If Amazon ends up buying the orphaned webOS from Hewlett-Packard, it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Last night, VentureBeat, citing a well placed source reported that the two companies are in “serious negotiations” about buying HP’s Palm business.
It’s been clear for a month that HP was looking into options for the operating system. HP bought Palm and its OS know-how for $1.2 billion in April 2010.
People who have followed HP over the past year could see the writing on the wall. Here’s a quick recap of WebOS-related news.
- Last January, Jon Rubinstein, the former Palm CEO who headed HP’s webOS effort, joined Amazon’s board of directors.
- In July, HP replaced Rubinstein as head of the webOS unit with Stephen DeWitt, an executive from the company’s Personal Systems Group (PSG).
- On Aug. 18, HP nuked its webOS-based TouchPad tablet and said it wanted to optimize” value for the slick webOS.
- Last week, HP confirmed layoffs in its webOS team.
Earlier this week, Michael Abbott, who led webOS development at Palm before joining Twitter as VP of engineering last year, said he hoped WebOS innovation will live on, whether it is bought by another tech company or not.
“There were novel things we were doing around notifications, and how you could enable a notification to not distract what you were currently doing,” Abbott told Mobilize 2011 attendees.
Amazon could not be reached for comment. An HP spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors.