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  1. #41  
    Quote Originally Posted by k4ever View Post
    Lets say you are right in your assessment of HP's financial situation. HP was loosing a small amount of money every year even without webOS. How do they turn it around? They have to invest in something! Mobile devices are the future for any computing company. Why on earth would HP not be in the business of selling them? Making Windows and Android devices would not help them. Those platforms have thin profit margins and HP would struggle to differentiate themselves with the likes of Samsung and HTC. WebOS should promise even before the TouchPad was killed and went on fire sale. People were just waiting for the right price point and more apps. HP should have invested in that. Instead they spent $10 billion buying an enterprise software company. Meanwhile Apple manage to sell more iPads, a mobile device, this year than HP sold computers. HP's temporary exit from the mobile space was premature and stupid. The OP has an excellent point.


    ---Sent from my HP TouchPad using Communities (a great webOS app!)
    Pretty much dead on, rather than making things better (at a cost, obviously) and competing, cutting and running has left them with no viable options in the mobile space, a slumping PC forcast, and HP hoping that 'ultra notebooks' will revitalize their fortunes in the consumer space.

    (Seriously, if HP came out with an Android tablet, would anyone seriously buy one? Even, if they came out with an iPad compatible tablet, would you buy one?)

    It will be fun to see how the next few quarters play out for them. Still not sure why they think they can walk away with cloud/SAAS market as if there is no competition there... especially after they have exposed their soft underbelly to the world.

    C
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
    k4ever likes this.
  2. #42  
    Quote Originally Posted by rioachim View Post
    "grossly mismanaged" ?!? I think he did the only right thing to let go of this failed project webOS+Touchpad. Quality issues, software issues, limited ecosystem... would only bring bad publicity and higher losses to HP. The worst mistake is that they still invest in webOS which with every update brings new bugs. It kind of reminds me of Nokia and Symbian. Eventually they will shut it down.
    If you run a company, are not the things you mentioned part of project management? If so, then it was gross mismanagement. If these guys were wooing a woman in the same way, they would never get a date.

    So do you fix it or just stay dateless?
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  3. #43  
    Quote Originally Posted by SnotBoogie View Post
    See i think this is the disconnect between what user thing "the point" was and "HP thought the point was."

    First, when HP bought Webos they did not have deep pockets relative to the rest of the tech world. They had around 12 bill in cash which is nice for regular people but compared to companies like Apple and Microsoft which were like in the 60 and 80 billion dollar range they were not cash rich. Then they bought HP and had around 10 point something billion left. The other thing is they did not have money to burn on as they put it "profitless revenue." Remember the report from early last year that said they had no room for "profitless revenue" and there were reports that they were having layoffs in like may and that the "headcount was unsustainable." This is before touchpad even launched. If you're having to layoff people you surely don't have cash to just take losses on something. And keep in mind HP had profits of about 9.7 bill a year. But according to their estimates they would be losing more then $1 billion per year on webos alone. So i just don't think they were in any position to eat losses. They need and needed solid earnings. So where users thing HP had money to just sit and take losses, HP didn't remotely think that. HP on the other hand thought "the point of buying Palm" was to boost profits and not in 4 or 5 years but immediately. I think it's one thing if Palm was just under being profitable. Like it took a 10 million dollar loss. But it was over 300 mill a quarter and according to their report going higher each quarter not lower. That's a pretty big indicator that the webos venture was not in fact going in the right direction profitwise. The loss was getting bigger not smaller which is i'm sure what they hoped and if you intend to have a long term project you want. You want it gradually improving not getting a wider loss.

    As you put it there is shareholder pressure. They have to perform. Products can't just take big losses. And HP's quarters had started to decline from the time Hurd was in office until he got left.

    But generally i think users incorrectly assume that a company with HP's financial situation, that was struggling with declining profits, is just gonna swallow almost 20 percent of the yearly profits. It would have been nice but I never thought that was gonna happen simply because they never had the cash to sustain that level of losses on such a small part of it's company.
    Sure. What could they have possibly have lost $300 million a quarter on by keeping the Touchpad going and not doing the absolutely idiotic thing that they did. $300 million in salaries? Haha. Keep it going with targetted marketing, you don't need a whole blanket national campaign. Make new commercials emphasizing the product capabilities clearly spelled out, and the NEW pricing (not $99) and how it gives clear value. Give it a chance to get going right.

