Saturday, November 21, 2009

My thoughts on "Palm for sale?"

So Precentral put together a round table question of their editors on who they think would be a good buyer for Palm if Palm was for sale. Round Table: Palm for sale?

I wanted to throw out my own thoughts on it as I have been looking at all of the mobile platforms and devices lately.

For me the logical buyer for Palm would be a current Android device maker. Be it Samsung or Motorola, or one of the others. As I look at the development model for webOS, I really like it (other than some missing debug tools ) and I really don't like the competing development styles as much. What I think would make sense would be for some large handset maker to buy up Palm and port webOS to Android for their devices. Device makers are already able to put their own skin's on Android and add quite a bit of their own functionality. Also, with devices like the nook running Android underlying what is to be a full featured eReader that doesn't even look like the Android OS, you can do some massive customization to the underlying OS while leveraging the unstoppable Android train of developers and advances that is taking place. Let others manage the OS for you and just focus on your differentiating factor, webOS and your hardware.

It shouldn't be hard to port webOS to Android as it already runs on the custom Linux image generated by Palm, so why not just go all the way and make it an add-on to Android? I am not saying release it for other handset makers to use or all Android users. Just emulate what HTC is doing, build on Android and add on top your beautiful webOS front on custom Palm hardware for the best mobile experience while simultaneously cutting out the significant cost of maintaining your OS to a lower level like you do now.

Motorola, if you are listening, webOS beats MOTOBLUR. Pick up the team of forward thinking guys at Palm and really make a run at iPhone. If I could have access to not only the Android Market but the Palm App Catalog on the same phone, we'd be cooking with fire and it solves that low-level API issue people have been mentioning. I'm just saying.

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