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HP splitting webOS from Palm Hardware

September 8th, 2011

HP splitting webOS from Palm Hardware

Over the weekend, two memos sent to employees of HP’s webOS Global Business Unit revealed that the company plans to separate the software units from the hardware unit. The software division will be moved over to HP’s Office of Strategy and Technology and report to EVP Shane Robison., and the hardware division will remain with the Personal Systems Group and report to Stephen DeWitt.

“With our focus on business and technology strategy, OS&T will be able to provide [the webOS software engineering, developer relations, and software product marketing teams] with the resources and support they need as we define the best monetization model,” wrote Shane Robison. “The webOS software employees join HP Cloud Services, Vertica, and Business Solutions as an incubating business group. However, while these teams will be joining OS&T we have decided not to initiate any integration activities. These teams will continue to operate under their current systems and processes until further notice. “

“Reorganizing the webOS software teams under OS&T allows us to fully investigate how we can utilize the webOS software platform,” wrote Todd Bradley in a separate letter. “The pan-HP charter of OS&T provides a broad view of how we can optimize our technologies. In fact, it has proven to be a successful incubator of technologies; it is home to a team of senior technology experts devoted exclusively to exploring longer-term strategies for our technologies. Currently, OS&T is incubating the HP Cloud Services business units, Vertica and Business Solutions. I would like to thank the teams moving to OS&T for their hard work, innovation and devotion to creating a differentiated customer experience. Their efforts are evident in the intuitive elegance of webOS, and they will not soon be forgotten.”

Bradley also added that the PSG must continue to ensure that “our customers, partners, colleagues and friends understand that we remain focused on creating amazing products, winning new business and showing the world why we continue to be the largest, most profitable PC company in the world.”

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Samsung: We’ll “Never” License HP’s webOS

September 6th, 2011

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

To make sure that the entire industry is on the same page with Samsung, company CEO Choi Gee Sung clearly stated on Friday that Samsung will “never” license HP’s webOS platform for smartphones and tablets. He made his anti-webOS stance during IFA in Berlin, Germany, noting that his South Korea-based company already has its own mobile OS.

“It’s not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion,” Choi told reporters. He added that Samsung is currently working to boost Bada’s software capabilities “harder than people outside think.” Currently the in-house OS is slated to appear on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note and three additional Wave smartphones.

Based on Choi’s comments, it appears that HP has one less prospect when it begins to properly shop webOS around to other manufacturers. Rumors of Samsung’s possible interest in webOS surfaced earlier this week after the company denied reports that it may purchase HP’s PC division. But like the speculated PSG acquisition, Samsung apparently has no interest in what HP has to offer.

Last month HP discontinued its webOS-based tablets and smartphones, but the company claimed that a number of parties were still interested in licensing the software. Speculation currently points to HTC as a possible candidate, and there’s also talk that Facebook needs to purchase (or at least license) webOS to better compete with Google and Apple. Naturally both have declined to comment on speculation.

Right now, HP is advertising its PC business as a possible $40B start-up company, separate from HP prime. HP has also stated that there’s a strong future for the webOS platform, but as of this writing, its $1.2B software purchase has been put on hold. The TouchPad tablet is slated to make another run at retail shelves for one last hurrah at the cheap $99 and $149 price points, but its brief popularity only indicates that consumers know a good bargain.

SOURCE via Pocket-Lint

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This HP TouchPad came with Android already installed

August 26th, 2011

This HP TouchPad came with Android already installed

The first Android-powered TouchPad is now up for sale on eBay. When the TouchPad fire sale kicked off last weekend, it seemed a lot of people were buying the TouchPad with the hope that someone would figure out a way to get Android to run on the device. The folks over on XDA Developers are working hard to port Android to the tablet, however, it looks like one TouchPad owner didn’t even have to try to get Android to run on his slate (or even wait around for someone else to figure it out), because his came running Android 2.2 out-of-the-box.

The device in question was purchased from Best Buy and flashes a Qualcomm Innovation Center logo when it boots up, which suggests that this could be a development unit that accidentally ended up in the retail channels. However, when Engadget contacted Qualcomm for a comment on the tablet, the company said it had nothing to say about the videos purporting to show Android on the TouchPad.

