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HP Handhelds Operating Systems

WebOS Chief: Don't Fret Over TouchPad Reviews 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the pay-no-attention-to-the-OS-behind-the-mirror dept.
Fudge Factor 3000 writes "HP released their much trumpeted enterprise tablet, TouchPad, last week. This device was also the first to showcase WebOS in a tablet. The tablet received several harsh reviews, though some stated that the OS showed potential. Most of the criticism surrounded the sluggish software and the lack of apps. As reported by CNET, WebOS chief Jon Rubenstein rallies his troops by comparing the WebOS tablet's debut to that of Mac OS X, which also struggled early on. However, it is not entirely clear if the comparison is appropriate, since WebOS has existed since 2009, and OS X had the ability to run most classic OS 9 apps during the transition period. Nevertheless, one can certainly argue that the situation is similar in spirit." Another reader tips a related article which suggests that — for better or worse — Apple has succeeded in defining what a tablet should be, making it difficult for competitors to get a foothold in the market.
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WebOS Chief: Don't Fret Over TouchPad Reviews

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  • by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @07:19PM (#36666928)

    While it's pathetic and sad that so few vendors can come up with something whose usability matches the iPad, it is interesting to see Apple take such a huge slice of that pie.

    Last I recall they had something like 90% of the market, which is easily monopoly territory. It'll be fascinating to see if they succumb to the temptation to abuse it, or if they can stay their hand.

    • by mellon (7048) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @07:23PM (#36666964) Homepage

      What's even more ironic is that this is true despite the various ways that Apple has chosen to cripple the iPad. All they need to do is make something iPad-like that isn't crippled, and the people who want an iPad that isn't crippled will buy it. (I have an iPad and like it, but the fact that I can't do shortcuts on the keyboard and can't run an interpreter on it or fork subprocesses means that it is much less useful to me than it could be.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Microlith (54737)

        Indeed, but they don't want you. At least, they don't want you as you are, but as they want you to be (getting kinda Nirvana here...)

        Apple's hostility towards technical users should be well known at this point, which is a tragic turn from where they are with OS X.

        • Hostility is the wrong word, especially considering your phrasing. Functionality bloat can hamper usefulness. While we may debate the degree to which Apple takes it, you cannot say its a hostile act. Of course a gilded cage is still a prison. Perspective I suppose, and in case you were wondering what im smoking its some nice Jack Herer and no you cant have some.
      • by Guspaz (556486)

        They can get away with this because most people don't care about this stuff anyhow. There is a significant portion who do (two years ago, it was said that 10% of iPhone users were jailbreaking), but that still leaves 90% who don't, and I suspect a decent chunk of those 10% are jailbreaking to pirate stuff anyhow (not judging, just saying).

        • by mellon (7048)

          Right. I.e., there's a market there. 10% of iPad sales is better than any of the Android tabs are doing right now, as far as I know. It's certainly better than the TouchPad is doing.

          • by symbolset (646467) *

            HP has some uniquely interesting stuff here. They are integrating WebOS with their Windows build, and putting it on every pc they ship. They ship a lot of pcs. That's a quick ramp to an intresing numberof app buyers.

            They are late to the party. Maybe they bring something interesting. Maybe not. But although I agree with you and the parent and the fine summary, I think it's too early to count this one out just yet.

      • by kwerle (39371)

        We're way off topic...

        What's even more ironic is that this is true despite the various ways that Apple has chosen to cripple the iPad. All they need to do is make something iPad-like that isn't crippled, and the people who want an iPad that isn't crippled will buy it. (I have an iPad and like it, but the fact that I can't do shortcuts on the keyboard and can't run an interpreter on it or fork subprocesses means that it is much less useful to me than it could be.)

        I agree with everything you said. But there's a bit of a caveat:
        You and I represent a tiny tiny fraction of 1% of consumers: those with technical wants.

        If Apple catered to us, then every stupid developer (99% of 'em - let's be honest) would fork stuff and use keyboard stuff and generally screw up the experience and battery life. It is entirely NOT in Apple's best interests (or the consumers that love iDevices) to allow those kinds of things.

