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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 @06:40PM (#36667084)

    Yes, when they went from the power user friendly OS X on all of their devices to declaring that the mobile space was for Apple only, and if you wanted to play you had to pay money and be blessed by them.

    And yeah, I expect them to become more hostile and move the restrictive platform up the stack, locking out more developers. Boy, I'd hate to have grown up with a locked down iMac as my family computer. I'd never have gotten into software development.

  • by mveloso (325617) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @06:47PM (#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?

  • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @07:14PM (#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 MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @07:17PM (#36667306)

    When has Apple not abused their position as the 800-pound gorilla on the block?

    When did that happen? According the the commenters here on Slashdot, Apple's marketshare is only 3%!

  • by Hero Zzyzzx (525153) <danNO@SPAMgeekuprising.com> on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @09:40PM (#36668304) Homepage

    LOL wut? My asus 1215n has a dual core Intel D525, a gorgeous 12 inch display at 1366x768 and gets a solid six+ hours on the battery. It is the best portable computer I've ever owned, and I've owned many in 15 years. I do wish it had faster mechanical storage, but that can upgraded. Running debian stable, I pretty much never feel like I'm waiting on my hardware.

    Perhaps you need to update your knowledge of the current state of netbooks?

  • Re:Some credit... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Wovel (964431) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @11:16PM (#36668860) Homepage

    I quite easily get over 9 hours of continuous wifi use on my iPad.. Maybe your is broken. That would be the low end with very heavy use.

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

    by smash (1351) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @01:51AM (#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 Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @03:04AM (#36669684)

    Congrats on the superb UI and interesting os. We need real alternatives to Apple and webos is certainly light years ahead of Android and ahead of iOS in some areas. I use iOS but love the way webos has chosen a different direction in both UI and use of HTML, and the idea of cards is great.

    As a developer I'd say I'm hesitant about supporting the plaform purely because of the political calculus - will the suits at hp stand behind this os for long enough to build a real ecosystem, and will they resist the strong pressure from their largest partner ms to kill this once it becomes popular? Unfortunately I don't have confidence that they will do the right thing, and strangely without hp backing it I would be a lot more confident about webos.

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