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Amazon In Talks With HP To Buy Palm

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the might-come-in-handy-some-day dept.

HP 72

Nemilar writes with this excerpt from VentureBeat: "Who will save what's left of Palm from HP's bumbling? It could be Amazon, as the online retailing giant is in serious negotiations to snap up Palm from HP. No other company seems as fitting a home for Palm and its webOS software. It's worth noting that former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein, who now holds a vague 'product innovation' role at HP's Personal Services Group, joined Amazon's board late last year."

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72 comments

A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

brian.swetland (1739666) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570434)

Seems pretty absurd to me. They just launched an Android-based platform with Amazon-customized UI, their apps already run on Android devices (of which there are quite a few out there), and they have their shiny new cloud-assisted browser, built on Android and EC2. What do they need WebOS for? How are they a "fitting home" for it?

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37570500)

the guy who wrote the article is an idiot.
amazon wants them for their patents, nothing else.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (4, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570632)

you are the idiot. Amazon wants a tablet locked in to their content. webOS provides much better lock-in than a neutered vesion of Android that's sure to be hacked and forced open sooner or later. Amazon is probably the only player aside from Apple/Google/MS to be in a position to create and support an ecosystem.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37570858)

yes lets throw millions of dollars to recreate the wheel cuz web os fanboys are our target market. idiot.

GAAAAARRRH!!!! (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571182)

the guy who wrote the article is an idiot.

you are the idiot.

yes lets throw millions of dollars to recreate the wheel cuz web os fanboys are our target market. idiot.

NERD RAGE, NERD FIGHT!!!! Somebody call Jerry Springer. Move out midgets and hookers, nerds are in da house!

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571130)

and how are the current apps in the amazon market going to work?

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37571314)

Kind of like how they work right now. Running on someone else's device.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571324)

One word: emulation!

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37601528)

"Alien Dalvik" made by Myriad, which was demoed running an Android app on Maemo on the N900 back in February (although Myriad are not interested in selling it to the average consumer), since Pre games can be made to run on the N900 fairly easy, it is a pretty good bet it can be made to work on WebOS easily.

Or "ACL" by OpenMobile which seems to be much the same as Alien Dalvik in allowing Android apps to run on non-Android OSes, I believe they released a video of it running on Meego.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37572928)

you are the idiot. Amazon wants a tablet locked in to their content. webOS provides much better lock-in than a neutered vesion of Android that's sure to be hacked and forced open sooner or later. Amazon is probably the only player aside from Apple/Google/MS to be in a position to create and support an ecosystem.

What do you mean "locked in"? Amazon was the first major DRM-free digital music store, and all the stuff in the "Cloud Player" is easily downloadable. While I haven't looked at their streaming video service, I don't doubt that there's some kind of DRM there, but I don't think the content owners would let them provide such a service without it. Of all the major players in the digital content market space, Amazon seems to be the best about staying away from lock-in. They do try to provide a big "all-in-one" shopping experience, but they're pretty good about letting you walk away if you choose.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

DadLeopard (1290796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37579118)

Uh, you have heard of the Kindle haven't you! you might also want to check into Amazons Proprietary eBook format that can only be read by Kindle or kindle apps! So yes they are looking for a "lock-in" just like Apple does with iPad and their ilk! They have an opportunity to out Apple Apple, since they can get away with a less feature rich device selling at a loss!

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37570512)

Possibly IP assets and hardware expertise?

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575566)

HP just sacked all of the WebOS hardware people. They can't sell that expertise. That was a really dumb decision. If they wanted to get rid of WebOS, they should have kept them onboard and sold the hardware and software division together (or fired the hardware guys after they sold the software team if no one wanted them). If they really wanted to be like IBM though, they should have kept both and sold their services to other companies. When Amazon wants a new Kindle and B&N wants a new Nook, HP should be approaching them with offers to design the whole thing, hardware and software.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570590)

Three thoughts.

#1 is obvious - patents. Perhaps they expect Apple to sue them trying to block sales, or MS to come collecting fees, and think that Palm has a patent portfolio that is a good deterrent in mobile tech (which wouldn't be surprising).

