HP continues buying spree, acquires HyperSpace's instant-on technologies for $12 million

HP continues buying spree, acquires HyperSpace's instant-on technologies for $12 million

Summary: If you've been as dependent on Microsoft Windows for all of your computers as HP has been, how do you free yourself from the tug of Redmond's gravity? Apparently you make some acquisitions that give you the building blocks for an alternative ecosystem.

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If you've been as dependent on Microsoft Windows for all of your computers as HP has been, how do you free yourself from the tug of Redmond's gravity? Apparently you make some acquisitions that give you the building blocks for an alternative ecosystem. First, HP purchase Palm in large part for its webOS, and now it's picked up Phoenix Technologies HyperSpace assets, which includes instant-on solutions.

Phoenix has previously licensed the technology, which entails a version of Linux that boots nearly instantly, to companies like Samsung for its netbooks and notebooks. HyperSpace was designed to be used for simple Internet tasks like e-mail or Web surfing, where you wouldn't want to wait for Windows to go through a full boot. While there's a version (Dual) that gives you an either/on boot-up choice (HyperSpace or Windows), the Hybrid version allows both to run simultaneously, allowing you switch back and forth between the two OSes. In addition to booting up in just a few seconds, HyperSpace requires far less horsepower to operate, helping to extend a mobile device's battery life.

While it's unclear how easy it will be for HP to merge the HyperSpace assets with webOS, it's clear that the company is looking to create an alternate platform for tablet PCs and other mobile devices that isn't completely dependent on Windows. (Whether it is even considering using Android in the meantime isn't clear.) It'll need to do so quickly, as it's already ceded Apple a big lead in tablets -- can HP deliver a competitor before Steve Jobs announces and iPad 2.0?

Topics: Windows, CXO, Hewlett-Packard, Operating Systems, Software

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6 comments
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  • HP has seen what the success of the iPhone has

    done for the smartphone market, and is positioning itself to be a prominent player in the low power slate market. It will certainly be interesting to see if HP is able to take these technologies and are able to build an attractive ecosystem, to compete with iOS and Android. It also remains to be seen whether or not MSFT will do anything at all to position itself in this market, or whether it will sit idly by, and get itself shut out of this market as well, like it has with the smartphone market.
    Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
  • It will take some major management intervention at HP

    HP has had smartphones for years, outgrowths of the iPaq PDA and Windows Mobile. The largest purchasing group of these phones is internal HP, they are dismal also-rans in the open market.<br><br>Unless Mark Hurd hands a huge wad of money and a building full of hardware engineers over to the Palm WebOS management team, I don't see this going anywhere at HP. All of the internal groups are completely invested and dependent on Microsoft to do any kind of breakthrough product development. Give it to any of the existing groups and it will die from lack of innovation and probably also from some amount of back-stabbing and career preservation.
    terry flores
  • Why can't MS have an instant on version of Windows?

    This is such a no brainer! You don't need all the POST and driver garbage for a simple task such as running Media Player. I will admit Windows 7's sleep function is eons more stable and reliable than Vista ans XP. The only thing missing in my Dell laptop's instant on is the ability to run my audio processor with Media Player.
    kd5auq
    • Instant on, really is nothing more than a

      @kd5auq... standby mode, even on the iOS platform. POST is a pre-boot operation, and yes is necessary coming from a cold start.

      So typically at home, my laptop rarely gets powered down, and usually only get stuck into standby.
      Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
  • RE: HP continues buying spree, acquires HyperSpace's instant-on technologies for $12 million

    HP is perfectly capable of building a tablet/slate -- they have lots of the right technology experience and seem to be putting together an IP portfolio aimed in that direction.

    The questions are:
    (1) Can they design a physical product that will be as appealing as an Apple iPad? Apple is a genius at compelling consumer design and HP has usually opted for engineering, rather than design. Design counts.
    (2) As already noted, timing counts. Dozens of devices are likely to be in the market by the end of this year. HP needs to get something interesting out sooner rather than later.
    amywohl
  • product != ecosystem

    It will be interesting to see how HP creates an ecosystem from this collection of parts (Palm, instant-on, etc.) If they can meld carrier interests with developers and interest content owners they have a real chance to duplicate Apples's success, at least in part.

    Without an ecosystem, this is just a lawn-dart exercise.
    psychographer