Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How Palm webOS and sank - II

The acquisition process is surrounded in secrecy, even today. April 28, 2010, the new grave, HP buys Palm for $ 1.2 billion. Palm, is the satisfaction that wins. The first PC manufacturer in the world has the money it takes to develop competitive products. Mark Hurd, HP's CEO at the time, has big plans for webOS. The operating system will be integrated with all products, from computers to printers.

 The company is developing a webOS-based printer that will never be sold. HP does not know how to sell this device has everything that a smartphone grafted to a printer, which costs the same as a smartphone ...

But if Hurd is excited, this is not the case with the company's financial fears that Apple's hold on supply chains. "We told HP that we need better screens [for Pre 3]. They told us that "Apple has bought. Our suppliers tell us that we need to build a plant if we want the screens" and they were not willing to put billions of dollars to do it, "says a source at The Verge. The same situation occurs with the photo sensor.

Without the full financial support from HP, Palm is doing with what he has. And that's when the most important people behind webOS start from. Matias Duarte, causing the system interface, HP left to join Google and its Android team (read: [UPDATE] The chief quits Palm webOS interface for Google ...?). In August 2010, the CEO of HP is taken in a case of misconduct and is sacked by the board (read: HP, a ship without a captain). Palm loses its biggest supporter.

The disinterest of Leo Apotheker, the new CEO for Palm is visible almost instantly. He said he visited the campus of Palm maybe once, but nobody is able to give the date of the visit or its purpose. The talented team at Palm is quickly targeted by recruiters. Each employee is entitled to a personal interview with Rubinstein where it tries to convince them not to leave. Meanwhile, teams are working on the TouchPad. Internally, the software team of Palm speaks of a tablet made with "scrap components of the iPad. "And because Apotheker does not invest in a product that does not bring immediate benefits.

For accounting reasons, HP urges Palm to ensure that the TouchPad in March. Rubinstein on his table a launch in June The TouchPad comes to the U.S. July 1, 2011 ... and proves to be a fiasco. HP explains this failure in different ways. For some, the operating system was incomplete, for others, the price was too high. Proposed at the same rate as the iPad 2, the TouchPad could not fight against the tablet from Apple already well established. Rubinstein left his position as senior vice president of webOS a few days later but still in HP.Le sinking of webOS.

On August 18 there was a dramatic, HP announced it plans to separate its computer division and he is considering another strategy for webOS. Everyone is caught by surprise at Palm. The direction of HP was intentionally left side of Palm in making this decision.

The TouchPad Go, version 7 "of the TouchPad, has just been killed while its production was to begin two days later. As for the Windows version of webOS that just reached the stage of beta, the team develops it is dissolved. Pre 3 and Veer are still issued but are not supported by HP. "Leo [Apotheker] is the worst of people is ... the most toxic thing by far, "said a source from The Verge. Another testimony is less severe and makes an analogy to Microsoft and its mobile OS. The Redmond Company is spending billions of dollars each year to make room on the mobile market, a situation qu'Apotheker does not want to imitate. "This is a decision entirely fair" believes that other source.

HP plans to sell webOS. Both companies show interest: Google and Apple. No agreement has been lying on paper, but Google is in talks with HP. As for Apple, it would be there to raise the price or prevent the Mountain View Company will seize webOS. In the end, Palo Alto is reviewing its strategy and decided not to offer a competitor, even against a large sum, its platform.

On September 22, 2011, "the Board believes that the CEO of HP now requires additional qualities to successfully execute the company strategy. "The decision is irrevocable, and Meg Whitman resigns Apotheker takes its place.

Palm is then a field of ruins. The team working on equipment that is deserted and the software runs slowly. Completely lonely, these teams do not have any instructions and the bleeding continues. Some engineers are working on Enyo, a framework based on webOS and make a demonstration on an iPad 2.

Meg Whitman, the new CEO, the teams met in early November and Palm tells them that she honestly does not know yet what to make of this division. A month later, Whitman announced that webOS will become open source. A decision by default. HP does not want to discard the work done by Palm but it has not release new products webOS. There followed a new wave of significant departures: Andy Grignon, a former Apple, founded his own company, Brian Hernacki, security specialist, from Intel, etc..

In late January 2012, HP stands the roadmap openWebOS, the system based on open source modules webOS 3.0. Open webOS 1.0 is scheduled for September. As for Jon Rubinstein, he left HP January 27 through the back door. A few days after his departure, Rubinstein confides in The Verge:

    "It was exhausting for four and a half years. What we have accomplished in four and a half years has been incredible. And I do not think people realize this - that we made during this period was incredible. You know, webOS debuted about six months before I arrived at Palm. They had just started. It was not the webOS that it is today. It was something different. We did it evolve over time, but it was a huge amount of work for many people for many years. So after four and a half ... I'll take a break. "
Last month, the Google had dissipated much of the development team of Enyo (read: Open webOS: a part of the team leading at Google). Developers join the ranks of employees working on Chrome. At HP, more hardly anyone is to identify the team webOS.

A situation that makes it "practically impossible" the release of a new device with webOS according to a source familiar with the matter. As for the software part, the skepticism of an availability of webOS 1.0 for September. The Palo Alto firm could keep its accounts in Palm until July 1 ... the sake of tax optimization. Meg Whitman could then get rid of it.

Palm - formerly gold - and webOS seem to have finally sunk.

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