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  1.    #1  
    Great Read... Thoughts?
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    Editorial: Ten Things HP Can Do (Quickly) To Reboot webOS
    By Christopher Price on December 27, 2011


    In the wake of HP re-committing to webOS (as an open source project), we go in-depth with ten things HP could do to bring the platform back into competition with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

    Also as an added bonus, something yours truly blew thousands of dollars on.


    #10 – Bring all webOS devices to the latest version of webOS

    When Jon Rubinstein said the Palm Pre, Pixi, Pre Plus, and Pixi Plus were getting webOS 2, we hailed it as important in the firmware wars. It meant that HP was going to compete with Apple, not just on features, but on customer service.

    When Palm (and Jon) later said they were going to backtrack on it, and only offer a $50 rebate on new devices as an apology… we saw the cracks forming in webOS.

    HP could easily offer people an update to webOS 2.2.4 on all current webOS devices. The past excuses of a broke Palm are no longer valid. The notion that carriers would refuse to offer the update is as bogus as when Palm was trying to shovel the excuse down our throats last year.

    This is a no-brainer, there is a team sitting on their rear ends in Sunnyvale that could get on this tomorrow. And there are hackers out there that have done most of the work for them already.

    #9 – Get a reliable, free turn-by-turn GPS app out there

    One thing Windows Phone learned the hard way is that a device ecosystem now demands at least one, viable, working turn-by-turn GPS app… that’s free. iOS has mostly gotten a pass on the free part, but their ecosystem has turn-by-turn apps that are nearly free at as low as a buck. Google Maps Navigation gives Android the top-tier status, and Windows Phone 7.5 finally answered the call with Bing turn-by-turn, a feature that used to be gratis on Windows Mobile 6.

    HP has just signed a deal with Bing (prior to the webOS fallout) to move all maps away from Google. Bing offers turn-by-turn GPS on Windows Phones (and has since Windows Mobile 6).

    This one may not have an instant coding solution, but there are options here. TeleNav has also rolled out an HTML5 turn-by-turn app, it wouldn’t be hard to cut a check to integrate Enyo into that, and make it a full-fledged webOS app.

    #8 – Get Enyo out the door immediately

    It is understandable that open-sourcing an entire operating system can take time. Code audits, testing, internal planning has to be done to get that right. HP isn’t going to do that in a month, or in a few months probably.

    Enyo however is a different case. It’s purely an HTML5-and-JavaScript framework that enables web apps to act like real apps.

    The nice thing about Enyo is its potential to be disruptive to frameworks such as Sencha Touch. The problem, since day one, has been HP’s restrictive and confusing licensing.

    From a developer’s standpoint, there may be some need to make Enyo platform-independent (it is heavily tied to webOS for a few UI calls), but the viability of Enyo gets lower with each passing day. Getting it out there with a vibrant developer community ready to go is key… and the clock is ticking on this one, more than webOS itself.

    The importance to webOS is that Enyo is fine-tuned for webOS. Apps written for iPhone, Android, and even desktop that are based on Enyo will fly on webOS… whenever the platform emerges.

    #7 – Be a bit like Google in the device ecosystem

    Google waited until Android was ubiquitous before issuing their own Android hardware. And long before the notion of purchasing Motorola Mobility.

    HP is in a bad position, strategically. HP is primarily a hardware company. If some other device manufacturer picks up webOS and runs with it… there’s nothing stopping HP from shipping a device within six months that tries to capitalize on the newfound success in webOS. Whoever decides to pick up where webOS left off (other than HP) runs the risk of losing their return on investment.

    There are ways to ensure this kind of success, without sacrificing the ability to be competitive. For example, HP could offer free licensing to some of the Palm patents, in exchange for supporting webOS. A device maker like HTC could offer webOS devices that support Touchstone technology, and deliver unique qualities that drive people to purchasing that gear.

    #6 – Offer patents for embracing webOS

    HTC, Samsung, and Motorola are locked in a bitter patent war with Apple. HP has enough patents to knock Apple back in line by offering them up to these device manufacturers.

    That said, HP is playing pretty smart by not offering them up. Companies like HTC have offered hundreds of millions in M&A for companies like S3 Graphics, simply on the hope that they would strike a blow at Apple.