        • by Microlith (54737)

          There's a difference between giving people technical options, and having a controlled App Store serve as the primary software source.

          Apple gives no option at all. You are supposed to be a passive consumer. Unless you're an "artsy" type, then you can create all you want. But not if you're the technical type.

          • by LDAPMAN (930041)

            Apple gives you an option. If your truly a "technical" type then pony up $99 and join the iOS developer program. Then you can do anything you like on your iPad. If you really want the power...then pay for it.

            • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

              If your truly a "technical" type then pony up $99 and join the iOS developer program. Then you can do anything you like on your iPad. If you really want the power...then pay for it.

              And all you get for that $99 is access to the device you already paid for when you bought it.

              I guess a lot of people just aren't smart enough to be insulted.

            • by PNutts (199112)

              Agreed. Or jailbreak it.

              • by mellon (7048)

                If you jailbreak it, you are trusting a third party who has no fiduciary responsibility to you with full access to your device. This is not worth it to me, even though I am sure the jailbreakers are all really swell people.

                • If you don't have the capacity to jailbreak your own device safely, then you shouldn't be messing with it.

                  Apple is absolutely great for technical users. The barrier to entry is purposeful, and keeps "expert" users from opening their devices and calling into support. In the meantime, I absolutely enjoy the soldering, hacking, and pentalobe screws in exchange for excellent build quality and fantastic design.
            • by mellon (7048)

              No, that's not true. You may be able to access the keyboard through an undocumented low-level API (if I know, and I am not saying I do or don't, I would be prohibited by the developer agreement from saying). But you definitely can't fork subprocesses. You can install an interpreter. But I have to say that having paid the $99 two years in a row, I'm getting a little tired of it. It's pathetic that I have to pay for this access to a device that I paid for in full.

            • If your truly a "technical" type then pony up $99 and join the iOS developer program.

              Then what do I do once 365 days are up and the iPad relocks itself? By the time I've spent $499 on an iPad and $495 on keeping it from relocking itself annually, I could have spent that much money on a MacBook Air.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            There's a difference between giving people technical options, and having a controlled App Store serve as the primary software source./quote.

            That difference mainly being that we don't have a weekly story on Slashdot about how 10's of apps were pulled for being malicious.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            There's a difference between giving people technical options, and having a controlled App Store serve as the primary software source.

            A huge difference.

            The difference is so big, in fact, that they are completely incompatible.

            Time to face facts: Apple doesn't want technical users, they want the far more lucrative consumer market.

            Sony did something similar back in the 90's when they turned away from technical users of their high-end audio gear and focues on the more lucrative consumer market. Now, their cons

            • by iluvcapra (782887)

              Apple started out by targeting a product to hobbyists and techies. Abandoning those people shows a distinct lack of corporate character. When fashions change as they inevitably do, the loyalists won't be there.

              You don't often hear the argument that nichy fanboys are critical to the long-term success of a company -- the hobbyists and techies of the computer market aren't liable to maintain any real brand loyalty, the know too much and their needs aren't mass marketable. Techies want FOSS, but its not a useful selling point.

              Sony makes great audio gear; the "hobbyists and techies" of that market are the ones paying $200 for copper wires. Nobody outside of their circle can tell the difference, but they swear that i

        • by mellon (7048)

          That's as may be (I don't entirely disagree, but I don't agree either). But what I can say with some confidence is that there are people who would buy a tablet like the iPad only with some more features that are easily provided. But so far nobody's delivering that: they're delivering things that are less useable than the iPad, not more.

          I'm looking forward to seeing Honeycomb on a tablet, but it's going to have to have a *lot* of usability work done if it's going to approach the iPad's usability, based o

      • What's even more ironic to me is that you don't seem to understand that Apple is succeeding BECAUSE it has a product that is "crippled," from your point of view. Your needs and wants are NOT the needs and wants of the majority. If Apple tried to cater to what you wanted, the company wouldn't have the huge hit that it has. Apple is focusing on what a much wider audience wants, NOT the desires of the geek crowd.
        • by mellon (7048)

          What makes you think I don't understand Apple's produce positioning? I'm just saying that their product positioning creates an opportunity for competition.