    What HP did is already a business case in historic stupidity, and Leo got fired for how he handled it. I can't see how anyone could even try to defend it, the thought is laughable.
    k4ever likes this.
  4. #44  
    Look. I am not going to argue the stupidity on behalf of a corporation who spent a billion dollars on webOS and the absolutely idiotic way that they cancelled it 6 weeks into going live. The entire world sees the stupidity of it. It is why the entire world knows about it. And it is why it has instantly become a historic business school case study on how NOT to operate.

    I have to think that anyone who is trying to argue in favor of the way the entire fiasco was handled is not exactly objective.
  5. #45  
    Quote Originally Posted by jessicatapley View Post
    Aren't we conflating the reaction toward them possibly killing off ALL hardware with the reaction to them killing off WebOS? That's what "the entire world" reacted to and remembers.

    As crazy as it seems that they've largely shuttered something they spent $1.2 billion on, remember they spent another FOUR billion dollars on acquisitions after Palm (3PAR, ArcSight, Melodio), and that's not even counting Autonomy.

    webOS was never a bet-the-business proposition, and it made more business sense - strictly for them, not for us - to cap their spending there and kill it off, especially when they spent the bulk of remaining cash on Autonomy.

    For real....they screwed up a lot. But if you're stumbling around making mistakes and losing lots of money on webOS with no long-term plan, isn't it then actually a SMART decision to stop?
    The smart decision would have been to have a plan in the first place. You know, before you spent the initial $1.2 billion. The next smart thing to do would be to stick to that plan and give it time to develop. Two months is not even enough time for most plants to grow.

    What the folks here who defend this action by HP still have not answered is why did HP kill the TouchPad in the wake of "poor" sales, yet Samsung did not kill the Galaxy Tab or RIM did not kill the Playbook, or Motorola did not kill the Xoom, or (add other tablets here) for the exact same reasons? Nobody is getting even close to iPad numbers. Those products are still on the market and have sold less than the TouchPad.

    In order to remain a viable personal computing company, HP needs a clear mobile strategy. Why waste all that money scrapping the one you had, when it seem to be better than everyone else's, sans Apple, instead of just polishing the plan to make it shine? Now they have to come up with a new mobile strategy to remain viable, but who is going to trust them after this debacle?
  6. #46  
    Quote Originally Posted by jessicatapley View Post
    Aren't we conflating the reaction toward them possibly killing off ALL hardware with the reaction to them killing off WebOS? That's what "the entire world" reacted to and remembers.

    As crazy as it seems that they've largely shuttered something they spent $1.2 billion on, remember they spent another FOUR billion dollars on acquisitions after Palm (3PAR, ArcSight, Melodio), and that's not even counting Autonomy.

    webOS was never a bet-the-business proposition, and it made more business sense - strictly for them, not for us - to cap their spending there and kill it off, especially when they spent the bulk of remaining cash on Autonomy.

    For real....they screwed up a lot. But if you're stumbling around making mistakes and losing lots of money on webOS with no long-term plan, isn't it then actually a SMART decision to stop?

    First off, welcome to the maddening world of the webOS user.

    Enjoyed your responses. But I wonder if it's possible to separate the two (webOS and the PSG unit) given the direction of the market as has been commented on by the rise of the tablet and the decline of the PC/Laptop. I don't believe that PC or laptops are going to disappear anytime soon, but if you live by the commodity market then you have to be prepared to die by it too. Otherwise they will need to build a product that people will have a REASON to seek out. HP didn't do that and hence we are where we are. It was readily available but there was no price or feature reasons to seek out a TP as compared to anything else.

    Seems like HP assumed that "if we build it, they will come". It works for PC and laptops, because they are all running the same OS and similar hardware and it is all about what brand can get most easily at you local outlet store for your preferred price point. I would hazard a guess that HP RIGHT NOW has probably two or three DOZEN different PC's available for sale. This is not even including laptops. This strategy was never going to work in the nascent tablet market.

    With no viable tablet plan and a damaged reputation in the PC market (a market with shrinking margins anyway), where do you suppose they should go now?