    HP is one of the few companies that this trio can turn to in a last-ditch effort to get out from under Apple’s patent control. And that allows HP to ask for monumental amounts of cash for access to those patents. This is why many believed the acquisition of Palm would pay off just in the cost of the patents alone… webOS being left to rot.

    All we’re saying is that HP can sweeten the pot on these kind of patent deals by offering rebates in exchange for fostering webOS device support. With Android facing similar turmoil from Microsoft, nothing is really stopping HP here from making the terms very favorable regardless.

    #5 – Unify webOS 2 & 3 with a consistent roadmap

    Currently webOS 2.0 and 3.0 co-exist, much like Android 2.0 and 3.0 coexisted for smartphones and tablets, respectively.

    The problem is this evolving strategy, which didn’t work very well for either HP or Google, is over with in the industry. Android 4 unified smartphone and tablet branches. There performance delta of a smartphone is now getting close enough to tablets that, whenever webOS re-emerges, there will need to be one unified branch.

    The challenge here, however, is that webOS apps will be built on today’s webOS devices, not devices that ship a year or two from now. The next version of webOS will have to transcend more hardware than Android or iOS to operate effectively. From a technical standpoint, it may be one of the most difficult challenges facing the future of webOS from a design standpoint.

    Equally important for HP will be communicating a roadmap that outlines how this evolution will take place. This is one key area that MeeGo faltered on left and right.

    #4 – Fund webOS app development by third-parties

    Palm spent VC money like a drunken sailor. I’ve met people that got five-figure checks from Palm without even a deliverable in sight.

    HP eventually watered that down to offering cheap devices and unlocked phones.

    Both of these are two extremes for an emerging platform. Nobody should write blank checks for apps that haven’t materialized, unless you’re getting some major equity in the deal. Likewise, a device in a box is not going to build an app, it’s a support ecosystem that matters. That support was flocking right out the doors of HP amid the webOS Decision Turmoil.

    Funding isn’t just in dollars and cents. For a startup, flying your lead coders out to webOS headquarters in Sunnyvale, and lending webOS internal devs for a day can be a huge win for both parties. Having open pathways for developers to ask for that kind of support need to be built out.

    Developers now have devices, but no support ecosystem. Funding is a major part of helping there, but it needs to be targeted, managed, and have outreach. This goes hand-in-hand with a stable roadmap, something we touched on above.

    #3 – Embrace webOS on device types that smartphone platforms struggle with

    Right before MeeGo got its knees cut out from under it, the platform had a burgeoning future with in-vehicle entertainment, in-flight entertainment, TV, and many other platforms. I should know, I had invested thousands personally in MeeGo R&D, in these areas.

    Today there are no monolithic platforms that run on an open-source kernel, and perform well in these kinds of emerging areas. Google TV has not performed well in the marketplace. Other pre-built Linux products offer little support and lots of lip service.

    If HP can internally design working proof-of-concepts, backed with SDKs and APIs, this will be a winner for webOS. Even if webOS isn’t successful in smartphones, it will certainly make those people in Sunnyvale not seem like they’re on a road to nowhere… and instead make webOS feel like a valiant effort.

    #2 – Rehire, rehire, rehire

    webOS lacks so much right now in terms of team members. There isn’t even a public relations person (which we can locate) at HP who oversees webOS at the moment.

    HP has two choices with webOS; make it a skunkworks-style project that rots in the heads of engineers after-hours… or embrace it and provide the support staff that can make it a success today.

    We sincerely hope HP chooses the latter, and not the former.

    #1: Get source code out there… quickly!

    This one shouldn’t require explanation. If webOS 3 sits on the shelves for six months, with no new code, it’s going to be a tough sell to anyone.

    -- Sent from my TouchPad using Communities
    Last edited by sketch42; 01/13/2012 at 01:12 AM.
    Dazo, ka1, gargoylejps and 4 others like this.
  2. #2  
    Nice find.

    edit:
    Some encouraging tweets from Rod today:

    webosinternals WebOS Internals
    Enyo open sourcing is well on the path to release now - looking forward to seeing what our #webOS web development community will do with it.
    21 minutes ago

    webosinternals WebOS Internals
    Second day of open source #webOS strategy discussions with @hp - there is a very interesting plan that is coming together here.
    23 minutes ago
    gbp likes this.
  3. #3  
    One thing: fix the damn WebAppMgr memory leak!
  4. AMR-1's Avatar
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    #4  
    11. Figure out a legal, easy, free (or very cheap) way to get the android market and android apps to run on webOS. Even if those Apps work just good enough, it would open the door to the Devs and let those Devs see some numbers. Realistically those Apps would run just good enough (not perfect - they wouldn't be able to take advantage of synergy, etc.), but they would run and webOS users would buy/install them and use them - and get into the Devs userlists, download logs, purchase history.