          • If you think that one company can produce the iPad AND the anti-iPad, you don't understand brands and positioning. That's for some other company to do. The same brand can't stand for both things.
          • I'm just saying that their product positioning creates an opportunity for competition.

            Then you are saying that you don't understand Apple's product positioning at all, because the "openings" you see are the craters left from previous attempts in the market.

            Apple has figure out the way to build tablets people actually want to use. The "openings" you and many other Slashdot readers perceive are not really there, are not really viable.

        • by epyT-R (613989)

          sigh.. quit apologizing for them.. their desire to not cater to the geek crowd has nothing to do with it. they could release the exact products they do now minus the draconian lockdown and since most people never touch the innards, nothing would change for them. this lockdown isn't for the consumer, it's for apple.

          • I couldn't care less about "apologizing" for anyone. Apple is producing products that millions of people want. The fact that the geeky minority don't approve of what those people want doesn't make them wrong. You're letting your bias for the model that works for you get in the way of understanding why many other people want something different from your preference.
            • And you are letting your bias for the model that works get in the way of your understanding that it is not the only model in the universe that may work.

              It isn't implausible that epyT-R could be right, that Apple may have been able to "release the exact products they do now minus the draconian lockdown", and have been just as successful.

              Just because they succeeded as is doesn't mean that they couldn't have succeeded in some other way, and there's no need for you to go around getting in everyone's face here w

            • by epyT-R (613989)

              no.. read what I said. the devices not being open does not benefit or hurt the average user. their experience doesn't change unless they choose to go outside apple's garden and hit the wall.

            • by epyT-R (613989)

              ..to finish what I was saying, the point is that the locked garden serves no one's interest other than apple's.

          • It's okay, not everybody does. You probably are good at other things, like gardening maybe?

            But you don't understand computer security, in particular you don't understand how 'draconian control' leads directly to Apple succeeding where others have failed.

            Maybe you should get back to your lawn.

      • by swb (14022)

        For me its only crippled in two ways:

        1) Lack of support for bluetooth mouse AT ALL. I could (grudgingly) accept not supporting it in native apps, but with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, it could pretty much stand in (via RDP) for a PC.

        2) Lack of reasonable support for external storage. I understand there are workarounds with the camera connection kit, but still, why not just a SD slot? It'd also be nice to support some kind of "commons" storage area that wasn't object type specific, and maybe this is wh

        • by mellon (7048)

          Actually, you know what really fried my chicken? There's no support for a bluetooth headset! The lack of a mouse doesn't bother me, because Apple is trying to encourage a different use model. But the lack of a bluetooth headset is a deliberate crippling of the device, since iOS very definitely has support for bluetooth headsets.

      • by node 3 (115640)

        What's even more ironic is that this is true despite the various ways that Apple has chosen to cripple the iPad. All they need to do is make something iPad-like that isn't crippled, and the people who want an iPad that isn't crippled will buy it.

        Isn't that what Android is supposed to be?

        Newsflash: the iPad isn't crippled.

        Crippled implies missed functionality. The only functionality that even remotely fits this bill is the lack of Flash, and that's more of a thing that people talk about, but end up not really missing all that much (and there are apps in the App Store that make almost all Flash sites work on the iPad). Hardly sufficient to call it "crippled" in the eyes of most people.

        (I have an iPad and like it, but the fact that I can't do shortcuts on the keyboard and can't run an interpreter on it or fork subprocesses means that it is much less useful to me than it could be.)

        And while that's true for you, it's not really true for most peopl

        • by mellon (7048)

          Seriously? Flash? Who cares? No bluetooth headset. No keyboard navigation. Completely locked down, requires $99 subscription to develop. *These* are the things it's missing. If it had Flash, you'd be complaining about battery life.

          • by node 3 (115640)

            Seriously? Flash? Who cares?

            My sentiments exactly. That's why I said, "the only functionality that even remotely fits this bill is the lack of Flash". In other words, not a big deal, but if anything, that's something people talk about.

