Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

Summary: By scooping up webOS, Amazon may be the company to finally make things right for the operating system.

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Is Amazon closing in on a deal to buy Palm?

That's the story according to VentureBeat, which says that Amazon is in talks to snatch up Palm and its recently- orphaned webOS.

Of couse, speculation that Amazon might snatch up webOS is not particularly new. But if VentureBeat's sources are right, Amazon appears to be pretty serious about its ambitions. That's a good news for webOS -- and Amazon, too. WebOS would finally be in the hands of a capable company, and Amazon would have in its hands a very capable (but ill-fated) operating system. And it would be entirely theirs.

But what does that mean for the Kindle Fire? It would be interesting to see how the tablet handles the transition from Android to webOS, assuming that that's Amazon's plan. Then again, seeing as how much the Kindle Fire UI departs from Google's stock Android, maybe a transition to webOS won't be as jarring as it initially appears. But would the move be worth it?

[VentureBeat]

Topics: Operating Systems, Amazon, Mobile OS

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  • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

    Why would Amazon throw a bucket of cold water on the Kindle Fire announcement by sending signals that it plans to move the platform to WebOS in the future?

    If there's any truth to this it's a patent purchase, taht's all.
    dsf3g
    • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

      @dsf3g
      Because Android 3+ != opensource
      vivianvein
      • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

        @vivianvein Android Documentation states that source will be made available upon release of the next version and has always stated that. The reason for this has to do with Developing the Code without Forking by 3rd parties.

        With that said, the Honeycomb Source will be released when Ice Cream Sandwich is Launched.

        In the past Google has released the Source while in development but their stated timeline was always upon the release of the next version.

        Basically, you're wrong, Android 3.x is still open source and will follow the stated timeline more strictly than in the past.
        slickjim
    • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

      @dsf3g
      That's what I'm thinking. What a way to kill momentum of a product that isn't even for sale yet. Surely they're smarter than doing that deal right now.
      WebSiteManager
    • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

      Kindle Fire is not marketed as an Android tablet. The specs at amazon.com don't even mention Android and the UI is customized so that it does not look like Android.
      Presumably the target user does not/should not care what OS is running underneath the Amazon UI.
      Of course, if they are to switch the OS they will need to make sure they support the same apps.
      Scrabbler
      • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

        @Scrabbler

        "Of course, if they are to switch the OS they will need to make sure they support the same apps."

        Exactly! And how many apps are there right now in the Amazon App store? 10,000? Are they going to rewite those 10,000 apps for WebOS?

        I just don't see Amazon adopting WebOS and orphaning all the Apps in the Amazon App Store for Kindle Fire WebOS customers.
        dsf3g
      • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

        @Scrabbler : Precisely -- the demographic Amazon is targeting couldn't care less about the underlying OS, they just want something that works. If done right, I see no reason why Amazon couldn't swap WebOS for Android with barely a ripple on their user interface. This sounds like hedging their bets <i>and</i> obtaining some patents -- probably for cheap.
        S_Deemer
      • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

        @Scrabbler
        Except Amazon makes it a point that the Kindle Fire connects to the Amazon Android App store.
        gwartnet
    • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

      @dsf3g It would be a great move for Amazon. Why rely on an OS that's updated by someone else and is used by all your competitors. WebOS is a much better OS than Android. It's lacked the proper attention it deserved for the past 2 years, but if Amazon continues it's development it can quickly outshine Android and have all the features users want. I hope this rumor is true and Amazon does right by WebOS.
      Masari.Jones
      • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

        @Masari.Jones

        Why would they dump an ecosystem with tens of thousands of apps and thousands of developers to go with an orphaned OS? It makes no sense. And remember, even if the Kindle Fire "kills the Android tablet market" (which I sincerely doubt) it's running Gingerbread, an there will always be a massive developer community for Gingerbread and its successor Operating Systems given the popularity of Android in the smartphone arena.
        dsf3g
      • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

        @Masari.Jones It's very easy to port apps over from Android to Webos, there just hasn't been much reason to do so to date. If Amazon were to have a hit on their hands, the apps would follow in short order.
        10kwfence
      • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

        @Masari.Jones

        They may even be able to write a JVM that runs alongside webOS that can support all those Android Apps.. That would be cool! Even cooler is if the revived the PalmOS emulator for webOS.. That would let me take out all those PalmOS apps I still use on my TX.. :)
        Xennex1170
  • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

    I don't see this happening for their Kindle line anyway... Maybe a Tablet line bit not Kindle.

    Remember, WebOS is Linux based as well so in he long run they could take the OS and slowly swing over to that platform.
    slickjim
    • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

      @Peter Perry

      I somehow think that those apps can be easily ported. Even though there aren't that many for, say, the TouchPad, and bits of WebOS would have to be re-written to support resizing of apps (apps designed for the phones can't be resized to the TouchPad's screen), underneath it's all the same Linux and libraries.

      All the important stuff is there, though (the e-mail client and calendars are excellent: account management is also nice since, unlike Android, I can have 3 different Gmail accounts running while another one does the buying, and they're all in one place too)- all that's missing are the apps.

      But why bother porting when you can just pull a PlayBook and create a system that can run Android apps- remember that Ubuntu and Debian can be run on a TouchPad with 2 apps (could be streamlined with more work so one tap launches the X server and desktop all in one).

      Of course, the Kindle doesn't need to be re-written because all it does is read e-books in the first place.
      R220
  • They have to do something like this. They anticipate selling millions.

    Actually tens of millions and they will owe MS hundreds of millions in licensing fees for the all the patents android infriginges on if they stick with android. The writing is on the wall for android hardware manufactuers, switch or pay up. There's no down side for their customers, they dont know what os its running and they dont care.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

      @Johnny Vegas
      +1. perfect.
      Ram U
      • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

        @Rama.NET
        Would be a great move! Its a solid Os currently owned by a rudderless company. Maybe theses rumors would explain why everyday there are new apps.
        seatuck@...
  • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

    wow, brave. Palm is cursed.
    pjdiller
  • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

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    larkforsure
  • RE: Amazon nearing deal to buy Palm, webOS (report)

    I'd be very surprised, unless it's a giveaway.

    Having done the work on an Android base (effectively free), there's little point in reinventing the wheel on a paid-for pre-loved os base.

    If it had been available a year ago, Amazon would have bitten their arm off.
    Heenan73