Whether it’s real or fake, it’s up for sale on eBay at the moment and bidding has reached $760. The seller even points out that the winner can use the tablet to apply for the $2100 bounty that’s being offered to the first person to get Android on the TouchPad.

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Will Facebook buy WebOS for their future smartphone development?

August 26th, 2011

Will Facebook buy WebOS for their future smartphone development?

Facebook could put a serious hurting on Google’s mobile numbers if it acquired webOS from HP and retooled the software as its own smartphone operating system. Although HP has yet to decide what it plans to do with webOS and its Personal System Group (PSG), Digitimes Research offers an interesting prediction that the company could hand its operating system over to Facebook. This would reportedly have a huge impact on the industry and could be just as successful as Google’s high-performance Android OS. And like Google, Facebook’s OS would depend solely on advertising, thus the software itself would be free to manufacturers.

“If HP decides to sell webOS to social network site Facebook, it would have the largest impact on competition in the mobile operating system market, among all other possible outcomes, since Facebook has shown ambitions to cut into the mobile operating system market with its acquisition of Snaptu, a company that has developed an application that allows feature phones to have a similar interface as that of smartphones,” reads the report.

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Microsoft woos webOS developers with free phones, training

August 23rd, 2011

Microsoft woos webOS developers with free phones, training

WebOS developers may not have had much good news in the past few days (apart from a slew of new TouchPad owners looking for apps), but they are at least getting some attention. That includes a message from Microsoft’s Senior Director of Windows Phone 7 Development, Brandon Watson, who offered free phones to published webOS developers on Friday, plus all the necessary tools and training to get them started with Windows Phone. Judging from his tweets since, the response has been fairly overwhelming — Watson says he’s received close to 600 emails from webOS devs as of Sunday evening.

SOURCE via @BrandonWatson(Twitter)

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HP TouchPad tops Amazon US sales, rumored for UK price drop

August 23rd, 2011

HP TouchPad tops Amazon US sales, rumored for UK price drop

Well, it’s official, the TouchPad is currently the hottest piece of consumer electronics around, and all it took was HP’s complete abandonment of its current line of webOS devices. The once maligned slate is currently atop Amazon’s electronics sales list. The 16GB and 32GB models have snagged the top two spots, beating out the Kindle, the iPod touch, and everyone else. And there may be some good news for UK customers who have been watching the excitement from afar — reports are rolling in that the tablet will available for £89 ($146) and £115 ($189) for the 16GB and 32GB versions. UK retailer Dixons is the first to confirm the price drop in UK. Well, better grab one while you can, and hope that the port to Android Gingerbread works!

SOURCE via Amazon

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HP TouchPads fly off shelves thanks to $99 firesale

August 23rd, 2011

HP TouchPads fly off shelves thanks to $99 firesale

A four hundred dollar discount has HP TouchPads flying off shelves. Is that HP’s original idea on how to kill the iPad?

Late last week, HP announced that it was nuking its tablet and smartphone lines and putting WebOS on hold. All well and good for HP, but retailers still had tons of unsold stock taking up shelf space. HP’s solution to that problem was a fire sale: The 16GB TouchPad was dropped from $400 to just $99, while the 32GB TouchPad fell to $149 from $500. This is in addition to the price drop that saw the sticker price for the two devices fall from $500 and $600, respectively. HP sent out the memo to its affiliates to drop the price starting August 20, but BestBuy.ca and Future Shop made the cut late on Friday night, leading to frenzied anticipation for U.S. retailers to drop their prices, too.

Of course, once they did, it didn’t take long for online stores like BestBuy.com to run out of stock completely. HP’s own website had trouble keeping up, suffering database errors on Saturday and 404′ing on Sunday. According to ZDNet, the company’s call center also had some serious problems on Saturday; the reps simply couldn’t handle the number of calls coming in from customers. In store, people queued for hours to get their hands on the limited numbers of TouchPads available and many left disappointed.

Did you manage to snag a TouchPad over the weekend? What made you buy it? Have you always wanted one, or were you, like us, sucked in by the extremely low price? Let us know in the comments below!