            No bluetooth headset.

            What?

            No keyboard navigation. Completely locked down, requires $99 subscription to develop. *These* are the things it's missing.

            Not to 99% of the people out there. This is the exact point I'm trying to make. The things slashdot nerds care about aren't nearly as relevant as they seem to think.

            If it had Flash, you'd be complaining about battery life.

            Yes, I would. I don't have Flash installed on my Macs, except via Chrome. I've noted a marked improvement by not installing Flash. I'd

      • by FlyingGuy (989135)

        As has been said many many many times before...

        A. The percentage of people that think it is "crippled" is very very very VERY small.

        B. The percentage of people who find it the handiest thing to have is very very very VERY large.

        Apple has produced a device that appeals to B.

        Companies love them as well. They can write and install apps for them that the idiot "Road Warriors" can't fuck up.

        Kaiser Permanente is currently testing them to replace desktops and laptops in their hospitals and exam rooms.

        The "Walled

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Other companies make non-crippled devices. The people who want an iPad but don't want it crippled buy those. Thus, Apple has a 90% market share.

        There just aren't that many people who wan to run interpreters or fork subprocesses on their tablet. And most of the ones who do are perfectly capable of jailbreaking an iPad anyway.

      • by grapeape (137008)

        I dont think that would be gaining marketshare but simply trading it and I would imaging the power user market is far far smaller than the average consumer one. I really dont think Apple cares to be number one or about catering to everyone, they have found a niche and those that have them seem to love them and those that dont are free to find something else.

      • by dissy (172727)

        (I have an iPad and like it, but the fact that I can't do shortcuts on the keyboard and can't run an interpreter on it or fork subprocesses means that it is much less useful to me than it could be.)

        Keyboard shortcuts are provided by an app called Activator.
        All the special keys are handled, as well as command anything (I suppose this would be windows-key anything on non-apple keyboards)

        As for interpreters, my iPad has perl and python installed. Java too, thou not exactly an interpreter there.
        I do wish TCL was ported over, as I much prefer that language. Ah well.

        As for forking subprocesses, you need to install the BSD subsystem and you can fork processes just as you do in any unix environment.
        In C you

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @07:39PM (#36667074)
      Having the largest marketshare isn't really the legal definition of a monopoly. Apple's marketshare must be so dominant and controlling that (1) they can set whatever prices they wanted and (2) customers have no suitable alternatives as the barrier to entry is too high. Well given that many of their competitors can release products (some of them cheaper/some more expensive) is really enough to fend off any monopoly charges. The fact that the competing products have mostly sucked so far isn't really on Apple but on their competitors' inadequacies. After that Apple must be shown to somehow curtail competition through the use of their monopoly. Having 90+% marketshare wasn't the problem with MS and Windows. It was their dealings with OEMs and partners to harm Netscape and Sun that was why MS was convicted.
      • by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @07:43PM (#36667106)

        given that many of their competitors can release products (some of them cheaper/some more expensive) is really enough to fend off any monopoly charges

        When Microsoft was tried for abusing their monopoly, other vendors were releasing OSes and browsers. Nonetheless, they were found to have a monopoly. The direction for abuse would be threats against App Developers directed towards other mobile platforms.

        The fact that the competing products have mostly sucked so far isn't really on Apple but on their competitors' inadequacies.

        No argument there.

        After that Apple must be shown to somehow curtail competition through the use of their monopoly. Having 90+% marketshare wasn't the problem with MS and Windows. It was their dealings with OEMs and partners to harm Netscape and Sun that was why MS was convicted.

        Right, and it's much easier to do so when you control a huge percentage of the mobile space. Again, my post was wondering if Apple would be able to resist that temptation.

        • by willy_me (212994)

          When Microsoft was tried for abusing their monopoly, other vendors were releasing OSes and browsers.

          But none of them would run the required software - software for Windows. You will recall the GP listing the requirements as follows: (1) they can set whatever prices they wanted and (2) customers have no suitable alternatives as the barrier to entry is too high.