    Once the Devs start seeing significant numbers of webOS devices in their logs running their apps, they will want to keep those people happy and make their Apps perform in the best possible light. They will not want their Apps running half-baked and not using the full potential of the users devices - it would give them a reason to webOS-ize their apps.

    For webOS to succeed, we need the numbers, at this point the only way to get numbers is to get it on as many devices as we can (new and old) and get access to the userbase and devbase of the android market apps.
  5. #5  
    0 - PUT DEVICES TO SELL IN ALL WORLD!

    My wife told me to sell his Veer ONLY because have portuguese in language option!

    Yes, LANGUAGE is a barrier!


    Best Regards...
    "If A Man Isn't Willing To Take Some Risk For His Opinions, Either His Opinions Are No Good Or He's No Good!" - Ezra Pound (Poet & Critic)
    (Happy A Lot, As A Good Carioca!)
  6. #6  
    I agree with the entire list. I'm glad I caught this thread. I was about to open up another one to discuss this:

    Microsoft execs jab at Google after signing Android patent-licensing deal - San Jose Mercury News
    Microsoft signs patent agreement with LG, now covers 70 percent of US Android smartphone market -- Engadget

    With Apple suing Android hardware makers and Microsoft extorting money out of them with licensing fees, Android may get priced high enough to make webOS look like a viable solution. HP needs to fix the issues on this list and work aggressively to extort this weakness with one of its competitors.
  7. gbp
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    #7  
    Microsoft execs jab at Google after signing Android patent-licensing deal - San Jose Mercury News

    "Hey Google -- we are the 70%," Frank Shaw, Microsoft's vice president of corporate communications tweeted, referencing Microsoft's assertion that it now has deals on 70 percent or more of the Android smartphones sold.

    Microsoft is minting money from Android. Microsoft probably recruit more in their new "Android Patent Revenue" division.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by amrcc View Post
    11. Figure out a legal, easy, free (or very cheap) way to get the android market and android apps to run on webOS. Even if those Apps work just good enough, it would open the door to the Devs and let those Devs see some numbers. Realistically those Apps would run just good enough (not perfect - they wouldn't be able to take advantage of synergy, etc.), but they would run and webOS users would buy/install them and use them - and get into the Devs userlists, download logs, purchase history.

    Once the Devs start seeing significant numbers of webOS devices in their logs running their apps, they will want to keep those people happy and make their Apps perform in the best possible light. They will not want their Apps running half-baked and not using the full potential of the users devices - it would give them a reason to webOS-ize their apps.

    For webOS to succeed, we need the numbers, at this point the only way to get numbers is to get it on as many devices as we can (new and old) and get access to the userbase and devbase of the android market apps.
    Personally I think this is the wrong way to do things, running android apps on webOS won't convince android developers to write apps for webOS. Why would they spend extra time developing apps for another platform when it can already run the apps they have wrote for android?
    It would make more sense to port the Enyo framework to run on android and show just what can be done with webOS.
    Isandunk, Rnp and C-Note like this.
  9. #9  
    Another nice tweet from Rod, looks like he met with HP in person. Woot.

    webosinternals WebOS Internals
    Since I'm going directly from @hp to the airport tonight to fly back to Australia, #webOS 3.0.5 kernels and patches may be delayed somewhat.
    54 minutes ago
  10. gbp
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by bluenote View Post
    Another nice tweet from Rod, looks like he met with HP in person. Woot.

