PC Magazine Gets It Right

PC Magazine makes the point in this piece that Palm is vital to HP’s success, and while that’s not a controversial or unique position to take, they do make a great deal of sense by putting things in the perspective of HP’s new CEO (whoever that will be). Put simply:

I’m not sure how soon HP will name a successor to Hurd, but everyone seems to be keeping a close eye on this search. The company’s overall business is still strong, and the strategy the company has in place for the next 12 months, if executed well, can keep it on top of the PC and printer market and make it an even more powerful force in the enterprise space. But any new leader HP brings in needs to recognize the Palm acquisition as the most strategic part of the company’s future.

What I found most interesting, though, was this bit, something that I agree with quite strongly:

While the Android ecosystem is a viable solution for many companies, there’s a problem with it. If an OEM creates a device for Android, it is tied to Google’s strategic objects, becoming something of a pawn in Google’s goal to monetize its search engine on every device it can. To that end, by backing Android, these companies are putting their future in Google’s hands. [Emphasis added.]

That’s both a good definition of why I’m not a fan of Android as a mobile OS, but also of why HP was smart to buy Palm rather than simply follow the rest of the market onto Android. HTC, Samsung, and the rest will depend on Google to enhance its platform and provide value to customers, while HP will be able to take webOS in whatever direction its customers want. That puts HP—and webOS users—in a much better position over the long term.

And that will make us all very happy, indeed.

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