          When Microsoft was convicted they could basically set whatever price they wanted. The cost of producing Windows had nothing to do with the pricing. The only thing that limited the price was piracy and the fact that people would avoid new purcha

          • Should they choose to price their iPads at $2000 then people would still purchase tablets - just not from Apple.

            Unless they have to run iPad-exclusive applications. Your argument appears to be based on the existence of critical Windows-exclusive applications and the nonexistence of critical iPad-exclusive applications.

        • by DJRumpy (1345787)

          Much easier to do with a large or majority market share, but the fact that Apple is releasing it's hardware at the same cost, or even less than the opening products from the competition definitely does not say 'monopoly'. It basically indicates a healthy, competitive market, although the other vendors have yet to step up to the plate with a good front runner.

        • I think Apple's problem will come with iTunes.

          iTunes currently controls around 70% of the market for downloading music. That's definitely monopoly territory. So the argument could be made that because you can only download music on iOS devices via iTunes, that Apple is using it's music monopoly to expand into phone sales.

          • by ceoyoyo (59147)

            You've got that backwards. If Apple were leveraging their monopoly (in online music sales) to expand into phone sales, you'd only be able to play iTunes tracks on iOS devices.

            Your way around they'd have to be leveraging their phone monopoly to expand into music. But they didn't do that - music came first.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Other vendors were releasing OSes but they didn't get anywhere because MS had such a dominant market share with Office, and the Office formats were closed so you couldn't write software that would interact with it properly.

          Other vendors were releasing browsers but they didn't get anywhere because MS built their own browser into their OS, and it could do special things others couldn't BECAUSE it was built into the OS. Ditto for Office.

          MS didn't get convicted of being a monopolist because they made Windows o

        • by inKubus (199753)

          And don't forget that Microsoft was selling 500 million copies of something, not 10 million. Pft, the tablet market is small. It's a toy. And maybe useful for delivery drivers. Watch it fade away again. Smart phones, that's where it's at, and no one is going to win that game, it'll just be divided up amongst the players. Microsoft/Nokia and Blackberry for business customers, Apple for "creative" professionals and Android for the cheapskates and hackers.

    • It'll be fascinating to see if they succumb to the temptation to abuse it

      Ha. Haha. Want to sell something through a link on a webpage that somebody viewed in Safari on their iPad? Not allowed! Apple must have their 30% cut!

      • by PNutts (199112)

        That's not true.

      • Want to sell something through a link on a webpage that somebody viewed in Safari on their iPad? Not allowed!

        Amazon and Egghead, to name just two companies, both disagree with you given I loaded Safari in my iPad and bought something from them...

    • Currently they have the only product managing an interresting enough balance between quality and price.
      But in the long run ? Once the hype dies ?

      They'll probably remain as a luxury type of product as usual. The masses will probably slowly start to get more attracted to cheaper solution produced by noname asian companies and running free Android.
      (The cheapest iPad 2 starts at more than 450€. There are *full blown* netbooks and laptops costing less than that. The post office at the corner of my street is

    • Apple is definitely looking like Microsoft in the 1990s era. Their strengths and fortunes are exactly the same: they're one of many large technology companies with competent management and a healthy engineering culture, and they're uniquely blessed with the most head-slappingly retarded competitors in the history of human commerce.

      So yes... if history repeats itselfl, Apple is most likely going to cross paths with antitrust authorities in the USA, EU, or both. It's not a good-versus-evil thing, it's just

      • by AndrewStephens (815287) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:40PM (#36667872) Homepage

        The Microsoft-of-the-90s comparisons are overblown. Microsoft didn't get slapped by the antitrust police for being successful. They got punished (weakly) for a series of dick moves against their competitors and even their own OEM "partners". They used their products' power with consumers to drive deeply unfair deals with the OEMs to prevent other products from even being offered.

        The only way that Apple could so something similar would be to prevent retail outlets selling Apple gear from selling any competitor's product. There are pretty strict rules about that sort of thing, and (so far) Apple hasn't broken them.

