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HP Spins Off Palm Remnants as GRAM

By - Source: webOS Nation | B 9 comments

HP is silently gearing up to launch a spin-off company called GRAM using members from the remnants of Palm.

HP is reportedly moving the members of its Palm Global Business Unit into a new subsidiary called GRAM. The news arrives after the company purchased Palm last year, churned out two phones and a tablet, and then canceled the webOS hardware line altogether. Since then, several key Palm members have left HP as the company slowly transforms the OS into an open source project (which concludes in September), leading to questions as to what will become of the remaining Palm employees. Now we know.

"GRAM is a new company leveraging the core strengths of webOS, Enyo and out Cloud offerings as well as the firepower of our partners to create a technology that will unleash the freedom of the Web," reads HP's description of the spin-off company.

The new company was reportedly introduced late last week during an all-hands meeting with webOS employees. A sheet distributed to those employees called the new spinoff "potent, light, nimble" and "at the core of all things big and small." The Gram logo itself melds the 'g' and 'r' into a stylized line butterfly, as if to "symbolize the metamorphosis the webOS team is about to undergo."

The public roll-out is expected to take place by the end of next month. HP has reportedly kept itself busy remodeling Building 3 of the Palm Campus in California for the new company -- this one is actually located across the street from Buildings 1 and 2 which are more photo-friendly featuring curved glass and concrete structures bearing the HP logo.

So far little is known about what Gram will offer. According to a letter distributed to webOS employees, Gram is currently in stealth mode -- employees can tell friends and family about what the new company will offer, but are to keep quiet about the details to everyone else.

"We are an incubation company, and we are trusting you to keep this company name and product under the radar to give it time to take root and grow," reads the letter. "You can wear the logo, help build the momentum of the new identity, talk to your families and friends about it. If someone from the outside asks, you can say, “GRAM is a new company. We are in stealth mode on our product offering."

So far there's indication that Gram will not produce customer hardware, but will instead focus on software, the user experience, the cloud, engineering and partnering. WebOS, Enyo and the webOS group's own cloud services team is expected to play some role as the "core strengths" quote describes. Gram will be a new, separate entity that will still reside under HP's funding umbrella.

"We hope you will fall in love with the brand just as lots of us have already," the letter reads. "Please note that our Mission, Values and Plan of Action are the same. We are continuing to march forward on our timelines as usual -- nothing new there. Yes, this is a new brand -- it is just the beginning, and there is so much more to do."

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  • 1 Hide
    shqtth , August 16, 2012 2:03 PM
    Why not call it Palm?
    Gram? Who gives a damn.

    tele-gram: HP sucks, WebOS is dead. Open source was HP's delayed way of saying their is no hope in hell for us WebOS users. Stupid HP.
  • 0 Hide
    shqtth , August 16, 2012 2:08 PM
    I like the fact that HP is trying to design its Open WebOs for non-existent hardware, instead od using its current hardware, and user base to beta test it. Happy customer is a repeat customer. An happy customer spreads word to others and suddenly it grows (social marketing/referrals). Tired of HP doing everything half ass, they couldn't even wipe their ass properly if they had toilet paper.
  • -1 Hide
    cptnjarhead , August 16, 2012 2:31 PM
    open webOS is aiming for support on future hardware platforms where SoC's [system-on-chips] support Linux 3.3+ kernel and where open source replacements for proprietary components are integrated.
    the homebrew community will take care of legacy devices.
    Open webOS is alive and on track.
    long live webOS!
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , August 16, 2012 2:40 PM
    WebOS is dead.... another hobby OS, like AmigaOS.

    GRAM is a way for HP to unload Palm/WebOS... in another year, GRAM will be gone.. "sorry, you didn't make any thing, we don't need you" - or it becomes a tax advantage for the company.
  • 0 Hide
    cptnjarhead , August 16, 2012 2:53 PM
    WebOS is dead.... another hobby OS, like AmigaOS.

    with a ton of mobile (palm) patents to back it up, its hardly a "hobby" OS
  • 1 Hide
    cptnjarhead , August 16, 2012 4:33 PM
    .... not to mention openmobile - ACL, that will bring over 450000 Android apps to open webOS.
    Still a hobby OS? i think not.
  • 0 Hide
    headscratcher , August 16, 2012 4:58 PM
    With HP re-affirming their vows to Microsoft, I can't see how this is going to go anywhere unless they attract the interest of Samsung or similar.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , August 16, 2012 11:49 PM
    I'm really curious what these employees would be doing.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , August 17, 2012 11:48 AM
    Part of me read the headline and groaned, here goes HP abusing Palm again. And part thinks this might be some hope that webOS can make a come back as long as HP just funds it and doesn't muck about with development.