Feeds

HP mulls dropping WinCE for Palm or Linux

An ex-Motorola exec admits...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Hewlett-Packard is considering dumping Microsoft and hopping into bed with Palm, the company's incoming Embedded and Personal Systems chief, Iain Morris, has admitted.

To be fair, we're not talking a company-wide move to turn its corporate back on Windows here. Morris, who takes up his new post on Monday, will take charge of HP's Journada handheld, and it's that device's OS that he's thinking of changing.

Interviewed by CNET, Morris said that Journada has failed to reach its true potential, despite being what he calls a strong product. In short, it hasn't been selling very well. True, Microsoft's Windows CE - the OS Journada is currently based upon - saw its marketshare rise slightly last month (see yesterday's story, PocketPC wins marketshare from Palm), but that's more a sign of Palm's success over the Christmas sales period than growing support for the Microsoft platform. HP's share of the PDA market rose to three per cent between December 2000 and January, according to US retail market watcher PC Data.

Palm's dominant marketshare has clearly got Morris thinking. And 23 years spent at Motorola, maker of the Palm platform's Dragonball processor, may well have influenced his decision too. That said, he's also wondering whether Linux might make a better alternative, so he's clearly not pro-Palm so much as anti-CE.

Actually, Linux may well prove a better choice for HP, simply because it's both more powerful than the current PalmOS, cheaper and probably easier to port to Journada's existing hardware design. Then again, it lacks the PDA-oriented features and apps that have made Palm so successful.

A possible switch of OS for Journada is one part of Morris' wide-ranging examination of all aspects of his divisions' operations, so it's important for Palm fans not to assume it's all done and dusted. However, it does imply that one-time strong Windows CE proponents are willing to look elsewhere if they believe the OS is hindering their sales rather than helping them. ®

Related Link

CNET's interview with HP's Iain Morris in full

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.