    C
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  7. #47  
    Quote Originally Posted by k4ever View Post
    The smart decision would have been to have a plan in the first place. You know, before you spent the initial $1.2 billion. The next smart thing to do would be to stick to that plan and give it time to develop. Two months is not even enough time for most plants to grow.

    What the folks here who defend this action by HP still have not answered is why did HP kill the TouchPad in the wake of "poor" sales, yet Samsung did not kill the Galaxy Tab or RIM did not kill the Playbook, or Motorola did not kill the Xoom, or (add other tablets here) for the exact same reasons? Nobody is getting even close to iPad numbers. Those products are still on the market and have sold less than the TouchPad.

    In order to remain a viable personal computing company, HP needs a clear mobile strategy. Why waste all that money scrapping the one you had, when it seem to be better than everyone else's, sans Apple, instead of just polishing the plan to make it shine? Now they have to come up with a new mobile strategy to remain viable, but who is going to trust them after this debacle?
    More to the point I think what we are all forgetting is that Leo (a pure software dude) took over from Mark Hurd. now Hurdy seemed to have a plan for webOS both for the hardware and software aspects but because he is a skeevey guy he got himself in a whole mess of hot water. then they bring in a enterprise software guy who says hmmmm i dont know what to do on the hardware part so let's get rid of it. I think this is the core difference and what lead to all the problems. Hurdy had a plan was attacking for the future then got canned. Leo the Lion had no clue and did what any CEO would do when they are confused and dont know what to do, sell that stuff off like its 1992. this is why the touchpad got 2 months when Samsung and RIM keep it around for years.

    I think if they can get their open source milestones set and running they will gain trust back. the same question can be said of every company that files for chapter 11. who is going to loan them money when they screwed up so bad that they went bankrupt? anyone who thinks they can make a profit. so if HP shows consist transition to open source with a strong set of tools and support, a lot of manufactures might look at using it since it comes with patent protection and they might be able to get away from Android where they are paying Microsoft royalities for every android handset they sell. companies are always looking for a way to maximize their profits so HP if they are strong and remain committed to the open source front then companies will support it even though they screwed the webOS pooch earlier.
  8. #48  
    Quote Originally Posted by jessicatapley View Post
    Maybe look to the forthcoming Envy Spectre glass ultrabook. If they can stake out a lead with PC ultrabooks, there's no reason they can't stretch that success into Windows 8 tablets.

    They're not cut out for the phone business. I know phones add a lot of value to an ecosystem, but clearly HP has no business trying to make an ecosystem anyway. So it only makes sense for them to continue their "commodity" ways and sell product licensed from someone else as they have always done.
    Actually you can say the same thing about Microsoft. I have a windows mobile phone, not Windows Phone, I am talking about windows mobile 6.5. without some serious hacking it runs like garbage. with serious hacking it runs great. but based on the transition from windows pocket edition to windows mobile, I would argue that MS has no business in the phone space. then they completely revamp their mobile system and partner up with Nokia to release the 900. this move has caused some analysts to claim that by 2013 MS will over take Apple in the mobile space. take that with a grain of salt but just because a company screws up doesnt mean they cant rebound and change our perception of what his great.

    HP is trying their hand at the phone business. no one is perfect. remember the all the apple handhelds before the iphone, the HP, dell, and palm PDAs? everything is an evolution. now if you have a great product that is free to use without all the bull**** that goes on with getting sued by either Microsoft or Apple, a community that supports and develops for it, and it is free? I would say HP would have a great reason for being in the mobile space. also with Whitman at the helm who knows exactly what will happen.
  9. #49  
    Quote Originally Posted by jessicatapley View Post
    Maybe look to the forthcoming Envy Spectre glass ultrabook. If they can stake out a lead with PC ultrabooks, there's no reason they can't stretch that success into Windows 8 tablets.

    They're not cut out for the phone business. I know phones add a lot of value to an ecosystem, but clearly HP has no business trying to make an ecosystem anyway. So it only makes sense for them to continue their "commodity" ways and sell product licensed from someone else as they have always done.
    Maybe, but that seems to be a very iffy proposition. Will Ultrabooks actually last or will they be this years netbook and become the roadkill of an improved model of tablet by this time next year? The whole Ultrabook thing makes me think of PC makers trying to imitate a Macbook. When someone makes an Ultrabook with the promised battery live and the ease of use of a tablet, plus the keyboard availability, then we might see something. But someone will need to build an OS to make that come together. Windows 8? We will see.

