HP will court Attention Deficit Developers

palm_webos_HP.jpg Most industry observers credit HP's acquisition of Palm as a good move to get back in the mobile business. I see it as potentially bending the Android developer growth curve. Programmers have to write Objective C for the iPhone, JavaME for Blackberry, Java for Android and Symbian for Nokia. That didn't leave much room for Palm webOS development, until now. Even though they already knew what they needed for webOS:  HTML(5), CSS and JavaScript, there just wasn't enough critical mass because developers couldn't get to it. This acquisition is about software and I believe the Pre and the Pixie will become collector items. The webOS is much lighter than HP's Touch Smart for Windows so I expect to see it powering the new HP Slate. In fact, webOS is better suited for places where Android doesn't work well like e-readers and web tablets. The issue is the open source Android device orphan. Remember, the Nexus One had new features not available to the Motorola Droid via a software download. When you get an Android, you are tied to the device, not the OS. With webOS, your phone improves when the OS is upgraded, just like the iPhone. I wished RIM had been bold enough to consider buying Palm. They certainly needed it. Now HP can come after RIM in the enterprise. HP can offer a mix of Android and Windows Mobile 7 for consumers or corporate users. Palm webOS gives them something of their own and a developer community waiting in the wings.