John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Palm Developer Program Leaders Wave Goodbye to HP

For Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer, co-directors of Palm’s developer program, Hewlett-Packard was a nice place to visit, but not one in which they particularly wanted to live. And so the two are leaving the company, evidently to start a new software development consultancy, with HP among the first clients.

“It’s with mixed emotions that we share that we have decided to leave employment at HP,” Galbraith and Almaer (pictured below, left and right, respectively) wrote in a post to the Palm Developer Blog. “It’s been a singular experience being part of the Palm webOS story up to now and we’re confident that the new resources HP brings will take the developer program to the next level.”

“We’ll post more on the details of our new company soon,” said Galbraith on his own blog, “but we plan on spending our time creating quality software and helping others to do the same. A particular focus of ours will be to help folks realize high-quality mobile and desktop app and web experiences using HTML5, JavaScript, and related technologies.”

And Almaer said their goal is to help developers prosper in an open environment: “We are so lucky to be in a position where a massive global platform is Open. If you look at our history with mainframes, PCs, and gaming consoles, they have all been closed proprietary systems. As developers we have been beholden to the vendors. When we are both aligned, things can work out, but as soon as the company has a change in strategy and we misalign, developers are often left by the wayside.”

The pair’s departure is an unfortunate loss for Palm and its new owner HP–a poorly timed one too. The latter has been “doubling down” on the former’s mobile operating system, webOS, since the acquisition closed. Can’t imagine losing the co-directors of the webOS developer program will do much to push that effort forward.

That said, the way HP has chosen to deal with the loss should help. The company is moving the Palm Developer Team under Jason Zajac, VP of HP’s Applications and Services Businesses and the guy responsible for software and services partnerships in its Personal Systems Group. That should put it in position to better leverage those HP resources Galbraith and Almaer mentioned in their farewell.

Incidentally, Zajac is one of four senior HP executives who’ve had their roles shifted to better focus on Palm and webOS recently. So really, HP tapping him to head up the Palm Dev program fits in quite nicely with the broader integration and evolution it clearly has planned for Palm.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

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