#2 is that Amazon sees patent problems with Android, especially the ones with Oracle, and thinks that there is a good chance that this will translate to considerable $$$ payouts for anyone who's building their systems on that (since, obviously, Oracle will sue all Android manufacturers for licensing fees if they win the fight with Google). And so they want a safe fallback platform, preferably one that is already stable and proven, yet not completely different (still Linux at heart).

#3 is that Android that runs on Kindle Fire is very different from your typical Android. To a casual user, it's pretty much unrecognizable. To that extent, one wonders if they could take webOS and slap an Android compat layer on top of that (given that it's also Linux-based, it's probably not all that hard to make Dalvik run there). Not sure what would possibly be gained by doing that, but from what I heard, webOS is better at smooth UI than Android.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570748)

given that it's also Linux-based, it's probably not all that hard to make Dalvik run there

Maybe I'm misremembering, isn't Dalvik the part of Android that Oracle is suing over? I thought that was the whole reason that Palm didn't want to implement it, sure it would give them access to all the Android apps that are already made (and then we'd have to retrain everyone to think of them as Dalvik apps which Joe Public is never going to understand) but it would open them up to the same lawsuits Google is facing.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571494)

Yes, so it's either #2 or #3, not #2 AND #3.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

saikou (211301) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570848)

#1. Weren't most of the Palm patents sold out already? Of course whichever is left could be "enough" but still...

#2. "Visible" problems are always better than new ones. Unless Oracle actually closely examined Palm/HP's stuff you can't say if there will be lawsuits later, so blindly buying new operating system might be actually worse than letting Oracle and Google hash it out in court.

#3. So what? Look at HTC -- the older versions of Android skinned with HTC's Sense were almost unrecognizable from the stock Android. Same is for Nook, for example -- android inside, pretty skin hiding "unnecessary functions" on the outside. In this case Amazon would have to port all of their stuff onto webOS. On top of shelling out some money for the purchase and having developers work on the further development of OS.

While I suppose Amazon can pull in enough developers that weren't even looking at Web OS for now, there's still going to be a ramp-up time for "open" part of the system (third party apps). And I don't know how long it will take for major software houses to migrate enough of their developers onto WebOS if they haven't done it up to this point.

So I have to wonder if there's some other reason for this presumed purchase (perhaps to prevent Chinese manufactures from getting "their own" os so freshly bought asset will simply be mothballed?). Or the whole information is just wrong and Venture Beat is simply being used to pump up the price -- you know, "well, we'd sell to you for $$ but there's Amazon that's soooo interested, would you like to increase your bid amount now?"

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37571042)

FUD FUD an FUD. Fire can be rooted making it a damn cheap slab.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571530)

Given that there's more than a month to the release date of Fire, how do you know that it can be rooted, and e.g. does not have a locked bootloader?

And even if it can, what difference does it makes for any of my points? Do you seriously think that Amazon considers the "I'll buy it, root it and slap CM on it" folk their primary target audience?

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571062)

It's not just Oracle. Android-based vendors are lining up to pay Microsoft as much as $10 a unit as well.

And, by the way, since Amazon isn't paying Google, it's possible Oracle will go after Amazon as well.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571584)

Well, Microsoft so far is content with just collecting a fairly modest (comparable to what you pay for other commercial mobile OSes) licensing fee - this cuts into the profit margin of Android vendors, but I doubt it's significant; they can still keep selling the product and making money. Oracle, on the other hand, seems to be bent on either getting a huge payout for Java, or (recently) even forcing Google to drop Dalvik altogether because it's not "standard Java". The latter, in particular, would really hurt Android as a platform.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570668)

Well they could always have later versions of the Kindle Fire based on WebOS, and I would wonder if they could even issue a new software update for the Fire that moved it over to Palm. Their applications, include their "shiny new browser", can probably be ported over.

Although their Fire is currently running Android, it doesn't seem like they're aiming aiming to create "just another Android tablet". They want it to be highly customized and focused on directing you to their own services rather than providing a completely open system that encourages you to pull content from wherever.

