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HP's Slate To Be Replaced By WebOS Tablet? 170

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the mondays-can-be-so-boring dept.
itwbennett writes "Last week the rumor mill was rumbling about the demise of HP's Slate. 'This past weekend brought fresh rumors to the surface,' writes blogger Peter Smith. 'Now the insiders are saying that the Slate will be reborn as the HP Hurricane, and it will run WebOS. That makes perfect sense given HP's recent purchase of Palm and HP's declaration that they were 'doubling down on WebOS.' More surprising is the rumored launch date of Q3 of this year, which seems like a pretty fast turn-around. Particularly so if HP ditches the Atom and goes with an ARM processor, which Electronista suggests it would have to do.'"
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HP's Slate To Be Replaced By WebOS Tablet?

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  • Last Week (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheKidWho (705796) on Monday May 10, 2010 @11:51AM (#32156578)

    Last week the rumor mill was also discussing WebOS tablets. This isn't a new shocking development, this was pretty much expected the moment they bought Palm.

  • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Monday May 10, 2010 @11:59AM (#32156736)

    I put my money on Palm having a Pre-production (pun intended) version of a WebOS tablet ready to go and just needed a sugar daddy to pay for manufacturing.

  • Dear HP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fredrickleo (711335) on Monday May 10, 2010 @12:28PM (#32157332) Homepage

    Dear HP,

    Please release a WebOS rom/image/update/etc for all the Palm TX's and other Palm devices that are already out there but probably not being used on account of stagnant OS software and applications.

    I believe many of these devices are capable of running WebOS and you could create a community almost overnight. I'm sure I'm not the only geek looking at my TX wishing I could use it in some meaningful capacity again.

  • by fredmosby (545378) on Monday May 10, 2010 @12:31PM (#32157408)
    I think this is a good move for HP. The slate would have been the same as all the tablet pc's that came before it which basically failed in the market. A web OS tablet might be a decent competitor to the iPad.
  • by MrCrassic (994046) <<li.ame> <ta> <detacerped>> on Monday May 10, 2010 @12:34PM (#32157434) Journal
    Prior to having been given a G1 over the weekend, I didn't think very highly of Android OS. It strongly reminded me of the Windows Mobile scene I was involved in when I had my WinMo devices (Treo 750, HTC Excalibur/Raphael), which was anything but pleasant. However, as I spend more time with the device, I am constantly growing fonder of it. It's very versatile, extremely expansive and, in my opinion, is a mobile OS that actually has the potential to double as a useful and appropriate OS for tablet computing.

    With that said, how does WebOS stack up against Android? On the whole, is it a stronger or weaker OS, and how much more difficult is it to develop for? I haven't yet tried making apps for the Android, but I've heard that it's very straightforward.
  • *nix wins on mobile (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Monday May 10, 2010 @12:52PM (#32157802) Homepage Journal
    The upshot of all this seems to be that MS, and really full proprietary software in general, has long the mobile market. After all these years of being told that OSS software is dangerous, inefficient, and defective, we are at a point where the mobile phones mostly run on software on which at least some layers are at least derived from OSS. Even Nokia, which is suing the hell out of anyone that looks at it funny, has Symbian and Qt.

    Which leaves RIM, which has good solution for business and has a large market of consumers who want to look like important business people, and the dwindling share of Windows Mobile, some reports indicate a 50% drop in market share since fall of last year.

    The fact that iPhone is more closed that some people want causes pain, but would you rather have a company like MS suing everyone that uses OSS software on the mobile platform? I think we can just celebrate that with Google and Apple producing good products using OSS, we can stop wasting time on the Open versus Proprietary debate, and just produce many different good products from which people can choose.

  • by norminator (784674) on Monday May 10, 2010 @12:52PM (#32157804)
    I never understood why Balmer acted like anyone should care that he was introducing the Slate, when tablets had failed for years, and this was just another one (other than the fact that he was trying to preempt the iPad announcement). Now, the irony is that the tablet that he introduced to the world has turned to vapor before it could be released, and MS's lame attempt to steal Apple's thunder is being reborn in a device that may actually steal some thunder from Apple and a lot of thunder from MS, running a non-MS operating system (the only way it can really work right as a tablet).

