Well this one caught me by surprise! All of this talk about Lenovo and HTC and speculative buyout quotes of $1.3b. In the end, it was $1.2b and Old Tech buying ...well, Old Tech. HP makes some innovative products, but no slam dunks. Their software has left a lot to be desired - albeit coming secondarily from another company, but admittedly one must admit that the company has style. They also have deep pockets and a sense of deep commitment to completing things once they get started, something that has been lost in the Palm world for a long time. I actually admire the determination and drive that this company has. It all stems from their early days in that garage.
Is it a good fit? Only time will tell. HP has been innovating as of late. I was impressed at first by the Slate, although less so now than before, again due to software issues. But the hardware looked solid. I think that Palm brings an incredibly agile software solution to the table for HP that will mount a serious challenge to Apple and could supersede Microsoft Windows Mobile. However this is where things get a little interesting. Is HP a Microsoft company or a WebOS company? What happens to the Slate? Is WebOS going to be ported like Android? And will we finally see another company get product integration right? Only Apple appears to make hardware integration (ie. My Macs talk to each other; to the iPhone etc) simple and seamless.
I think a Slate with WebOS would be fantastic. Multitasking right out of the box. With Palm being so meek at the moment it may be easy for HP to impose its will to make WebOS work in the right way, stopping the silly limitations that Palm has always put on their products which has hindered the company from going forward. Also with HP we may begin to see more Palm innovation and decent mainstream commercials that will help the company instead of the crazy pandering to certain demographics.
I think that the WebOS is a competitive platform. It's not really for me due to its limitations, but I am very happy to see that someone found the value in Palm. Although I can only hope that HP does something good with Palm, in the back of my mind I am hoping that they are not just buying them to get rid of them. If they do amalgamate into one company to do good, we could see some very innovative products emanating from this merger.