    Besides, they will still have the same problem as they do with PCs and laptops, with 2 dozen competing models on the shelf by the middle of this year, will the margins be able to be sustained?

    Agree with you about HP and phones. I wish they had the humility to say "we can't do this well, let's find someone to partner with who can", but how many companies ever do that?

    So we get back to bad management... again.
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  10. #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by jessicatapley View Post
    Aren't we conflating the reaction toward them possibly killing off ALL hardware with the reaction to them killing off WebOS? That's what "the entire world" reacted to and remembers.

    As crazy as it seems that they've largely shuttered something they spent $1.2 billion on, remember they spent another FOUR billion dollars on acquisitions after Palm (3PAR, ArcSight, Melodio), and that's not even counting Autonomy.

    webOS was never a bet-the-business proposition, and it made more business sense - strictly for them, not for us - to cap their spending there and kill it off, especially when they spent the bulk of remaining cash on Autonomy.

    For real....they screwed up a lot. But if you're stumbling around making mistakes and losing lots of money on webOS with no long-term plan, isn't it then actually a SMART decision to stop?
    Your last sentence is spot on. If you want a different outcome, you can't continue to do the same things. A company's main reason to exist is to make money for its stockholders. You're not going to pay dividends when you are losing money. The board realized they made a mistake with their choice and cut their losses. I believe you will see a major difference with the new management.
    **Intelligence is God given; Wisdom is the sum of our mistakes!**

    ē As a top contributor to the HP Consumer Support Forums, HP provides me access to the Tochpad at no charge so I may better respond to the questions raised on the Forum.
  11. #51  
    Quote Originally Posted by jessicatapley View Post
    I don't think ultrabooks are a fad. They're just rebranding of the notebook/laptop with better aesthetics, which is long overdue. No internal difference unlike wimpy netbooks.

    But yeah...Windows 8 is going to have a lot riding on it. But I don't think HP could've effectively been a huge PC/Windows 8 shops, yet giving their all to webOS in the tablet space. And even if the margins are slim, at least there are margins with Windows. Unless you're an individual developer, there's no money to be made from 1-2 million webOS fans. Not when the competition provides exponentially more apps, customers, and support from carriers and retail shops.
    No, at this point, it would take way too much capital to engineer a major league resurrection of webOS. But that wasn't the case in mid 2011 and it certainly wasn't at the start of HP's involvement (in 2010). And if HP was reluctant to make the investment they did up to when they pulled the plug, there is no way they will do what it takes now.

    I've always contended there is no way to imitate a predecessor in this space and be successful. The dynamics change with each players actions in the market. HP needed to play to the strengths of their platform and the initial investments should have been in what would have completed a system designed to compete in a niche of the overall market. (Not trying to be the "go-to" tablet for entertainment, with nothing in their stable compared to Apple or even the Android platform... but charging Apple prices.)

    There was still some room to play at this time last year, but it all depended on HP executing:
    1) A color e-book reader deal, vigorously pursued with an Amazon, Borders, or B&N (most likely Amazon)
    2) A lower cost but decent quality tablet for the educational / student / value market. (the response to the firesale shows an untapped niche there).
    3) A 'business ready' out of the box tablet with a keyboard, office productivity suite, VPN /RDP package, a file syncing service, and the ability to integrate with existing business systems (like, um HP printers, and business computers)

    Even if they started full bore right now, by the time they had anything all of those holes will be filled.

    Also this time last year, people were more willing to look at productivity rather than the OS of the device (except for Apple fans), that too has changed.

    C
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  12. #52  
    Quote Originally Posted by jessicatapley View Post
    They don't need a strategy when both Android and Microsoft provide ones already with much better ecosystems than HP can conjure up. They became the leading PC manufacturer despite competition from the same companies wiping the floor with them in smartphones and tablets right now. While Microsoft and Google have given favored nations status to Nokia and Motorola, respectively for smartphones, it's a wide open world to make the best tablet, and there's no reason that HP couldn't make a sweet WP8 tablet that's the equivalent of what Asus is doing for Android tablets with the Transporter series. Or better.

