HP Kills TouchPad, WebOS future unknown

Discussion in 'Qualcomm Based' started by OffWorld, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. OffWorld

    OffWorld Senior Member

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    Ok, so it's not Android news, but Android's success no doubt played a big factor in it (though perhaps not as big as Apple's iPad). But WebOS and the HP TouchPad are now casualties of the Tablet Wars:

    Press release: HP Confirms Discussions with Autonomy Corporation plc Regarding Possible Business Combination; Makes Other Announcements | Business Wire

    Summary:
    HP is discontinuing ALL WebOS devices. They aren't killing WebOS (which they got when they acquired Palm, Inc., for $1.2 Billion), but exactly what they plan to do with the operating system now is unknown.

    Recall that they had plans for lines of WebOS desktops too, which may or may not be dead. What is clear is HP has no desire to compete in the mobile/tablet sector.
    One possibility is that HP will license WebOS out to other manufacturers. Samsung has expressed interest in licensing it. The problem is that if the future of the OS remains murky the developers will jump ship for another platform and HP still would have to maintain it and update it (harder to do without the dev community).

    In my opinion the Achilles heel of WebOS 3 (the version on the TouchPad) was the crappy implementation of a webkit browser. It was buggy, it had rendering errors (compared to Chrome or Safari), and the worst part was it didn't work with touch-enabled web sites! Yep, a device called the "TouchPad" running an OS called "WebOS" couldn't use touch-enabled web apps. The problem was that all apps (including the browser itself) are made with web technologies, so the browser UI would intercept the touch events and they'd never reach the page the browser was displaying. Worse yet, HP was fully aware the browser had issues, but they released the TouchPad anyway before WebOS 3 was fully baked and thought they could compete with a second generation tablet like the iPad 2?! The HP shareholders should be asking themselves if the right people are calling the shots over there.
     
  2. jrizal

    jrizal Member

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    IMO, HP was expecting that WebOS would be the killer OS against iOS and Android. Common sense dictates that it takes time to steal/grab/develop/create market share. And for HP, six weeks is simply too long for them.
     
  3. Bilgediver

    Bilgediver Member

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    So what's going to happen to palm? And their devices?

    Sigh, the first touchsceen mini tablets are now history.

    Sent from my DROID2 GLOBAL
     
  4. Mountainbikermark

    Mountainbikermark Member

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    Looks like they spent more time getting the tv commercials right than the did the product they were advertising.

    Support Our Troops!!!
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    Sent from this Galaxy
     
  5. leeb

    leeb Member

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    What bothers me most is that HP seems to be leaning into software...
    when their software (up to this point, at least... and IN MY OPINION) has been some of the most BLOATED, CONVOLUTED and USELESS crap they could have bundled with their (usually) excellent hardware.

    But, who am I to say?
     
  6. OffWorld

    OffWorld Senior Member

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    There are some things to like about WebOS. The UI is pretty slick and intuitive. App development uses standard web technologies, which means making apps is more accessible to a lot of web devs (granted we've now got the appMobi XDK that kind of lets you do the same thing for Android and iOS devices). The biggest issues I saw were with the browser, which needed a ton more development - or outright replacement with another browser. These problems weren't unknown to HP either, but they seemed insistant on releasing the TouchPad before the OS was fully baked. It's little wonder it wasn't a success.

    Future of Palm? Most likely Palm as a brand is dead. There's an outside possibility some other tech company might approach them about buying the brand to leverage a well-known name in the mobile space, but it would likely be little more than the name. I'm sure HP will want to hold onto any patents they got when they bought Palm.

    Future of WebOS? Well the licensing issue was raised, but you have to wonder how much (if any) code development and support HP would provide. It could end up stripped down as an OS for in-car systems, media players, networked kiosks or something I suppose. Ideally HP should open-source it though. That might get more devs interested in it, get it ported to other platforms, and produce a community that would support, improve, and innovate for free. On the other hand HP might just sit on it, the code will become woefully outdated, and only nostalgic Palm fans will have any interest in it.
     
  7. sharpe351

    sharpe351 Member

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    Funny enough, I just saw another of their commercials for the tab at $399.

    Sent from my LG OP V using Tapatalk
     
  8. liv2scoot

    liv2scoot Member

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    That was quite a surprise. Big advertising campain. Full page ads in local papers and then ... poof.

    Sad thing is the pad was receiving good reviews and looked like it might catch on.

    Local stores have cleared out the base model for $99.99 in Canada. What was the price a few days ago ... $450?
     

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