HP has completed the acquisition of Palm, and announced that it will use the smartphone maker’s WebOS in a range of tablet PCs and netbooks.
The technology giant announced the $1.2bn deal in April and said it would increase the $190 million that Palm spends each year on research and development, with the intention of using Palm’s technology in a new range of devices in addition to mobile phones. WebOS is currently used in Palm’s Pre and Pixi handsets.
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.
WebOS could also find its way into HP’s web-connected printers, chairman and CEO Mark Hurd said during HP's quarterly earnings call in May. The printers let people print maps, theatre tickets and other content straight from the internet, without needing to start a PC.
HP unveiled its most advanced web-connected printer, the Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web, last year. It has a 4.3-inch touchscreen that lets users view, format and print content from websites that HP has partnerships with, such as Google Maps, the USA Today newspaper, Coupons.com and the Fandango ticket service.
Palm is best known for essentially creating the PDA market, with the iconic Palm Pilot. The company began to lose its footing when the PDA market tapered off and Palm was slow to transition to the smartphone business. The last of its remaining founders, Ed Colligan, left the company in June 2009.
Palm's current CEO, Jon Rubinstein, will stay with the company. He is perhaps best known for his part in developing the iPod for Apple.