it that there would be a tight lipped stance towards anything concerning webOS, at least for some time.

Apparently Meg is not dumb like Leo Apotheker (whom I like to call Aerys Targeryan, the mad king) to understand that there has been no ROI on webOS yet, and apparently a big sum was spent to set up the webOS division and on the R&D. This amount would be a blot on the balance sheets if the whole webOS thing is flushed down the toilet.

We will keep you updated, not on rumors, but on rumors that make some sense. That is what our network is all about Winking smile.

Stay tuned…!!!

The already dead webOS is officially on life support. According to the Palm Blog

A new over-the-air update for HP Touchpad is now available. (For details about how over-the-air updates work, click here.)

Some of the new functionality you’ll find in the new update include:

  • A new Camera app for photos and video
  • The ability to pair non-webOS phones to your Touchpad, so you can answer calls on your Touchpad. Pairing with non-webOS Bluetooth keyboards has also been streamlined.
  • Support for OGG Vorbis music files
  • Online/offline messaging status support.

In addition to new features, you’ll also experience better performance, user interface improvements, and other enhancements such as support for accelerometer events in Adobe Flash Player, and more robust Skype video calling.

The complete changelog can be found here. This update is a sigh of relief to all those buyers who spent their hard earned money (including the lucky ones who got their Touchpads for $100) and bought a device that was killed days later.

Leo Apotheker, aka the wrecker of our beloved webOS, as we all know, has been told to step down from the position of CEO. Customarily, every CEO writes a memo to all the employees before using his access card the last time.

Here is Leo’s goodbye memo

TO: All HP Employees
FROM: Léo Apotheker

Dear HP Employees:

This afternoon, HP issued a press release announcing my resignation as president and CEO, positions I have held with great honor this past year. Meg Whitman will assume the role of president and CEO.

As you know, Meg is a technology visionary with a proven track record of execution and has served HP well as a member of the board for the past eight months. Meg will be supported by a broad and deep management team, and I have the utmost confidence that HP will succeed in executing its strategic evolution.

On a personal level, I cannot begin to express the admiration I have for all of you – and what you have accomplished together. Over the past year, we were tasked with developing a strategic vision for HP and I know we have made important contributions to the company’s future.

Your efforts on behalf of HP and your dedication to our customers have inspired me – and I am confident that HP has a bright future because of the talented people that come to work here every day. Thank you for your commitment to HP and for your dedication in serving HP’s customers and partners. It has been a tremendous honor and a pleasure to work with you here at HP.

Sincerely,

Léo Apotheker

 

Well, that is a brisk one.

Gartner, the analyst firm, has lowered it’s forecast for the number of Android tablets shipped since it’s last prediction in the previous quarter. The projection has been lowered by as much as 28%.

The global media tablet sales to end users are to amount to 63.6 million units this year, which is a staggering 261.4% increase from 2010 sales of 17.6 million.

Android tablets are forecast to ship 11 million units in 2011, accounting for 17.3 percent of total sales – up only slightly from Android’s 2010 market share of 14.3 percent.

According to Gartner’s Carolina Milanesi

Google will address the fragmentation of Android across smartphone and tablet form factors within the next Android release [the Ice Cream Sandwich], which we expect to see in the fourth quarter of 2011…

…“Android can count on strong support from key OEMs, and has a sizeable developer community.

She also commented on the holistic picture

…We expect Apple to maintain a market share lead throughout our forecast period by commanding more than 50 percent of the market until 2014…

…This is because Apple delivers a superior and unified user experience across its hardware, software and services. Unless competitors can respond with a similar approach, challenges to Apple’s position will be minimal.

The data released by Gartner is as follows.

gartner tablet forecast

Worldwide Sales of Media Tablets to End Users by OS (Thousands of Units, September 2011)

The demand for MeeGo anad webOS is clearly out of proportions (pun intended). And QNX is also predicted not to sell well, adding to the woes of the already troubled RIM.

Since the demand for the tablets is very high, this makes me think about the future of laptops, netbooks and desktops.

Source: Gartner

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