    I'm sure Balmer would like to pretend that it doesn't exist now. I'm looking forward to reading his dismissive comments about it (the sure sign that it's going to be a success) after it's officially announced.
  • by WillAdams (45638) on Monday May 10, 2010 @01:10PM (#32158130) Homepage

    HP has a _very_ long history of creating tablets --- datingway back to, e.g., the HP OmniGo 100 which ran GEOS and had Graffiti:

    http://www.thocp.net/hardware/hp_omnigo100.htm [thocp.net]

    And they purchased Compaq whose TC1000 hybrid Slate design has yet to be equalled:

    http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/11429_na/11429_na.HTML [hp.com]

    Someone has to take over tablet leadership now that Fujitsu has dropped slates....

    William

  • Re:HP Hurricane? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AVryhof (142320) <avryhof AT gawab DOT com> on Monday May 10, 2010 @01:16PM (#32158248) Homepage

    They should have just stuck with the iPaq name ...I bet that would have really pissed Apple off, because they wouldn't be able to do jack about the use of it, considering iPaq ws already used for an earlier generation product well before the iPad was even dreamed up.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2010 @01:27PM (#32158456)

    I've used a Palm Pre, it's UI is slick, intuitive and a joy to use.

    Then I tried to get an SSH client, there isn't one as far as I could tell. I thought "oh that's fine I'll use VNC web access" but then remembered it's implemented as a Java applet. The browser sucked, Gmail got stuck in infinite reloading loops when it wasn't outright crashing the browser (to be fair it didn't crash the OS). I tried finding an application repository, no joy. I tried an h.264 video, no support. I looked at developing for it, then found I couldn't use programming languages, I was forced to cludge together "applications" with document mark up languages. I gave up.

    I'll stick to Android. (iPhone works but you can't help but feel like your taking it up the ass from some guy in a turtle neck)

  • Re:Dear HP (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fredrickleo (711335) on Monday May 10, 2010 @01:27PM (#32158462) Homepage

    The arguments regarding RAM are legitimate but it wouldn't take tons of cash to port the OS. It would likely just take a few Palm engineers with intimate knowledge of the TX hardware and webOS (the same people perhaps? who knows).

    To me it seems like the driving force behind whether any of these mobile platforms succeed is whether there are applications and developers. HP is in a unique position because there are already a ton of Palms in the environment and they could leverage that to their advantage. If suddenly everyone's Palm was able to run webOS, developers might consider developing some applications for it. Having an extensive software library would obviously help with long term sales of future HP products.

    The argument is really moot without some real figures but HP should have that information, I just wanted to bring it to their attention in case it hasn't been considered (although the fact Palm didn't do it is probably telling). Who knows, maybe HP is willing to take a little risk and put a couple of engineers on it to see if anything comes of it.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday May 10, 2010 @01:38PM (#32158660) Journal
    I suspect that that is part of it(which is certainly an ice burn, since poor old Bill Gates has been chasing tablet computing since back before Steve Jobs got booted from apple); but I suspect that there is a secondary factor:

    Margins/differentiation. IIRC, HP is, by volume, the largest mover of generic wintel crap in the world. For all that, they make fairly modest amounts of money, and most of the good margins are in their high end stuff and consulting services. This is largely because, if you ship Windows boxes, you basically don't have any differentiation potential. You can do a little bit of case styling, or ship a bit of your own shovelware; but not much else.

    If this were just about Win7 sucking at tablet, HP would have gone with Android. To get WebOS, (and Palm's people), cost them 1.2 billion dollars. Android would have been free. Even if there is a de-facto cost associated with being Google's special friend and development buddy, which is certainly possible, it is probably a lot less than 1.2 billion. However, if they had shipped an Android device, they would have been just another android device maker, wholly undistinguished. Given that they paid a good bit of cash for Palm, I'm guessing that they don't want that.

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