  • by Rix (54095) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @07:34PM (#36667032)

    If the answer is "nothing" or "something they could have just implemented on Android" then why didn't they just make an Android tablet?

    • by the linux geek (799780) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @07:53PM (#36667166)
      WebOS, when implemented properly, is a better system than Android - Just Type and card-based multitasking are my favorite features. The problem is that hardware so far has been either plain bad (Pre, Pre2), unreleased until some far-future date (Pre3), or weird and niche (Veer.) I haven't had a chance to use a TouchPad yet, so I can't comment, but the problem is not the software.

      Also, the amount that Slashdot users seem to love the idea of an Android monoculture is vaguely disturbing.
      • by manekineko2 (1052430) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @08:06PM (#36667232)

        Actually, from the reviews of the TouchPad, it sounds like the problem is the software. Random slowdowns and gradual slowdown without reboots, even on their top-of-the-line TouchPad, all promised to be fixed with a future update.

        What the problem is not is the user interface. Their conception of mobile multitasking is truly a thing of beauty, and I dearly wish Google and Apple would rip them off like RIM did.

  • Some credit... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @07:39PM (#36667082) Journal

    I don't think WebOS is going to end up succeeding, but I am going to give HP some credit for at least trying to do more than just ship whatever Microsoft hands them.

    -jcr

  • by mveloso (325617) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @07:47PM (#36667140)

    When Mac OS X was released, Mac OS 9 still worked. It took until 10.3 or 10.4 before Mac OS X was used extensively, if I remember correctly.

    It takes around 4 years for an OS to develop, and another 2 to fully bake. The iPad got an early start, since it's mostly the same as the iPhone. WebOS lost a year due to the acquisition.

    They need to keep iterating. The embedded market is huge, and can afford to wait. Apple will never embed iOS, and Android has licensing issues vis-a-vis Microsoft. That leaves the embedded market to...HP?

  • It looks a lot more like what I'd want if I were to purchase a tablet. It's unfortunate HP's approach to the OS won't get it into everybody-and-their-brothers tablets like free-for-all Android, and HP doesn't have the fanbase of Apple... and it's just another platform to port to with a limited number of users so developers will probably not even bother and the lack of apps will kill it.

    Sorry HP, you did a good job but this fight was over before it started.

    • I'm a big fan, too, and was pretty saddened by the poor reviews of the TouchPad to see I'd been let down.

      It's a little hard for me to understand what HP was thinking. From where I'm standing it doesn't look to me like they did a good job in a that fight over before it started. It looked to me like they under invested and screwed the platform.

      You get to pick up to 2 of: fast, good, or cheap. They managed to be none of fast, good, or cheap.

      Fast: They were late to market, with HP doing seemingly nothing for ab

  • by Virtucon (127420) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @08:08PM (#36667252)

    I'm not really surprised. Yes, WebOS and the remnants of Palm are still alive and kicking but Palm didn't do themselves any favors. There was a time that Palm made the best products out there and had the operating system that everyone loved. The along came RIM and the Blackberry and at first, the old Blackberry devices did well but they sucked to use. Anybody remember the 857 and 957 from a long time ago? Then along comes Apple, then comes Android.. It's cyclic in nature and Palm didn't keep up with the industry. The first release of WebOS was interesting but again it was trapped in the Palm Pre. Mine locked up so many times that after one month I returned it.

    Do I give WebOS some credit? Well, yes, there are some nice UI elements but again, what's it compatible with and what developers will build apps for it?
    RIM is now seen as a fading player so what does that leave for everybody else? Will the tablet and phone world start to look like the Windows World in the 90s where MSFT just built an O/S and there were multiple players who built the hardware? Who knows, but I will tell you that Apple doesn't like to share and marginalize their profits. The challenge will be making the next device because the cell phone market is already slipping from them.

  • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @08:14PM (#36667288)

    HP has the same problem as Nokia and RIM. Company execs aren't putting enough resources into their new OS's to get things moving.