    Even if you have a few million to lose as HP did. Even if we had an awesome music ecosystem, 40,000 more apps, Netflix, and some sexy phone hardware coming in the next month or two....we'd just be Windows Phone (Zune, Windows Phone Marketplace, Nokia Lumia 900) and THEY are barely making a dent right now.
    Isn't this the problem? If HP makes an Android or Win8 tablet, why would I want to buy it instead of one of the current offerings? And why would I want to buy it instead of an Apple iPad?

    Making YAAT (yet another Android tablet) isn't a strategy at all. I think you'll find that HP 's success in the PC market was more a result of business alliances and acquisitions (Compaq had a stellar name in PC and server - the Proliant line was Compaq's before they were purchased) and less due to an overwhelming superiority of they product they offered.

    Windows is doing the same thing, except they are trying to leverage the success of the X-Box and Windows OS into success for their smartphones. So far, their best friend has been the attrition of the other players. (RIM, Palm, Nokia).
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
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    #53  
    Quote Originally Posted by k4ever View Post
    What the folks here who defend this action by HP still have not answered is why did HP kill the TouchPad in the wake of "poor" sales, yet Samsung did not kill the Galaxy Tab or RIM did not kill the Playbook, or Motorola did not kill the Xoom, or (add other tablets here) for the exact same reasons? Nobody is getting even close to iPad numbers. Those products are still on the market and have sold less than the TouchPad.

    In order to remain a viable personal computing company, HP needs a clear mobile strategy. Why waste all that money scrapping the one you had, when it seem to be better than everyone else's, sans Apple, instead of just polishing the plan to make it shine? Now they have to come up with a new mobile strategy to remain viable, but who is going to trust them after this debacle?
    1) The simple answer as to why HP killed the TouchPad is that Google's Android OS is perceived to have a much higher upside on tablets than webOS did, mainly because Android is much, much more popular in the mobile computing space than webOS is (albeit on smartphones). Android OS manufacturers only have to worry about hardware, while HP had to worry about hardware and having a software app store; the risk isn't as large for Android OS tablet manufacturers. Heck even with RIM, most people are much more familiar with Blackberry than they are with webOS. Additionally, RIM didn't kill the Playbook because, to use an analogy, in a steak and eggs dinner mobile devices are "cows" to RIM but they are "chickens" to HP. Unlike HP, RIM doesn't have a PC and printer market to fall back on if they lose out in the mobile computing space; it IS RIM's business.

    2) I agree that HP needs a strategy, though that doesn't necessarily mean it needs a mobile computing strategy, or more accurately that it needs to be in mobile computing (though I personally believe they do need to figure what they want to do in the mobile market). I think from HP's point of view, being a manufacturer for Windows OS computers has worked out well for them, and they have felt that is their fallback option (i.e. use Microsoft's OS on their mobile products). Also, I'm not sure most people would agree that webOS was a better mobile OS than everything except iOS. People always like to tout webOS' multi-tasking abilities, but from my point of view I wish it would single-task better (IMO it is poorer in that regard than Windows Phone OS, iOS, and even Android OS), and that's what most people are doing on their mobile devices most of the time. Even if webOS is better than other mobile OS's in many people's opinions, it never did get developer support (in terms of application creation), and unlike Google's Android model, HP would have had to carry the banner for webOS support alone. For a non-software company like HP, that had to be scary territory.


    Other notable devices:
    Windows laptops: Asus VivoBook X202E (Windows 8), HP Pavilion g4-1215dx (Windows 7)
    Chromebooks: Samsung Chromebook XE303
  14. #54  
    Was going to start a new thread, then saw this one. TY OP!

    Just in case angst towards Leo happened to be waning in light of the recent announcements regarding open source webOS, let's not forget where we were last August. These two screen captures were taken from one of the very last prototype Touchpad GO "4G" devices to roll off the assembly line in August 2011.

    Note the d/l and u/l speeds ... instead of the standard Ericsson HSPA + data card found inside the AT&T Touchpad 4G devices, this Touchpad GO was built with a Sierra LTE module under its hood, Model # FB398UA ..... was eventually going to be the USA Touchpad GO 4G device on AT&T .

