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  1.    #1  
    Hi all,

    FYI.
    This is a nice read for all of the naysayers who think webOS is dead!

    take care,

    Jay

    HP’s 2,000 webOS patents and how they could reshape everything
    Robert Scoble, Scobleizer | Aug. 21, 2011, 12:31 PM

    HP’s 2,000 webOS patents and how they could reshape everything

    HP’s Surrender Of WebOS Is A HUGE Win For Windows 8
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    HP’s 2,000 webOS patents and how they could reshape everything
    Microsoft’s Windows 8 wins in HP’s surrender of webOS but will users support Windows tablets?
    Help, I’ve fallen into a pit of steaming Google+ (what that means for tech blogging)

    Last night I was talking with a VP who works at HP on the former Palm team. He told me they have 2,000 patents for webOS, smart phones, and TouchPad.
    Now remember, Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobile, mostly to get their hands on the 17,000 patents that Motorla held. Now, if you just price HP’s patents at the same price, you come out with $1.48 billion. HP paid $1.7 billion for Palm. So that gets you pretty close to even.

    But this VP told me that these patents are almost ALL for modern smartphones, while the Motorola patents included a lot of old stuff that isn’t relevant anymore. So, this patent portfolio could get a premium of, say, 2x what the Motorola patents did. That gets you up close to $3 billion.
    And that’s JUST for the patents. They have a few other assets as well:

    1. The team is still mostly intact (at least this weekend) and has many talented engineers who used to work on Apple’s iPhone (including the VP who was talking with me).

    2. They have lots of UI expertise. webOS is still ahead of all the other smartphone UIs in terms of usability and multitasking ideas. My best friend, Luke Kilpatrick, who works on social media team at VMware, keeps showing me his Palm phone and making fun of my “old school” iPhone.

    3. They were working on a 7-inch tablet, and a variety of other things.
    So, in the war between Apple, Google, and Microsoft (really the others don’t matter too much to the future) how could the Palm teams reshape the mobile market?

    Well, let’s assume Microsoft plonked down the $4 billion to buy this team and patents. They would rejuvenate their mobile team with fresh engineers, and give them even more patents to go after Google with.

    What if Apple plonked down the cash? Same thing, only much of this team has already worked at Apple so knows the culture and could fit right in.
    Google? Google could benefit the most because its UI is still the worst out of the three major players and it might benefit the most from the additional insurance of the patent portfolio.

    One other thing, there was a report that said webOS ran twice as fast on an iPad than on HP’s own hardware.

    He said that, while somewhat true, that was only a part of the OS and only some of the times. What they were looking at is the kinds of optimizations that Apple did to its graphics subsystems. He said that while working at Apple they did a ton of work on lots of small graphics areas, which is why the UI feels so “smooth” there. For instance, he said they spent a ton of time just getting a list to scroll at 60 frames per second. That was VERY hard to do, he said, and used it as an example of the kinds of optimizations that very few people outside of the engineers at these big companies understand and that even the press that reports things like “runs twice as fast” don’t understand.

    It’s that kind of engineering that is about to be let loose on the world and the other companies know it.

    “My phone has been ringing off the hook from recruiters,” he said, while saying that most of his buddies on the team will hang at HP until at least October to see what happens. He knows there’s still deep economic value in the patents and the people who are working on webOS and that if they band together they might get rewarded well.

    But the clock is ticking and it’ll be interesting to see what the management does and how they shop around this team and patent portfolio.
    One question: what if Facebook bought the team and Google bought the patents?

    Now wouldn’t THAT be a hoot? Facebook needs more mobile engineers and could use a team of great UI and expert mobile engineers to build tablet and mobile apps.

    We also talked about how the team could transform the TV business. “We were already thinking about that,” he told me. Seems the Google TV business would be rejuvenated by a bunch of new blood who knew how to make good UIs and fun hardware (even though they were always late to the market with the hardware there still is a lot of expertise on that team).
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2.    #2  
    Hi all,

    This is a mostly positive piece on webOS and the future...makes me wonder if the exiting of HP from webOS hardware is part of a deal to license webOS to other firms who make far better hardware than HP.

    take care,

    Jay

    Switched On: The webOS triangle
    By Ross Rubin posted Aug 21st 2011 5:52PM
    Columns
    Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.


    HP's decision to discontinue production of webOS devices has been widely seen as the final nail in the promising operating system's coffin. Statements from HP on the future of webOS app development sound absurd in the current context. How can, for example, HP continue to promote the webOS app catalog as it has pledged to do when there are no ongoing devices on which those apps can run? How would developers even test apps?