    Nokia had a good thing started with Maemo/Meego. Just look at the recent N950, N9 reviews by Engadget and others (
    http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/21/nokia-n9-first-hands-on/ [engadget.com] ; http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/30/nokias-n950-demos-meego-harmattan-in-marathon-video/ [engadget.com] ). A great start/ideas, but they didn't put enough of their not insubstantial resources behind it to get it developed quickly. They gave developers a mixed message, which had a lot of them sitting back waiting to see if there was going to be full commitment by the company before joining in.
    Result, the new OS floundered from lack of backing, and they ended up turning to Microsoft.

    RIM had been giving the developers the same mixed message about where they are headed. QNX could be an awesome phone OS. Frankly, I'm not sure why someone wasn't putting it on phones years ago. Will it succeed? If it does, it will be despite the big brass's ambivalent attitude.

    And now we have HP, which bought a great little OS in WebOS from Palm, that just didn't have the money to dig themselves out of the hole they let themselves get into.

    HP's administration said they were going to "double down on WebOS." [techcrunch.com] Their new CEO says they are going to "be cooler than apple" [engadget.com]. He's also said they were going to avoid the same mistakes made in the past and that they would now "ship products within weeks of announcement"" [precentral.net].

    HP keeps claiming they have 'incredible scale' and vast resources to make WebOS a success. But since the purchase of Palm, they haven't put their money where their mouth is.

    What have they done with those vast resources?

    They let the bulk of the creative talent from Palm, the folks who had all the great ideas that make WebOS the induitive OS that it is, leave to go to Apple, Google, or anywhere but HP.

    They've put out the Veer, which is basically a smaller version of the original pre, with slightly upgraded hardware.

    They have essentially converted a tablet that they were originally going to have run a MS OS. Their Touchpad is bulkier, heavier, and has slower hardware than the competition. And the OS is laggy.

    The 'Cool thing' about the Touchpad was that it is supposed to synch with their(new) phones, (Veer, and Pre3). The veer is selling terribly because it's too tiny for a smartphone.

    And the Pre3? The Pre3 was announced in February. It's going to ship (in the U.S.) in the Fall. With specs that are way outclassed by phones already released with Android, and facing a likely new iPhone in the fall, as well as some insanely better hardware in the Galaxy S2.

    Not much to show for HPs vaunted vast resources.

    And then there's customer service...

    Original Pre owners were strung along for many months by HP, who told them their Pre phones would be upgraded to WebOS version 2.x and finally get FLASH, that was promised to them 2 years ago when the phone first went on sale. Then at the last minute, folks found out (via twitter, not even a real press release) that that wasn't going to happen.

    Then they said they'd do something to 'make things right' to the WebOS users. What did they do finally? Their marketing guys attempted to upsell those folks by giving them a $50 coupon for the touchpad. But only if they got the high end 32MB version. And only if they did it within 30 days of the notice.

    Not timely, not cool HP.

    I'm afraid WebOS is fated to go the way of BeOS. O

    • by jcr (53032)

      Their Touchpad is bulkier, heavier, and has slower hardware than the competition. And the OS is laggy.

      That is surprising. Rubinstein certainly knows how to make good hardware (he did it for NeXT and Apple for many years). I don't know of any reason why HP wouldn't be able to match if not exceed what Apple's able to do in that area.

      -jcr

    • As a Palm Pre Plus owner Im glad to see the WebOs tablet sink and burn. If HP hadnt left me out in the cold I might have at least tried it. And I KNOW the only reason Pre Plus didnt get 2.0 was because of the vanilla Pres.
  • by transami (202700) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @11:07PM (#36668454) Homepage

    I think everyone is under estimating HP an letting Apple fanboys dictate the PR.

    Here's the first think that will differentiate the TouchPad from the iPad: PRICE

    Although the SRP is the same as the iPad, Apple doesn't discount. HP does. Expect to see the TouchPad for $50 less than SRP to be common place. And as production scales up expect deeper discounts. HP doesn't sell more computer than anyone else for no reason. While the hardware specs might not be quite a good as iPad2, at a better price point they will prove good enough --especially at the next issue comes into play...

