In Pictures: A Palm technology timeline

From the Pilot to the Pre, a look at Palm's hits and misses

A year and a half after Apple revolutionized smartphones with its iPhone, Palm released what it had hoped would be its big comeback product, the Palm Pre. The Pre was the first Palm device to feature the company's brand new operating system, known as webOS. Based on familiar Web standards such as CSS, XHTML and JavaScript, the webOS is layered to allow users to keep several applications open at once and to let them flip seamlessly between them.

The Pre was a lot like the Rolling Stones' attempt at disco in the late '70s – it was still a quality product, but it failed to generate the enthusiasm of the earlier hits. By the time HP purchased Palm yesterday, the company had found itself outside the big players in the smartphone market, as its webOS now ranks behind BlackBerry, iPhone, Symbian and Android in terms of overall usage.

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