IIRC palm was purchased under Mark Hurd's tenure and I believe he had a clear plan to take the good of palm and bring it together with HP's deep pockets and desire to enter the mobile arena. But once Hurd left after that very weird sexual harassment/not sexual harassment charge, all of those palm plans were out the door and then neither Leo or anyone else top level lacked the foresight, resolve, or simply didn't care for what Hurd had in mind and just decided to pull the plug when things were looking tough. Even Steve Jobs saw what Hurd leaving would do to HP and wanted to prevent it.
I think - and not being CEO material here - HP had a narrow window where Android was still shaky, Blackberry was years away from BB10, and there was definitely an audience for anything not Apple. From the Verge article, the Ipad2 freaked HP out because they were on sale at announcement time only two weeks after HP announced their WebOS line up and none of it would hit the market until July and the ipad was better technically than the Touchpad.
Except for the Go.
The Ipad mini was still about 2 years out and HP had their version ready to go. ( Pun not intended.)
What HP should have done was cut the price of the Touchpad but NOT kill the program. Just undercut the price of the ipad but double down on WebOS and kept development going. Keep making the OS better. Eel was already underway, the 64GB and 4G were already produced and could easily sold for a bit higher price than the Wifi 16 and 32GB models, and the pre3 was also ready to sell through the big boys at AT&T and Verizon just weeks after HP killed everything.
By laying the groundwork and get WebOS in peoples hands, showing them how intuitive it was and promise good things in the near future. And that could have started with the Go.
Perhaps with the first release of the Eel design to differentiate it from the Touchpad, or maybe WebOS 3.1 if that was at all underway at that point, the Go was a design that Apple did not have yet and has proven to be popular.
Then knock down the doors of Netflix and the other app providers and have them make stuff for WebOS. Once HP killed everything that was not going to happen, but had they kept the faith, I believe the app developers would have come around. ( Like they did for Android.)
Then prepare for the TP2 and perhaps they could have gone back to the WindsorNot and finished developing it with 4G speeds so they would have had their slab phone to add to the lineup.
Looking back now 4 years later and seeing how much of WebOS has been stol- borrowed by both IOS and Android - and in the case of IOS 8 some were treated as if it was the most incredible additions ever seen before that the Touchpad had in 2011. ( Although you STILL cannot charge an Apple device inductively.) What also shocks me is that these tablets are STILL viable 4 years later happily running WebOS, the latest version of Android and the ever improving Lune. They may not be lightning quick, but they are certainly more than capable for most daily uses, I cannot say that about my wife's ipad 1 that did not quite make it to four years because it could not upgrade past IOS 5 and apps stopped working.
Was the Touchpad perfect? No, of course not, but it had potential. As did the other models, the Go and pre3 were not even given the chance.
Would this stab have worked, who knows, but saying uncle as they did that August evening would not likely have happened under different leadership.