Windows Phone 7 Exchange ActiveSync client features support compared to all other mobile platforms

Microsoft MVP Henrik Walther has produced a fairly extensive table comparing the Current Exchange Active Sync features supported in Windows Phone 7 compared to all the other major mobile platforms. Namely: Android 2.2, Apple iPhone and iPad iOS 4, Nokia’s MFE, Palm WebOS and a few others. As of today Windows Phone 7′s Exchange ActiveSync client supports fewer features than Apple iOS 4 and is still far behind Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5. Microsoft has already stated that the initial version of the OS was principally aimed at the consumer market and that future updates should bring more enterprise oriented features to the table. Check out the whole table after the break:

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HP: WebOS smartphones…maybe

Woops, looks like yesterday’s CEO speech didn’t really please the PR team at HP so they issued a damage control statement about the future of WebOS on smartphones:

When we look at the market, we see an array of interconnected devices, including tablets, printers, and of course, smartphones. We believe webOS can become the backbone for many of HP’s small form factor devices, and we expect to expand webOS’s footprint beyond just the smartphone market, all while leveraging our financial strength, scale, and global reach to grow in smartphones.

Well, this is rather vague in my opinion. Especially when you compare to the Mark Hurd’s statement :

We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. And I tell people that, but it doesn’t seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment…We have tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices…Now imagine that being a web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition.

Anyway, both statements should probabyl be forgotten for the time being (HP hasn’t bought Palm yet btw). We will know the really deal soon enough (Windows Phone 7 handsets will start to be announced this summer).

HP: No WebOS Smartphones in the works

This was kinda un-expected especially coming from big corporation like HP who is about to pay $1.2Billion to acquire a smartphone company. According to CEO Mark Hurd who spoke at the  Bank of America Merrill Lynch technology conference yesterday, the The Palm acquisition had nothing to do with being in the smartphone business.

We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. And I tell people that, but it doesn’t seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment…We have tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices…Now imagine that being a web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition.

Bad news for all the WebOS fans I guess. But this may sound like music to Microsoft’s ears. HP is/was a Windows Phone 7 launch partner but everything was sort of put on hold after the Palm acquisition announcement. Nothing is really known yet but I guess that we will know soon enough if HP is still riding the Windows Phone 7 train.

Source: ZDNet

HP kills off the HP Slate?

File this in the rumor category and grab some salt..According to sources close to the matter, HP is about to cancel the much hyped Windows 7 Slate Tablet PC. Now this might seem a little far fetched given that the project is probably in its final stage before commercialization but after all that’s happen since yesterday (HTC paying MS for using Android, HP buying Palm, Microsoft canceling the Courier..) everything seems possible. If (big IF) this turns out to be true then my feeling that the decision to cancel the Courier Project yesterday is connected and motivated by HP’s acquisition of Palm is re-inforced. Let’s all wait and see for now…

Source: Techcrunch

HP reevaluating Windows Phone 7 after Palm acquisition

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody given yesterday’s news; in an interview with CNN, HP‘s strategy chief Shane Robison said that he’s still unsure if the company still has plans to ship / build Windows Phone 7 products:

What does this say about any plans that you may or may not have to use Windows Phone 7? Will webOS be your exclusive mobile platform, or will you also use Microsoft. At one point, Palm was using both its own OS and Microsoft’s.

We’re going to have to sort through all that over the coming months. We’re very, very serious partners with Microsoft. We hope to continue to be their biggest customer. And in this particular space, which is a small segment for us, we’ve got to work with them to figure out exactly what the roadmap looks like.

Frankly now that have WebOS (once the deal is done obviously), I don’t see any reason for them to have Windows Phone 7 products.

Source: CNN

HP to Acquire Palm for $1.2 Billion


Today seems to be full of surprises, first Microsoft’s announced a patent licensing deal with HTC over their Android handsets (and its plan to have other Android OEMs to pay them royalties too) now it’s HP‘s turn to announce that they have agreed to acquire Palm for $1.2 Billion:

HP and Palm, Inc. (NASDAQ: PALM) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase Palm, a provider of smartphones powered by the Palm webOS mobile operating system, at a price of $5.70 per share of Palm common stock in cash or an enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion. The transaction has been approved by the HP and Palm boards of directors.

The combination of HP’s global scale and financial strength with Palm’s unparalleled webOS platform will enhance HP’s ability to participate more aggressively in the fast-growing, highly profitable smartphone and connected mobile device markets. Palm’s unique webOS will allow HP to take advantage of features such as true multitasking and always up-to-date information sharing across applications.

“Palm’s innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP’s mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices,” said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. “And, Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team. The smartphone market is large, profitable and rapidly growing, and companies that can provide an integrated device and experience command a higher share. Advances in mobility are offering significant opportunities, and HP intends to be a leader in this market.”