So given that they're not tied to a particular back-end and they're looking to completely customize the front end, it's probably a pretty good fit. At least, it's probably a better fit than anyone else who's likely to buy Palm.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570862)

I really hope not. I like WebOS and would've gladly taken it instead of Android but there is such a thing as too many choices. As a developer having to deploy to both iOS and Android is already a pain.. as a consumer if I see someone with an iPhone with an app it may or may not exist/run on Android or WebOS. It sucks for pretty much everyone involved other than the large corporations backing these systems.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571622)

You'll have to deal with Win8 once it comes out anyway, and it, like webOS, also promotes HTML5/JS as the app framework. Come to think of it, it would be quite ironic if Win8 would revive webOS app market...

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37572192)

Microsoft is hijacking the HTML5/JS terminology for Windows 8 similar to how they hijacked the Java language on the windows platform. The support for HTML5/JavaScript is really to use their proprietary WinRT framework. So Win8 apps will not work on webOS.

Re:A "fitting home"? Really? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37572304)

Microsoft is hijacking the HTML5/JS terminology for Windows 8 similar to how they hijacked the Java language on the windows platform. The support for HTML5/JavaScript is really to use their proprietary WinRT framework. So Win8 apps will not work on webOS.

There's no hijacking there, quite the opposite - a lot of things in WinRT are deliberately made inaccessible specifically to JS apps in those cases where a portable HTML5 solution exists instead (XAML UI being a prominent example, but there are many others). WinRT is there so that OS-specific features are exposed for those apps which want or need them - such as context menus ("charms"), or registering the app as a handler for a certain file type, or app lifecycle management; or for things that could be portable but aren't covered by HTML5 specs today (e.g. camera API).

This, by the way, is not any different from how HTML5 apps work on webOS, which also has its own proprietary API [palm.com] extending HTML5/JS core. This is inevitable, because the existing specs are simply not rich enough to cover all scenarios that are needed for a full-featured app that runs outside the browser.

So an existing webOS app will likely not run on Win8, and an app written specifically for Win8 will likely not run on webOS. However, because UI is HTML5/CSS in both cases, and because many APIs are standardized and thus shared, it's much easier to port. Furthermore, when someone starts writing a new app with portability in mind, it's fairly easy to account for OS differences, and to have a single HTML/CSS/JS codebase that uses portable APIs for its core functionality, and OS-specific APIs for deep integration on every targeted platform.

Heck, for some kinds of apps - e.g. if it's a 2D game, where you can just use Canvas - you might get away without having to use any platform-specific APIs at all.

Wait, what? (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570438)

What happened to my $5 offer?

Re:Wait, what? (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571118)

I offered them $5 and a grilled cheese sandwich. The real question is what happened to my offer! They already ate the sandwich and now they're talking to Amazon?!?!

Re:Wait, what? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571752)

They're not convinced you'll have the money until I finally pay yo mama.

First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37570462)

Post

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37570486)

Try first fail.
Still a first though.

Not Amazon! (1)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570480)

I want Google to buy Palm's assets so that the WebOS benefits (like the card interface) can be merged into Android. They can junk the hardware and just keep the good stuff that was part of WebOS.

Re:Not Amazon! (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570670)

I find the card interface is an irritating gimmick. It does nothing more than a regular task bar, takes up a whole screen to do it, and is slowish. Granted, throwing away apps instead of closing them is a small rush, but really, the card interface is wildly over-hyped.

Re:Not Amazon! (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570806)

The card interface is nice because it works on the given form factor better than any of the other implementations. Generally, in iOS and Android, you don't know what other applications are currently running. And a taskbar is almost always too small to use easily on a touch device, sure you could make it bigger but then its either taking up extremely valuable real estate or it needs to have a gesture or button to activate. Personally, I don't see it as much different that alt-tabbing through open windows in any desktop OS, though I grant that it would be nice to have two or more applications visible and intractable at the same time.

Re:Not Amazon! (3, Informative)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570990)

The N810's implementation of Maemo used a taskbar (on the left of the screen), and it worked just fine.