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Pre 3 slashed to $75 overseas, USA plans killed

August 23rd, 2011

Pre 3 slashed to $75 overseas, USA plans killed

HP has cancelled plans to sell its webOS-based Pre 3 in North America. Meanwhile, the phone is now selling in the UK and France for a meager $75. Earlier today, webOS chief Stephen DeWitt said that the unlocked Pre 3 smartphone is being launched in very select areas, and he wasn’t exaggerating. The phone already landed on European store shelves just one day prior to HP shutting down its webOS-based smartphone and tablet plans. But now there’s confirmation that HP has no plans to bring the third Pre device to the United States whatsoever.

Still, there’s a glimmer of hope for North American Pre owners wanting to upgrade: the device will work to some extent on AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s network. According to PC Magazine, it can access both carriers’ 2.5G EDGE networks, but for the 3G bands, the hardware only supports 900, 1900 and 2100 MHz. AT&T users will need both the 850 and 1900 MHz bands for full coverage, so 3G will be limited. Unfortunately, T-mobile users will simply be stuck with EDGE.

Like the TouchPad, HP has decided to drastically reduce the price of its Pre 3 smartphone: down to a mere $75. The phone already sold out in Germany, but consumers in the UK and France will be able to snag the device for the “fire sale” cost now until supplies last. That said, determined AT&T and T-Mobile customers here in the States may be able to order the $75 gadget overseas and have it shipped straight to their doorstep.

Originally launched alongside the TouchPad, HP’s Pre 3 smartphone features a 3.6-inch, 480 x 800 display, a 5MP camera with image stabilization, autofocus and an LED flash, 720p HD video capture, a 0.3MP front-facing camera, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 512 MB of RAM and a single-core 1.4 GHz Qualcomm processor.

SOURCE via PC Mag

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HP’s webOS still coming to PCs and printers, whether you care or not

August 23rd, 2011

HP's webOS still coming to PCs and printers, whether you care or not

Believe it or not, webOS chief Stephen DeWitt told AllThingsD on Monday that webOS is going to be a popular platform on a variety of connected devices. The outlook seems somewhat unusual given that HP publicly nuked its plans to continue development of smartphones and tablets based on its just-acquired webOS software. And right now it seems that the platform itself has been put “on hold” although it’s expected to appear on PCs and printers possibly next year.

The problem HP currently faces is that it’s not sure where the future of webOS resides. There are a number of options on the tablet including licensing out the operating system to other manufacturers, partner with a single company to produce devices, shift its webOS focus from smartphones and tablets entirely and a few other ideas. And despite what’s happened since HP acquired (and dismantled) Palm, there are external third parties still interested in the software.

“We’ve had a number of discussions and there’s a lot of interest around webOS,” said DeWit.

One aspect of the webOS future seems certain: it will arrive on HP desktops and printers. “We are continuing with our webOS-on-Windows work,” DeWitt said. The company will honor its previous commitments, but when that will take place he wouldn’t say, only indicating that the company will reveal its plans when it’s ready.

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Android Port for HP TouchPad Already Underway

August 23rd, 2011

Android Port for HP TouchPad Already Underway

Now that HP is liquidating its stock of TouchPad tablets with a “fire sale” which initially kicked off on Friday evening (instead of dumping them all in a landfill), what will consumers actually do with their new $100 tablet? The good news is that HP plans to continue support for both models, offering updates to the webOS system when needed.

But for those who don’t want webOS on the device, there’s even more good news: a port of Google 3.x “Honeycomb” is on the way. The project is in the good hands of the RootzWiki-based collective which aims to keep the project “as open as possible.”

According to this post, the first step will be to build with Gingerbread following the Android Open Source Project. Once the team is able to boot the device using Gingerbread, they’ll switch over to CyanogenMOD CM7 and continue on until a stable beta is reached. After that, they will continue to provide bug fixes for the Gingerbread build, but also begin working on a full Honeycomb port.

“If Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is released before or during our development of the Honeycomb port, we will stop and begin work on ICS,” the Touchdriod team states. Thomas Sohmers, one of the developers behind the project, also adds that they plan to have “a screen based button system similar to Honeycomb within Gingerbread.”

To keep up with the porting progress, head here. The group is also accepting donations via PayPal just in case someone accidentally bricks their TouchPad tablet in the process or if one needs to be taken apart for any reason.

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