Gentlemen's Debate: HP and Palm - a marriage of the devil

Order, order, this House will now come to order to hear whether the marriage twixt Hewlett-Packard and Palm is indeed one of the Devil, as the Honourable Gentleman On the Left has suggested, or whether in fact it is as heaven made as Darjeeling and the hour 4:45pm.

Gentlemen, if you will, I should like to hear no interruptions, no references to one another's matrilineage and a nice piece of Victoria sponge will be available should the session continue through tea. If the Gentlemen On The Left would like to begin.

Once again we find ourselves across the floor from one another with a matter of technology twixt our two souls with a threat to cleave this house in twain.

Indeed we do, but today I will once again beat you with my wit and wisdom as you fail to grasp the power and effect such a marry of two houses will have.

I have bit three words for you, sir: Tish, pash and pashar!

I believe that the purchase of Palm by HP is a master-stroke that will catapult them to the forefront of the industry and allow them to challenge a number of companies that currently they are ill-equipped to do.

And I believe it will be a union as ill-advised as that between a brother and his sister. A beastly offspring shall burst forth, if indeed the seed can find any fertile ground from which to flourish at all. Hewlett Packard already does what it does and it does it very well. It has no need to take on board an admittedly well followed but failed company.

Ah, but that is where you are wrong good sir, for while HP has massive scale and a global infrastructure that even the Empire would be proud of, it doesn't have its own operating system. Every time it makes an object for its subjects it has to pay a levy, normally to the State of Microsoft.

And rightly so, is this not part of a developed society? Is this not the very fabric upon which good business is done? It is a division of labour. HP pays Microsoft because that is what Microsoft does. Hewlett Packard would not know good software if it jumped up, slapped it twice across its rosy cheeks and called it a knave.

And right you are sir, but why should you always be beholden to your allies rather than standing proud on your own. Think of the possibilities, the perfect marriage of HP's might as a hardware maker with the intellectual might of palm's OS. Palm didn't fail because they didn't have a good product, but because they didn't have scale, something that HP has.

Indeed, I cannot fault the path of your logic, sir. However, I must insist that we consider three things - practicalities, practicalities and thrice practicalities. The strengths of the two companies are in no doubt. But HP has little experience of marketing or implementing software in its products. What's more, laptops is that which HP does best of all and there'll be no place for webOS there. Are we really to believe that HP will divert such a vast proportion of its resources to such a small part of its business?

Damn, blast, and bugger you fight a good fight sir, but one must believe that HP has visions beyond its laptop and desktop computers and more to controlling a mobile, tablet space with its own app store and power over its own eco-system. With that scale, webOS will attract new developers which in turn will encourage more customers to sign up.

I thank your kind words, sir, but if my sword is sharp it is because I regularly test its metal on fine adversaries. Your ideas are true but one cannot help think of the phrase "too little, too late". The developers of this world have already made their choice. The gold rush is in writing for iPhone OS or Android. webOS, fine though it is, has already proved itself a third wheel and I fear not even the boost of appearing on more gadgets can save it. It would be one thing if HP were to devote its entire catalogue to Palm's OS but it will not. It will still sell Windows and it will still sell Android. The majority of consumers will not take the third and less popular choice. What's more, HP is not Apple. People do not crave their hardware. Users therefore will not be funnelled down the webOS path and the platform will remain niche and under apped, if you will. Do you not agree?

No sir, I do not agree with your words. In fact I believe they are as wrong as a hung parliament. At present, HP is a hardware maker. It makes all manner of devices and that is its core roll in life. However, with an operating system added to the cocktail, the company will be able to stand on its own - much like Apple or Sony with its PS3 or Microsoft with its Xbox 360. That means that HP may develop products that are not reliant upon other parties. That makes for a more rapid development time and greater sense of a control of one's destiny.

Are you suggesting that HP will drop support for both Android and Windows on both its tablet and smartphone ranges in favour of webOS?

I believe it will keep windows five support, but as windows phone 7 goes more consumer yes - android is dead to HP. I also believe that HP is looking at webOS beyond the smartphone, using it to power its printers, its cameras and more.

Intriguing. Printers and cameras do indeed sound like an excellent idea for a system of webOS's calibre which I understand from my aid will lend a useful potential for app support. And what of Windows Phone 7 on HP tablets and smartphones too? Will that not compete with the Palm system and do HP users simply not crave easy syncing with HP laptops that will be running Windows and not webOS?

May I bring to your attention the hearsay that HP has already suggested that Windows 7 would be too complicated for a tablet device. They have already started to cut Redmond out of the loop as if it were a pie only fit for your mistress. Now begone with your tittle tattle.

I'll have the honourable gentleman know that my mistress dines only on the finest that society can offer. The entire House knows that it's your mistress who evidentally has the problem with pies as well as keeping her pie hole closed! Now, If Windows 7 is already being axed from HP tablets, this could heap a huge tonne of problems down upon their business. If they are to extend this ecosystem then perhaps the honourable gentleman is trying to suggest that they'll be looking to create a version of webOS big enough for the HP laptop range as well! Mr Speaker, I fear my colleague has been sipping too long of the Laudanum bottle from which his father also seemed so fond. Perhaps it were time that he were removed?

How dare you sir - pistols at dawn it is...

Pistols? A Frenchman or harlot's choice. I demand maces!

Order, order, maces it shall be gentlemen. At this point, we would welcome discussion from the floor on Palm and HP while the two honourable gentlemen prepare for their impending hideous disfigurement.