A potential battlefield for Palm: U.S. military testing smartphones
With each new application that is released for iOS and Android but not webOS, and with each major app developer that publicly drops support for webOS, the volume of calls for Palm (and its parent HP) to fight for mindshare and opportunities grows louder and louder. One major new potential battlefield (pun intended) may be the U.S. military, which is considering issuing smartphones to all active duty personnel. The "Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications" initiative, part of the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC), is currently evaluating iOS and Android, but the Army has not chosen a platform.
Could Palm be in the running? It appears that it's being considered, or rather, PalmOS is being considered. Rickey Smith, the director of ARCIC-Forward, is quoted by The Army Times as saying, "We're not wedded to a specific piece of hardware. We are open to using Palm Trios [sic], the Android, iPhone or whatever else is out there." What's more likely is that ARCIC is considering webOS, but clearly its key personnel do not know enough about it to accurately discuss it, only highlighting Palm's ongoing PR problem.
Considering the competition, though, webOS should be the #1 choice for ARCIC. It is less wedded to desktops than is iOS (a major consideration in PC-hostile areas of operation), is not subject to the Google-specific licensing and privacy concerns underlying Android, and is based on verifiable open source code. owned and supported by HP, which is already intimately familiar with military requirements, having served defense departments since 1962.
We of course hope that webOS is already on the ARCIC's short list (with accurate device names!), but if it isn't, HP needs to liaise its Enterprise Services unit (which works with the military) with its Personal Systems Group (home of the Palm Global Business Unit) ASAP. Otherwise, if Palm continues to miss opportunities like these, webOS (currently suffering from FUD) could quickly become FUBAR.
Source: The Army Times