    In case the HP Investigations team at Palm GBU happens to be reading this post, save your quarter, I have no idea where the device presently is, or in who's in possession it's in, nor who's possession it was in when these two captures were taken by an individual I had never met before nor have I ever seen again and whose name I do not know. For the doubting Thomas's out there, I can say these two captures were indeed snapped in my presence while the device was connected to AT&T's newly deployed LTE network somewhere in California.

    Shame on you Leo .......





    TTB
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    I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and donít necessarily represent AT&Tís positions, strategies or opinions.
    OldSkoolVWLover likes this.
  15. #55  
    WOW TTB, sad...
    I love physical keyboards... but there is two devices that would make me consider a slab, one is something running a full version of Open webOS. The other is an iPhone!!!! HA HA just kidding (about the iPhone that is)...
  16. #56  
    Quote Originally Posted by jessicatapley View Post
    Don't really think any of those were possible. Amazon and B&N were each pretty well into designing and readying the Fire and Nook Tablet for release. Neither of them wanted a robust OS. They just wanted a carousel or bookshelf as you can see by their current products. webOS was, as they say, overqualified. And niche products for "education" or "business" don't make much sense anymore when huge companies are now going BYOP (bring your own phone) and iPad has niche platforms like this iTextbook thing or whatever they just announced. I mean, there's a niche for eReaders that do other stuff, but Amazon and B&N own the space and would steamroll anyone entering it because they control the best content.

    None of this is webOS' fault. It is a fantastic operating system that was unfortunately born into the age of ecosystems. I thought of it a lot when I watched the movie The Artist. If you haven't seen it yet, watch it (it's a great movie, in any case), and you will understand what I mean, dude. :-)
    B&N was already gone, Amazon about 2 years ago, I don't know. If HP, with the goal of getting market share, made an aggressive partnership offer, they may very well have had a deal. HP could have done the same thing with webOS that Amazon is doing with Android.

    I can't see how Amazon can be completely comfortable with Google, especially as they become competitors in some areas.

    The uptake on the Touchpad at the firesale prices showed that there was a large untapped market for a decent quality device at something less than $500 a pop. Which is why the e-book reader tablets as a class are outselling EVERYONE including the iPad. Many of those are being used as a 'poor man's' tablet.

    E-book readers were once considers a niche too... not so much anymore. When you are fighting form market share, you get the beachhead first, before you attempt to conquer the world.

    If Amazon or B&N decided to implement an aggressive trade up or customer appreciation program to a newly released fuller feature tablet they produced, wonder how many they could sell? Especially compared to those currently on the outside (RIM / HP / Lenovo / Cisco)

    C
    Last edited by C-Note; 01/26/2012 at 04:50 PM.
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  17. #57  
    Quote Originally Posted by inertia1 View Post
    Nokia revealed in its financial statements that Microsoft paid them $250 million last quarter as a "platform support payment" so that they would Windows Phone so there's always that route for webOS - pay to play.

    Microsoft paid Nokia $250 million to use Windows Phone in Q4 2011 | The Verge
    And Nokia has come out big in an effort to grab up some great developers...
    I love physical keyboards... but there is two devices that would make me consider a slab, one is something running a full version of Open webOS. The other is an iPhone!!!! HA HA just kidding (about the iPhone that is)...
  18. #58  
    Quote Originally Posted by SnotBoogie View Post
    See i think this is the disconnect between what user thing "the point" was and "HP thought the point was."

    First, when HP bought Webos they did not have deep pockets relative to the rest of the tech world. They had around 12 bill in cash which is nice for regular people but compared to companies like Apple and Microsoft which were like in the 60 and 80 billion dollar range they were not cash rich. Then they bought HP and had around 10 point something billion left. The other thing is they did not have money to burn on as they put it "profitless revenue." ....

    But it was over 300 mill a quarter and according to their report going higher each quarter not lower. That's a pretty big indicator that the webos venture was not in fact going in the right direction profitwise. The loss was getting bigger not smaller which is i'm sure what they hoped and if you intend to have a long term project you want. You want it gradually improving not getting a wider loss.