“We’re thrilled by HP’s vote of confidence in Palm’s technological leadership, which delivered Palm webOS and iconic products such as the Palm Pre. HP’s longstanding culture of innovation, scale and global operating resources make it the perfect partner to rapidly accelerate the growth of webOS,” said Jon Rubinstein, chairman and chief executive officer, Palm. ”We look forward to working with HP to continue to deliver industry-leading mobile experiences to our customers and business partners.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Palm stockholders will receive $5.70 in cash for each share of Palm common stock that they hold at the closing of the merger. The merger consideration takes into account the updated guidance and other financial information being released by Palm this afternoon. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of domestic and foreign regulatory approvals and the approval of Palm’s stockholders. The transaction is expected to close during HP’s third fiscal quarter ending July 31, 2010.

Palm’s current chairman and CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is expected to remain with the company.

This is a move that will surely not go well with the boys in blue in Redmond especially given that HP was listed as a Windows Phone 7 partner and also pushing hard behind Microsoft’s Windows 7 Tablet initiative with the HP Slate. On the other hand I hope that this move by HP will give Microsoft the envy/courage to accelerate the development the mysterious Courier Tablet and ship it as soon as possible.

Source: HP

HTC not interested in buying Palm

Reuters has reported yesterday that sources close to the matter are now saying that HTC is no longer interested in buying Palm’s assets after reviewing the company’s latest quarterly report.

“There just weren’t enough synergies to take the deal forward,” said the source with direct knowledge of the matter, who declined to be named because the deal had not yet been made public.

I can’t say I’m surprised especially now that HTC is busy with Android and the upcoming Windows Phone 7 launch. As I said a few days ago I didn’t see a reason for HTC to acquire Palm. Both companies have different philosophies and cultures (US – Taiwan) it would have been extremely hard to merge them both together.

Source: Reuters

HTC looking at building its own OS?

This looks like the new rumor of the week. Will HTC by Palm? Will HTC scrap Android and WinMo to build a proprietary OS? This all sounds like fanboy’s dream and unicorns. But today HTC’s OWN CFO Cheng Hui-ming, told Bloomberg that the company has been studying the possibility but that noting has been decided yet:

“We continue to assess, but that requires a few conditions to justify”[...]HTC has no timeframe for deciding whether to have its own platform, he said.
“There are many multiple factors to be considered together, rather than a simple statement as to own or not to own” proprietary software, Cheng said

I personally don’t think that HTC has enough resources and manpower to develop its own OS, unless they suddenly drop all support for Android and WinMo (impossible in terms of business). Buying Palm won’t really be a solution either IMO integration will be a pain given the difference in corporate culture. HTC is primary a hardware company, sure they make nice UI shells, but developing UI is far from being the same thing as developing a full blown OS (the BrewMP OS on the HTC Smart is developed by Qualcomm).

Source: Bloomberg

Plam up for sale and seeking bids

This came out of nowhere, especially after Jon Rubinstein’s Fortune interview 2 days ago. According to Bloomberg, the company is now up for sale and is seeking bids for the company as early as this week. Unlike some people I don’t expect HTC to acquire them (I can’t see any reason for them to do that given their current sitution with Android and Windows Phone)…anything’s possible though..

The company is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners to find a buyer, said the people, who declined to be identified because the sale isn’t public. Taiwan’s HTC Corp. and China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. have looked at the company and may be potential bidders, said the people. Dell Inc. also looked at Palm, though it decided against an offer, according to two of the people.

Source: Bloomberg

Palm Pixi announced, shown on video. Does it suck….?

It’s all about the low-end devices lately. After HTC’s newly announced Touch 2 and Tattoo it’s time for Palm to unveil their entry level WebOS smartphone, the Pixi. What can I say… lets see, WebOS (great) it’s got a tiny 2.63″ 320×400 capacitive touch screen (geat resolution but too small), Qwerty keyboard (good) 8Gb of internal memory(great), Qualcomm MSM 7627 Chipset (what !? So the Pre has a Cortex8 cpu + OGL ES 2.0 gpu and this thing has an old as hell ARM11+OGL ES 1.0 GPU? way to go Palm!), 2Mpx fixed focus camera with led flash (bad) and finally I kept the best for the end…..NO WIFI! Oh well , at least it looks cute and is really light & thin…It will be exclusive to Sprint and should be available for in time for Christmas (around $99).
Check out the hands on action here.

Source: Engadget

New WebOS update for Pre is out. Support for iTunes sync is back.

Well, it looks like Palm is fighting Apple back. The new WebOS update brings back support for iTunes sync in the current version (8.2.1) among other enhancements.

“Pre” and “business” just got a lot friendlier! Today we released Palm webOS 1.1, which brings several additions to our support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), including remote wipe, PIN/password requirements, inactivity timeout, improved certificate handling, and more. You can find more details about how Palm webOS fits into your business environment here.

In addition to these treats for business users, Version 1.1 also includes a few other goodies for everyone — like support for emoticons in the messaging app, and the ability to set “person reminders” in the contacts app (next time you get a message or phone call from that person, a message pops up showing you a reminder to ask them about their vacation in Maui — cool, huh?). Oh, and one more thing: Palm webOS 1.1 re-enables Palm media sync. That’s right — you once again can have seamless access to your music, photos and videos from the current version of iTunes (8.2.1).

More info can be found on the Palm Blog