Re:Not Amazon! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575576)

I have a 770 running Maemo and a TouchPad, and I'd take exception to two things with your comment. First, Maemo didn't have a taskbar, it had a NeXT-style dock. Secondly, it didn't 'work fine'. Finding the window you want with the card interface is a lot easier. You had a small row of tiny icons in the dock with Maemo, and each one then expanded to a menu if you had multiple running instances.

Re:Not Amazon! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571400)

If it takes half a second to launch an app, on any platform, who cares if it's running or not?

Re:Not Amazon! (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571808)

I do, if my system is low on memory. It isn't just about opening them, sometimes it is about closing unneeded memory hogs.

Re:Not Amazon! (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37572262)

I've never known Android after 2.2 to be shy about killing a long-idle task taking up memory, if the GC needed it. Task-killer apps, and manually killing tasks, are completely OBE.

Re:Not Amazon! (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#37572572)

Order of the British Empire? They've knighted task-killing apps?

Re:Not Amazon! (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571792)

The app bar in iOS works just fine, either at iPhone or iPad sizes. It's small and discreet. Swiping to reveal it on the iPad is very nice.

And yes, the task switcher definitely SHOULD have a button or gesture to reveal it. Otherwise it's taking up valuable screen real estate no matter what it looks like or how small it is.

Re:Not Amazon! (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571168)

I can't disagree more. On tablets, at least (I've never used a webOS phone), it's leaps and bounds ahead of iOS and Android, in my view. It's not only a great way to see what's open, but you can see the current states of apps and organize them by task by placing them into stacks. And closing apps is not only simple, swiping cards away to close them is both a great metaphor and surprisingly fun (even after having a Touchpad for over a month).

In all honesty, I like it so much I'm selling my iPad in favor of my Touchpad.

Re:Not Amazon! (1)

slackergod (37906) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571354)

Relating to webOS phones... I regularly have 8+ browser pages open on my Palm Pre, and I can switch between them quickly with barely a glance and a couple of idly placed swipes with my thumb. I can't think of another ui that would make that work... even on a tablet, the "tabbed browser" interface is clunky. If they'd make a version of Android with 1) that interface, 2) webos's lack of jailbreaking, 3) something akin to Preware and it's offerings... I'd be a lot happier about switching to an Android phone when my Pre breaks.

Re:Not Amazon! (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570724)

I wonder if you could qualify as a charity with the stated goal of buying patents and copyrighted materials and releasing them to the commons. It's obviously got a stated goal to benefit the public good, but I don't see what 501(c) category it would fall into. Are there charities like this that exist already?

Might as well (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37570490)

A good 20% of the staff in Amazon's Kindle division (Lab126) are ex-Palm. They can rejoin their old coworkers.

Except I am told that many of the people left Palm because they didn't like working with some people there. And some people from Palm were glad that some of these people left because they were real assholes.

Re:Might as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37571872)

In my math that means: Minus and minus is plus! :D
They'll cancel each other out.

what happens to the kindle fire, exactly? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570544)

Ok I read TFA and I'm not sure how this is going to work out.

Amazon has an Android tablet but so heavily disguised you supposedly can't tell it's Android, and there is apparently some kind of appeal in adopting WebOS which they could also heavily disguise to look similar, although it probably won't be compatible with Fire first edition apps. What TFA doesn't say is what this does to the Fire early adopters. Nothing good, I suspect.

I was interested in the Fire, especially at that price point, but am now going to hold off and see how this plays out, which I recognize is the Osborne Effect revisited, but as much as I like Palm, and as much as I was attracted to the Fire, as a responsible consumer I can't buy every damned thing that comes out and then re-buy it when the *real* product succeeds it. The advantage is that Amazon isn't betting the farm on the Fire, so they can probably handle reduced sales while they work out their strategic direction.

Re:what happens to the kindle fire, exactly? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570600)

I will be getting a fire as soon as I hear cyanogenmod is ported to it. Hopefully it won't take too long. That way I have a nice cheap tablet no matter what amazon does in the future.

Re:what happens to the kindle fire, exactly? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570738)

Yes, but it doesn't have an SD card slot and not much memory. Without the Amazon Cloud behind it, storage is a bit miserly. My phone has more.

