HP wants Palm OS for Web-connected printers, Hurd says

Microsoft is an important partner, he says, but for some devices HP wants its own OS

Hewlett-Packard has already said it will use Palm's webOS in smartphones and slate computers, but on Tuesday it revealed it has another category of products in mind: printers.

HP is buying Palm because it wants the company's operating system to use in Web-connected printers, Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd said during HP's quarterly earnings call. The printers let people print maps, theater tickets and other content straight from the Internet, without needing to start a PC.

"You've now got a whole series of Web-connected printers that, as they connect to the Web, need an OS. We prefer that OS to be our [intellectual property], where we can control the customer experience," Hurd said when asked about HP's motives for the US$1.2 billion deal to buy Palm.

"You can certainly make the same case for smaller form-factor products in the mobile world, like a slate," he added.

HP does want to grow Palm's smartphone business, Hurd said, but that's not its only motivation for buying the company, and possibly not even the biggest.

"It isn't precisely a smartphone play as I've seen some people write," Hurd said. The deal is "strategically broader" for HP. "It really has more to do with the IP," he said, meaning the intellectual property, or Palm's webOS.

Microsoft is still an important partner, Hurd was quick to add, but HP wants its own OS for certain devices.

"Microsoft is probably one of the best relationships we've got in our company, and they're still extremely important to us," he said. "There are a couple of form factors, though, that are very attractive for us, and these small form factors is where we think the IP can be very additive."

HP announced its plans to acquire Palm last month. The company's webOS has won some praise, but Palm has still struggled to compete against Apple's iPhone, Research In Motion's BlackBerry, and a new wave of handsets based on Google's Android OS. HP hopes to close the deal in the third quarter, subject to approval from Palm's stockholders.

HP unveiled its most advanced Web-connected printer last June, the Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web. It has a 4.3-inch touchscreen that lets users view, format and print content from Web sites that HP has partnerships with, such as Google Maps, the USA Today newspaper, Coupons.com and the Fandango ticket service.

It also hooks up to an HP store where customers can download applications for other Web sites. Hurd also suggested that HP plans to use Palm's app store for its printers and other devices.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags HPwebOSPrintersPalm

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?