HP's acquisition of Palm has unleashed a torrent of speculation about how they're going to use the various and numerous technologies of Palm in future products. As multi-functional and global HP is, with big fingers in pretty much every area of enterprise and consumer technology, they have yet to break into the mobile device market. Every market, from million dollar enterprise class virtualized storage area networks to modest netbooks and desktop printers, has HP competing; telecommunications has never been something they've shown interest in. It's clear then why buying Palm, the once venerable creator of the precursor to the smartphone, the PDA, turned some heads. With their vast resources and a newly acquired mobile OS that has been reviewed well all over, trying their hand in the mobile phone market seemed like a great idea.
ZDNet reports that HP CEO Mark Hurd has effectively quashed the mobile device speculation. In a presentation at the Bank of America Merril Lynch technology conference, Hurd emphasized that HP will not be entering in to that market.
"We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. And I tell people that, but it doesn’t seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment…We have tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices…Now imagine that being a web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition."
It's been rumored that HP will be shipping its yet to be released tablet, the HP Slate, with WebOS installed. As the legal teams are not yet finished with the acquisition, a claim like is impossible to verify. However, HP has emphasized many times that the value of Palm is in their intellectual property rather than their hardware patents, according to Cnet. HP, already a leading technology hardware producer, is mainly interested in products like WebOS to further integrate with their already successful and established line of hardware products.