Re:what happens to the kindle fire, exactly? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571038)

8GB is miserly?
By what standard? My phone has twice that and I never even use half of it.

Re:what happens to the kindle fire, exactly? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37572108)

> 8GB is miserly?

> By what standard? My phone has twice that and I never even use half of it.

By the standard that your phone has twice that. :-) So does mine, and I do use it. (Not all users are a like.) In any case, *I'm* looking for a slate to replace the laptop I lug around, not just another device to prove my alpha-geekness, and as such it needs to meet certain requirements. In rule-of-thumb terms, it doesn't need to have the storage of my laptop, but it needs to have more storage than my phone. Or at least, replaceable storage.

Re:what happens to the kindle fire, exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37570694)

Pay $300 less and gamble on the first gen apps will still run/be re-written to run on an webOS influenced Fire...
Pay $300 more and get an awards-galore iPad 2 with way too many apps to be installed, be played with, and then be forgotten after a few weeks...

I also wonder if Amazon could just buy webOS for patents sack and not switch the platform completely... hmm... still want to play with this device on Nov 15...

Re:what happens to the kindle fire, exactly? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37571066)

Pay $300 more and get an awards-galore iPad 2 with way too many apps to be installed, be played with, and then be forgotten after a few weeks...

If they bring out a 7 inch iPad then I might be tempted. Otherwise, I just don't see the point. If I wanted to play around with too many apps then I already have a PC at home. If I want something portable then the iPad is simply too big (I could put it in a brief case but then I might as well bring my netbook - usually I don't).

Re:what happens to the kindle fire, exactly? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571714)

I'm waiting for Galaxy Tab 7.7 myself. Just the right size, and lighter than either Fire or Nook (it's 335 g, Fire is 413 g, iPad 2 is 600 g) - should be light enough to conveniently hold in one hand for a long time, e.g. for reading. And SAMOLED 1280x800 screen, of course. The only question is the price.

Re:what happens to the kindle fire, exactly? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570824)

Could they be looking to drop the WebOS UI (or aspects of it) onto an Android core? I haven't done any development in either as of yet, so I don't know how feasible such a thing would be, how integrated into the OS is the Android UI?

Re:what happens to the kindle fire, exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37602712)

WebOS is more or less standard Linux with a custom UI, porting the UI to another Linux distro would probably be trivial, however Android uses a completely different user space to regular Linux, the only bit they share is the kernel and even that is modified for Android. Now, I'm not a developer, but I'd imagine it would be easier to rewrite the UI for Android than port it from WebOS, at that point what value would buying Palm get them?

Re:what happens to the kindle fire, exactly? (1)

joebagodonuts (561066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576184)

Interesting term. Wouldn't a "responsible consumer" (from Amazon's POV) buy both? They have recommendations for you, too.

You're the reason the economy won't recover. /sarcasm

Not a bad idea (5, Interesting)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570566)

Consider that by buying WebOS they now have claim to the landslide of Touchpads that just sold AND all the positive marketing. Negotiate in a deal for upgrading the software for them, and you have one hell of an advertizing base...instantly. Not to mention owning all the patents as well.

Re:Not a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37570706)

The patents, the Pre and Touchbad market base, and can even enter the cellphone/touchpad market as a serious contender if they so choose.
Even if they are only a 10% item in cell phones, they will still make a lot. If Apple has another (as expected) post Jobs tech plummet, and Android gets sued into submission by M$ and Oracle (and others yet to be named) it could be that their would be an opening for a new phone to take a good portion (maybe even 20-30%) of the market. May sound crazy, but I could see Amazon, HTC or Samsung making a bid at Palm assets and actually being a market leader in the next few years. Just think how crazy it would sound say 3-4 years ago that Apple and Google would be fighting it out for the top 2 mobile phone positions (With Nokia, Ericson and Motorola NOWHERE In sight)

Re:Not a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37572658)

I agree, this seems to fit their strategy with the Fire.

