I think people say this about every market that has a clear leader only to watch in a few years as another company figures out a good plan and takes the lead. It seems that people in the tech world are more resistant towards change and the most forgetful. When a little company called Microsoft started charging people for software that only worked on the desktop, everyone in the tech world said that they would never beat UNIX. Look where they are today. When a Apple was on the rocks unable to break 4% market share in a PC world they once dominated, Steve Jobs came back to the company. They launched OS-X and the tech world said it would never take off against Windows. They created and launched the iPod and the tech world said it could not compete against the Sony Walkman. They launched the iPhone and the tech world said that there was no room for it against Blackberrys and Windows Mobile phones. Look where all of these products are today. When Netscape Navigator went open source and Firefox was eventually produce, the tech world said that it would never gain enough traction against Internet Explorer or Opera, the two proprietary browsers. Look what happened there. Android was never going to stand a chance, Facebook could not bring down MySpace, AOL was supposed to rule the Internet and email forever, etc.
Originally Posted by CGK
The odds against everyone in the tablet market who competes against Apple are high, but they got to try. If they don't they will eventually cede the entire personal computer industry to Apple. HP is in a tough position because unlike IBM, they are not in a good position to give up on the PC business. The money they wasted in over paying for Autonomy has left them in a very weak position. They have to be smarter about the tablet market and webOS going forward or they lose everything.
HP definitely can't be like Google on this. Google doesn't seem to care about it's Market or developers making money and it is causing them to lose developers at an alarming rate. Google is not defending its hardware makers in court versus Microsoft and Apple's patent onslaughts, putting the hardware makers in a weak position. Heck, now a days the only thing Google seems to care about is defending its ad revenues.
HP can't be like Apple. HP doesn't have the developer support to make the apps that propel hardware sales, so they can't just make their own hardware and keep the app profits to themselves. Open sourcing the OS is a good idea and gets hardware makers to the table, but they have to offer incentives that Google and Microsoft don't offer when it comes to the app revenues (read my earlier post about HP using a cost sharing model with the App Catalog). HP is ahead of Google and very close behind Apple when it comes to app quality on tablets, so they need to expand on that positive.
I think if HP plays their cards right on this, they could seriously hurt Android sales in a few years. However, given HP's track record so far, there is no evidence to back up my claim. At least Meg is making decisions that everyone, webOS fans and distractors, seem to agree on.