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."