HP closes Palm deal, confirms WebOS tablet

The new Palm unit will be responsible for future 'slate PCs' and netbooks, HP said

Hewlett-Packard on Thursday finalized its acquisition of Palm and confirmed it will use the company's WebOS in future tablets and netbooks.

The US$1.2 billion deal was announced April 28 and followed by reports and expectations that HP would extend the operating system beyond Palm's Pre and Pixi handset product lines to larger form factors. In its statement on the deal Thursday, HP pointed in that direction. "Palm will be responsible for WebOS software development and WebOS-based hardware products, from a robust smartphone roadmap to future slate PCs and netbooks," the statement said.

HP showed off a tablet called the Slate, running Windows 7, at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January. Since then it has released additional details about the future device but reportedly dropped Windows 7 from its plans.

The Palm business unit will report to Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group. The company said it will help it compete in a $100 billion market for smartphones and connected mobile devices.

Palm was a pioneer in the handheld computer business with its Palm Pilot devices and in smartphones with the Treo line. But it fell behind Apple, Research In Motion and other rivals during the lengthy development of WebOS and the Palm Pre, which debuted last year. In February, the company started seeking a buyer in earnest after it became clear its revenue was falling short of expectations.

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Tags business issuestelecommunicationMergers / acquisitionshardware systemsPhonestablet PCslaptopsmobileHewlett-PackardMobile handsetsPalmconsumer electronics

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Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
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