HP Acquires HyperSpace — Preparing webOS for Takeoff?


HP (s hpq) has been a busy tech company lately, given the purchase of Palm (s palm) and now with the acquisition of the HyperSpace technology from Phoenix (s pnx) Technologies. Phoenix is the maker of the BIOS in most of the computers sold today, and the HyperSpace technology purchased by HP is designed to boot computers almost instantly into a Linux shell. HP also picked up Phoenix’ Flip and HyperCore technologies in the deal worth $12 million. The timing of this acquisition so soon after the deal with Palm (due to close this summer) leads to the question — will HP be making dual-OS computers running webOS?

HyperSpace provides a second operating system environment that a computer can start up in seconds, giving rapid web access for core functionality (for those interested in cloud computing or data centers, check out our Structure 10 conference this month). It eliminates the need to boot into a full Windows (s msft) environment for quick sessions while mobile. It is not restricted to x86-based computers, however, as Phoenix has optimized HyperSpace technology to work well on the ARM platform. That’s the very platform that we should see HP exploit for future webOS produces, so this purchase of the technology makes a lot of sense for HP.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): Report: The Future of Netbooks



My 2730P has this feature so that I can boot nearly instantly from ‘off’ to check my task list and appointment schedule. Perhaps this is more than just WebOS or a one platform wonder.



Acquisitions do not a strategic plan make. Certainly these bit players can’t make any difference in HP’s overall strategy. Look’s and smell’s like an IP play…

What’s interesting about HP is that it’s one of the few companies, unlike Google or Microsoft, with the resources and diversity to take on Apple. If HP was to make a coordinated and unified push from the desktop to the smartphone and everything in between, in two or three years we could see a very interesting three horse race.

Unfortunately, the big thing an HP right now is services, which may hold back more “traditional” products.


I will be a lot more conservative in my prediction and say that they will just use this technology to improve their line of windows machines. I see no point in using Phoenix Hyper Space in a Webos product because it boots pretty darn fast already. Hyper Space was designed to give people quick access to the web back in the days of vista (when it took quite a while to boot.) That’s what I’ll stick with, but hey, who’s to say they can’t do both.


Ha, yeah that would be very neat, and I would hope it could be done at no additional charge, considering that they’ve acquired palm and hyperspace. If there is a charge to the added versatility, it would probably be small, so I’d opt for it. The problem is I just don’t see much use for it, unless it is a device dedicated to touch. In which case HP could give you the best of both worlds.


What would be really interesting is if we saw a mobile device that became a more fully functioning computer when it was docked — something like a dynamic boot.

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