    webosinternals WebOS Internals
    Since I'm going directly from @hp to the airport tonight to fly back to Australia, #webOS 3.0.5 kernels and patches may be delayed somewhat.
    54 minutes ago
    HP should offer him a job, even if it is part time.
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    #11  
    I'm thinking he's too smart to work for HP as anything other than a consultant!
    No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced
  12. #12  
    I think we're better off having some real smart guys outside HP that are able to follow their own initiatives and priorities. HP's commitment to webOS is still iffy at this point, and the last thing you'd want to hear is Rod goes to work on open source webOS at HP and then after a few months gets assigned to work on their Windows 8 tablet efforts....
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by marcedhk View Post
    I think we're better off having some real smart guys outside HP that are able to follow their own initiatives and priorities. HP's commitment to webOS is still iffy at this point, and the last thing you'd want to hear is Rod goes to work on open source webOS at HP and then after a few months gets assigned to work on their Windows 8 tablet efforts....
    This.
    Palm IIIc -> Sony CLIÉ T650C -> Sony TJ-37 -> Palm TX -> Palm Centro -> Palm Pre Bell -> Palm Pre Plus Bell/Verizon Hybrid -> HP Veer -> HP Pre 3 NA -> BlackBerry Classic -> BlackBerry Priv

    It's a Late Goodbye, such a Late Goodbye.

    Need OEM Palm Pre parts? See here
  14. #14  
    good list!
  15. #15  
    I think perhaps the more interesting tidbit in Rod flying back to Australia after meeting with HP is what it all says about what HP is doing in terms of webOS. Not saying its a magic bulle, or anything like that, but if HP is really serious about getting webOS open source as quickly as possible with a solid governance structure and serious about doing using the platform as a basis for producing some products, it has a punchers chance.

    I can't remember where I saw it (if I do I will post a link), but I saw a couple posts from somebody in HP that is involved with the open sourcing project and in figuring out what HP might build off webOS. This was nothing fancy, or groundbreaking, just the open sourceing is moving along well and some interesting/exciting ideas were being looked at. Again, it's not a magical unicorn that's going to make webOS the #1 mobile, or tablet, OS, but it's a good sign.

    Gargoyle
    a-crowder likes this.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by bluenote View Post
    Nice find.


    webosinternals WebOS Internals
    Second day of open source #webOS strategy discussions with @hp - there is a very interesting plan that is coming together here.
    23 minutes ago
    I do wish we were not kept in the dark, the suspense is killing me. I hope that plan involves some big partners to make some hardware.
  17. #17  
    I guess this question isn't easily answered (except maybe by Rod), but will open-sourcing allow us to upgrade some/all of the non-touchpad devices to webOS 3.x?

    I really hope so, it'd be good to finally get Enyo on my Pre 2.
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    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by a-crowder View Post
    I guess this question isn't easily answered (except maybe by Rod), but will open-sourcing allow us to upgrade some/all of the non-touchpad devices to webOS 3.x?

    I really hope so, it'd be good to finally get Enyo on my Pre 2.
    Enyo is on your Pre2....the 2.2.4 update definitely had it installed (the phone app is written in Enyo, from what I believe). Plus the Maps change in 2.1 from Google to Bing also brought in the Enyo bits and pieces to your Pre2
  19. khaled93's Avatar
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    #19  
    I still think webOS can't get any traction or enthusiasm from developers or consumers unless they see new hardware, android only started to compete when motorola made the original droid which was killer hardware but now iphone 4s and galaxy nexus standards are very high now. if only one oem backs webos and goes all in with new tablets and phone only then I will be relieved that everyone did all they can to save it.
    BTW, after september releases of enyo 2.2 and open webos 1.0 will then webos catch on to ios in terms of performance and touch response?? also will enyo 2.2 apps be as capable as garage band or infinity blade on ios ??
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by lavo96 View Post
    Enyo is on your Pre2....the 2.2.4 update definitely had it installed (the phone app is written in Enyo, from what I believe). Plus the Maps change in 2.1 from Google to Bing also brought in the Enyo bits and pieces to your Pre2
    Of course I noticed the OTA, but I didn't know this. Can it run Enyo apps now, then? I haven't seen anything new in the app catalog.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khaled93 View Post
    I still think webOS can't get any traction or enthusiasm from developers or consumers unless they see new hardware, android only started to compete when motorola made the original droid which was killer hardware but now iphone 4s and galaxy nexus standards are very high now. if only one oem backs webos and goes all in with new tablets and phone only then I will be relieved that everyone did all they can to save it.
    BTW, after september releases of enyo 2.2 and open webos 1.0 will then webos catch on to ios in terms of performance and touch response?? also will enyo 2.2 apps be as capable as garage band or infinity blade on ios ??
    Well, hopefully this is on the way. And with webOS going open-source, maybe we'll be able to take matters into our own hands...
    Last edited by a-crowder; 01/25/2012 at 05:52 PM.
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