    Most of the speed issues are software issues and will be ironed out over the next couple point releases of webOS. As will the number of Apps available. By Christmas the outlook will be much better.

    Also, expect HP to release more many models. Already there are rumors of a 64GB model and a 7" model. HP's ability to produce models is actually a little scary --have you ever looked closely at all the models of printers and PCs they role out? It's like three new models every quarter. I don't expect them to go that far with their tablets, but I would not be surprised to see a half-dozen more tablets and/or phones sometime during the next year or so.

    And then there's webOS on the desktop. That's the next shoe to drop. Expect HP to replace the "splashtop" they now offer with a light version of webOS. Now all those HP computer buyer are getting used to webOS too. That can have a powerful effect in a couple of years!

    Bottom line, all HP has to do is hang tough and they will make out. And they have more resources than anyone else to do just that.

    Oh, and did I mention webOS on printers?

    • by Wovel (964431)

      very few people will be swayed to a tablet with no software for $50. HP has a steep climb ahead.

    • by joh (27088)

      May be, may be. But what you're *actually* saying with all this is: "Don't buy a WebOS tablet right now! They will get better and cheaper soon!"

      If this is what every thinking person thinks about a product, you've had a very bad start, believe me.

  • The teal reason to fret is that on an article about webOS the majority of the posts don't even mention HP or webOS but instead apple, iOS, and ipad

  • They also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

    It's anyone's guess as to which WebOS is.

  • yeah but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by smash (1351) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @02:51AM (#36669406) Homepage Journal

    ... OS X was competing with Windows 98 and Windows 2000. Which were, by comparison, rather crap - Windows 98 had fairly dodgy memory protection, and Windows 2000 had very little software compatibility.

    HP are now competing against an entrenched market leader at a similar price point and a huge application library. Unless they can offer lower cost, higher performance, smaller size, better battery life or some other "hook", they're boned.

    The app store is an awesome lock-in for apple. All the apps purchased are not transferrable to a non-apple device. Unless they can give me a compelling reason to ditch all of the apps I have purchased on my other i-devices, its going to be a fucking hard sell to get me to buy any tablet other than an ipad.

    I don't own one yet (doesn't do anything for my usage patterns), but if i was in the market, it would be a no-brainer.

  • by Junta (36770) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @08:09AM (#36670590)

    This is just delusional. The part where he compares the launch to OSX launch was particularly goofy. It pretends that WebOS is a platform that *hasn't* had over two years in the open market to mature. Comparing OSX launch (completely different OS than previously released by Apple) to a tablet launch using an OS that has had a comparatively long time to work out the kinks is just sad. Further complicating things is they showed this thing off nearly 6 months ago in pretty much the same state as it was at launch. With all the intervening time, they didn't seem to complete these evidently 'trivial' fixes.

    This also overlooks another major sore spot for the reviews. Even the most favorable expressed disappointment in the dimensions and particularly the weight. Most noted the fact that HP seemed to be chasing the iPad 1 size and weight, though with a considerable bump in hardware performance.

    The application space seems unfortunately sparse. They indicated a number of key partners at their announcement in February that didn't seem to actually show up. Netflix being a notable example. They have had an incredible homebrew community that can churn stuff out quickly (probably due in no small part to the ease of Linux SDL code for the desktop being ported to the phone), but it just hasn't been enough. I'm reminded of early on when a very select set of software producers took a leap of faith and released WebOS software on Pre launch, only to abandon it when the market reality set in.

    The marketing message is also a bit confused. The Veer keeps saying 'small phone because you want a tablet and why would you want a big phone', but at the same time all their demos and discussions focus around their unreleased 'big phone' Pre 3 as the optimal companion to their tablet.

    I may be a bit bitter over the fact that HP seems to have neglected their phone product launch efforts trying to chase this tablet market, and I personally don't want any tablet and might have been interested if they got a Pre3 in my hands in a reasonable time frame instead. Rubbing salt in the wound, the announcement of 'making things right' for early adopters that were told the software upgrades would go further than they did would be $50 off the higher priced tablets seemed to emphasize just how much they are thinking tablets above phones.

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