If what I read was correct, Amazon is selling the Fire at $50 under cost, planning to recoup the investment with purchases. From Amazon's perspective, HP's firesale put Touchpads into the hands of thousands (millions?) of people at hundreds of dollars under cost, on someone else's dime. If they can buy webOS and the ability to push updates, they may get access to the consumers they are looking for with the Fire, on hardware they didn't have to subsidize or market.

Wow! (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570606)

I never thought I'd compare WebOS to the slut of the mobile OS world.

They really get around.

Amazon should buy HP (1)

xzvf (924443) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570620)

The only "good fit" about it is Amazon has stable and competent management.

This is probably great news. (2)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570710)

I bet the corporate culture at Amazon is better than it is at Palm at the moment, so a merger might be liberating for the employees. This is also great for competition; Android might get some benefits, but I'm looking forward to see how they will leverage their mindshare with their tablet business. It's nice to see another big name giving Apple a run for their money.

I think Google would have bought them a good while ago if they really wanted them. In fact, I think that they probably considered them before buying out Motorola Mobility and decided on the latter because of their (much) stronger patent portfolio.

For money? (2)

xx_chris (524347) | more than 2 years ago | (#37570818)

Take the money. Hopefully a lot but anything. Just take it. After a decade of bad mergers at least HP can shed itself of Palm. Maybe it will pay for the Meg Whitman exit package.

Was there an Amazon WebOS app in the works? (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571146)

If there's a nearly-baked Amazon app for WebOS and they like it, that would go a long way to speeding introduction of webos-branded stuff by amazon.

Does anyone know any details?

Re:Was there an Amazon WebOS app in the works? (1)

hirschma (187820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571384)

Um, the Touchpad shipped with the Kindle Reader. It was marked a Beta, but it works very well. And they just updated it a couple of weeks ago.

Great fit (1)

NameIsDavid (945872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37571658)

This makes perfect sense to me. With Android, Amazon doesn't have top-to-bottom vertical integration and control, since they still rely on Google to do the core Android development and thus need to either be beholden to Google's timing or continue to work with forks of older versions. If they buy WebOS, they now employ all the programmers and can coordinate all the pieces that go into their tablet. Then could also further develop their EC2-assistance technologies and extend them beyond Silk to further enhance tablet performance. Buy making their forward-facing UI software completely custom, it's independent of Android from the customer point of view, especially customers buying the device for media and not for Android app compatibiility. This should make it easier to transplant the UI onto a different core OS without confusing customers who've already learned the UI. They could eventually exposure more of WebOS over time and offer a fully-controlled app store for it. I even wonder if they'd create a special build for $99 TouchPad firesale customers, allowing them to transform their tablets into large-screen Kindle Fires. In effect, HP would have subsidized putting Kindle software into many more Amazon-media-consuming hands.

What's left of Palm? (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37572138)

What's left of Palm? There was something _left_ of Palm? I thought they were bought out and gutted and what was left of their assets absorbed by a company that had no interest in maintaining their product line a long time ago (well, a long time ago in internet time -- months and months and months).

Microsoft Kindle (1)

microphage (2429016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37572202)

"Microsoft and Amazon signed a licensing agreement in February last year that covers technology used in the Kindle and various other products. That agreement does not cover Amazon’s new Android-powered Kindle Fire tablet, BGR has learned, which means Amazon could be coughing up hefty licensing fees to Microsoft in the near future" link [bgr.com]

I guess this means WebOS won't go open source... (1)

jdeisenberg (37914) | more than 2 years ago | (#37572254)

I was hoping that HP would open source WebOS, but I don't think there's much chance of that happening if Amazon takes it over. Too bad. Of course, I can't really fault HP for trying to make money from Palm / WebOS if they can.

It might not be WebOS (1)

TheLoneGundam (615596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37572370)

Let's not forget that Palm had a lot of good experience developing simple UIs for use on portable devices and they had some good design ideas for not wasting battery life in applications, either. Some of the PDA functionality that Palm was so good at wouldn't be bad to have on a Kindle, really.

HP and Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37572832)

As a proud owner of a new HP tablet I am delighted at the prospect of this.WebOS almost get's it right and maybe with Amazons help something good will come out of it.

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