    As you put it there is shareholder pressure. They have to perform. Products can't just take big losses. And HP's quarters had started to decline from the time Hurd was in office until he got left.
    I think you make a good case. But a few things in relation to HP.

    1) If they thought they could get build an entire mobile ecosysem on the cheap, then they were incredibly stupid.

    2) Their profit/loss number are highly suspect. (its not really worth it to anyone, but I'd love to see an independent audit the numbers they presented)
    How many quarters was it before they even had a product to sell? When you 'can't shoot straight' by not meeting deadlines, how much unnecessary cost did that incurr? How much did they minimize profit by the penny wise/pound foolish decision to put out a the hardware they did? (And I'm not talking about the size or weight, but cracking speakers are unforgivable given the problems with the early Palm Pres)

    Also, how much of the $300 mil per quarter includes the huge write-off for the firesale, any contracts that had to be eaten, the production costs of the brands that never saw the light of the market because of their screwups.

    Their actions were somewhat akin to paying for advanced training, and after a few bad job interviews deciding that you need to take up a different career. You spent the money already, makes more sense to fix the problems.

    And if after a year of getting ready (...in the coming months) they were NOT any closer then when they started, (even accounting for the fact that competitors were also making moves) it is an even bigger indictment of their incompetence.
    Last edited by C-Note; 01/26/2012 at 05:19 PM.
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  19. #59  
    Quote Originally Posted by jessicatapley View Post
    I guess the problem here is that Amazon or B&N could've bought webOS in 2010. I don't think they even bid. They could've licensed it in early 2011. They didn't. They could've bought or licensed it after HP scuttled it. Still nothing.

    They just have different plans. It's not that webOS isn't worthy or awesome. But those guys just want a carousel or shelf that shows books, movies, and whatnot. Not an operating system where you can do great multitasking. You ever played with a Nook Tablet or Fire in the store?
    No argument there. And no need to praise webOS, it is what it is (more 'potential' than delivered promise). My contention is that HP should have made the moves to build partnerships earlier on in the game. Nobody wanted to add the muscle to build their own OS, that is why Android has become ubiquitous, they spend the millions in development, the manufacturers just supply the hardware.

    If a company sees that steamroller coming, it would make sense to plan against that and not just assume a slicker UX would carry you along. From HP's perspective, the moves would be designed to build their brand. So THEY would have to make it attractive for other players to partner up with them. (Even if that meant sharing some of the costs). In business, the more people who can benefit financially from your success, the more successful you are likely to be. But at every turn, their partners were expected to carry a much larger risk than they would for a similar situation Android (subsided OS for manufacturers, cheaper app for end users - which BTW is hurting them with some developers), or iOS (larger base so more potential for profit).

    If Android had developed a mobile OS system where everyone else carried all of the risks, but they stood to make all of the profits, they would be be pretty much where HP is now, or at least in the position of Windows mobile. With webOS being behind the 8-ball, to try to penetrate the market in the same way Apple did years earlier was not very smart.

    Even after trashing the brand, all of the reports were that HP was trying to extract TOP DOLLAR from potential suitors for webOS. And now with open source, independents (if they can) will build the value of the OS - and what do you think will happen if they do? HP forks off from the open source code and sells a new tablet based on the work of those who toiled while it was out in the wilderness.

    And I HAVE a Nook color. Got it for the missus, and she uses it more like a low end tablet more than an e-reader. Most of the others I know who have them (at least the color ones) do the same.

    C
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  20. #60  
    Quote Originally Posted by SnotBoogie View Post
    See i think this is the disconnect between what user thing "the point" was and "HP thought the point was."

    <snip>

    But generally i think users incorrectly assume that a company with HP's financial situation, that was struggling with declining profits, is just gonna swallow almost 20 percent of the yearly profits. It would have been nice but I never thought that was gonna happen simply because they never had the cash to sustain that level of losses on such a small part of it's company.
    Thanks for that clarification. The whole, sad episode is a little foggy to me now, and I couldn't recall when it was that HP started losing profits and how that related to the timeline of the Palm purchase. I do recall that Rubi et al were saying "we've finally got a well-heeled multinational to adopt this nascent OS and see it through".
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