    The answer may lie in a complex ongoing reorientation of the webOS triangle consisting of the HP corporate entity, PSG (Personal Systems Group, HP's PC business) and webOS. HP hasn't said exactly what it is doing with webOS. However, the combination of publicly expressing commitment to the operating system while dismantling its own devices points strongly to licensing. In fact, it's highly consistent with it; if HP simply wanted to wage war with (or sell) Palm's patent pool, it wouldn't need webOS developers any more. HP made no secret of its interest in licensing webOS while it was still producing devices based on that operating system. As Switched On discussed last month, though, there is a long, bleak history chronicling the difficulty in building devices based on an OS that a company is licensing. In other words, pursuing both of the contrasting business models of Apple and Microsoft results in inherent conflict.

    But as Switched On indicated in the following column on potential webOS licensees (all still valid save for Motorola) that counted out HP's PC competitors, it is not enough for HP to stop producing only the TouchPad and phones. If HP is truly committed to licensing webOS in this age of ecosystems encompassing multiple kinds of devices, PSG cannot stay as HP's PC business competes with many potential webOS licensees. (Dell, though, would probably still be counted out as it competes with HP on enterprise services).

    Barring restructuring HP may have wanted to otherwise make, it is cataclysmic upheaval in the pursuit of a risky revenue stream that would put the PC-free HP in direct mobile OS competition with high-flying Google and tenacious Microsoft. But it would be one way that HP could assert influence in client devices -- perhaps even a broader variety of them -- without being directly in the low-margin licensee business as it is with PCs.

    If this is, indeed, the master plan, though, it's hard to imagine how it could have been implemented in a way to inspire less confidence in any three of the key pieces of HP, PSG and webOS. Imagine if, for example, Nokia had announced that it was sidelining Symbian and MeeGo without saying that it was adopting Windows Phone 7? Regardless of whether you agree with Nokia's new course, you can't well argue that it wasn't communicated authoritatively and extensively.

    Ideally, this is the order in how things should have gone down at HP:
    HP continues to sell webOS devices while telling potential licensees privately that it is exiting the consumer hardware business. "By the way, how would you like to buy a really successful PC business?"

    HP finds a buyer for PSG or spins it out. HP announces this after the decision is finalized, maintaining clarity on the direction and ownership of PSG.
    HP announces that PSG as a new company – or the company that buys PSG -- will be among the new licensees for HP webOS. If an HP-liberated PSG really did not want webOS because it chose to, say, focus on Windows 8 tablets or was bought by a company committed to another mobile operating system, then HP could still move forward with announcements of other licensees and the continuum of supported webOS devices would not be broken as it is now.

    Executing this is not as trivial as it sounds, with each of the three pieces of the webOS triangle representing billions of dollars in investment. But neither is the OS licensing business itself, where HP has less experience than it did building devices. The first question: if HP couldn't make webOS devices reach successful scale (the key capability former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein cited during the acquisition) even after "doubling down," how can licensees?

    As it is, while HP's webOS device exit clears pathways for licensing, those paths have now been cast in the dim light of developer uncertainty, a light that grows dimmer with each day that webOS -- the soul of a device -- saunters in search of a new host.
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  3. Dune#AC's Avatar
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    #3  
    I think the only future buyer that lets WebOS and it's glory shine on would be Google. They are the ones that need Palm the most (for the design and the IP)! I would hate to see WebOS get sucked into iOS! That would be terrible! Microsoft would only be slightly better. +1 for Google!
  4.    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Doon View Post
    I think the only future buyer that lets WebOS and it's glory shine on would be Google. They are the ones that need Palm the most (for the design and the IP)! I would hate to see WebOS get sucked into iOS! That would be terrible! Microsoft would only be slightly better. +1 for Google!
    Hi all,

    I wonder what the antitrust issues are of Google buying webOS?

    Take care,

    Jay
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by ilovedessert View Post
    Hi all,

    I wonder what the antitrust issues are of Google buying webOS?

    Take care,

    Jay
    It is all the lawsuits from Apple against Samsung and HTC that would instantly protect Google from Antitrust.

    Apple has proven that Google needs to add as many patents as they can.
  6. #6  
    If Google buys the webOS patent horde, how does that mean that webOS isn't dead? I am sure a wolf and a sheep can coexist..... right?
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    ilovedessert and Rnp like this.
  7. ksom's Avatar
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    #7  
    I bought a Photon over the weekend. The thing crashed on me while playing Pandora. Even my Pre- could play on for hours without any issues. I certainly hope WebOS will get a new life one some great hardware. Two more years, I may be back.
    Palm V -> Treo 600 (lost) -> Treo 650 -> Centro -> Pre -> Photon
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by ilovedessert View Post
    Hi all,

    I wonder what the antitrust issues are of Google buying webOS?

    Take care,

    Jay
    There wouldn't be any antitrust issues. WebOS didn't have significant market share before HP shut the business down.
    ilovedessert and Rnp like this.

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