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  1.    #1  
    Why HP might (ultimately) ditch WebOS for Android | Mobilize - InfoWorld
    WebOS lets HP stand out but also makes it the odd man out, while an Android strategy could better play to HP's strengths

    [UPDATED 2/9] Today, Hewlett-Packard unveiled its grand plan for WebOS, 10 months after it bought Palm and its mobile OS. HP's hints since the Palm acqusition suggested there'll be one or more new WebOS smartphones to replace the Palm Pre, one or more tablets based on WebOS, and Internet appliances such as printers running WebOS so that they can do some processing without being tied to a computer. In fact, HP announced one tablet (the TouchPad), two smartphones (the Pre 3 and Veer), and vague plabns to bring WebOS to printers and PCs in the future. The new devices won't ship for several months.

    It's a risky strategy, as it forces HP to swim against the Apple iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Google Android tides pounding both the consumer and business markets. Microsoft, Nokia, and Research in Motion have all been swept away by the surge (though they're still trying to swim), and it's not clear how HP will fare any better. Despite its hype, HP doesn't have something magically different up its sleeve that will turn heads in an unprecedented, lasting way. Of course, HP is hardly known for carrying off such feats in the rest of its computer business, so it's hard to imagine why WebOS would buck that history.

    [ Learn how to manage iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, and other smartphones in InfoWorld's 20-page Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF special report. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights with the Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]

    What HP is good at is making decent systems using the same hardware and operating system as everyone else -- in other words, Windows PCs. HP brings little significant innovation to the mix, though it occasionally innovates around the edges, as in the attempts to popularize touchscreen PCs it began a couple years ago and still tries to pursue. As a result, HP makes a solid product at a decent price, and it's used that strategy to become the No. 1 PC maker in the world, as competitors suffered quality, branding, and distribution issues.

    When you look at the Android market, it's very similar to the Windows PC market: The smartphone and tablet makers are using the same hardware underneath (that's why their specs all sound alike), as well as the same OS, with minor UI variations. Sure, Samsung stands out with its brilliant AMOLED displays, HTC has its Sense UI overlay, and Motorola Mobility spotlights its keyboard and "world phone" models -- but their differences are ultimately small ones. By and large, Android smartphones are as interchangeable as PCs.

    Because HP excels in the PC market, it stands to reason that it would do so in the Android market. Plus, HP might have an advantage in the tablet segment of the Android market. Tablets are more like PCs than phones, and HP's PC reputation should carry over to tablets, especially for business users, moreso than the cell phone reputations of HTC, Motorola Mobility, and Samsung would.

    Dell is also trying to play the Android game with smartphones and tablets, but so far the devices have received little attention -- perhaps because Dell has long suffered a reputation for poor quality, which may have been permanently cemented through recent revelations it intentionally resold defective equipment to customers (Dell denies these claims). Although Dell theoretically could execute the same "treat Androids as Windows PCs" strategy, it may not have the ability or reputation any longer to pull that off. Its Android-based Streak tablets, for example, have been poorly received, including the latest 7-imch version released this month.

    HP has both the ability and the reputation. Sure, a "let's do for Android what we do for Windows" strategy may not be as sexy as a "let's try to be a unique platform la Apple and Google" plan, but it would better play to HP's proven strengths.

    The Windows head versus the WebOS heart
    Such a strategy, however, may not play to HP's aspirations. The Palm team surely would not accept such a "treat Android like Windows" strategy -- Palm's intent when ex-Apple exec Jon Rubinstein took over several years ago was to be an Apple, not an HP or Dell. (The Palm folks don't even use PCs -- they're a Mac shop.) HP likely saw in Palm a chance to be more of an Apple: an innovative leader, not merely a good packager of other companies' technology. Retreating from that aspiration could be difficult to execute emotionally.

    But Palm didn't deliver an Apple-style product with WebOS or the Pre, and that's why it ended up becoming part of HP. Maybe under HP's wing Palm can get a second chance, and HP can become more than a good packager of others' technology. But as WebOS and the new HP products don't break meaningful new ground, it's not clear what HP brings to the table other than buying Palm more time to try to matter in a second try. With the key products in the WebOS strategy not expected until this summer, everyone else -- Apple, the Android community, and RIM -- have plenty of opportunity to make us all forget WebOS even exists, and to put their own differences on display while we continue to wait for HP's WebOS promises.

    Regardless, I suspect there's a debate within HP beween the head and the heart, with the head being "let's do with Android what we've done successfully with Windows" and the heart being "let's leverage to become an Apple or Google." If the heart doesn't succeed this time, I suspect the head will prevail. After all, Palm was cheap enough where HP could afford to drop the heart strategy in favor of the head without material impact on the company's finances or investors.

    If the head prevails, that would lead HP to join the Android market, perhaps keeping WebOS as an embedded OS that invisibly powers Internet-connected printers and the like. More important, such a shift could remake the Android market, while giving HP a new area of growth to replace the inevitable decline in sales as the post-PC shift takes hold.

    This article, "Why HP might ditch WebOS for Android," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.
  2. #2  
    blah blah blah
    ĦṔ-Ḷṫ-Ŧḯη
    Here is a direct link to webOS Doc for all carriers
    http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/...octor_Versions
    P.S. if i have helped you and you are thankful please hit the thanks button to the right---->
  3. #3  
    I often spend $1.2 billion to have a short term strategy with the intention of jumping in a saturated android mobile device market.
  4. #4  
    But Palm didn't deliver an Apple-style product with WebOS or the Pre, and that's why it ended up becoming part of HP.
    Um - no. Palm delivered an exceptional, open OS. And they had crappy manufacturers build their handsets. They were in such a precarious financial situation, they needed to hit it out of the park, and they didn't and became a take-over target.

    Another "industry journalist" utterly missing the point. Yeah, HP can eat a $1+ billion acquisition. Right.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by runsweetlew View Post
    I often spend $1.2 billion to have a short term strategy with lots of intention of jumping in a saturated android mobile device market.
    There's no thanks button on your post for some reason (don't understand this forum software), but thank you for the big smile of the night!

    -- found it
    Last edited by blinktreo; 05/04/2011 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Magical appearance of the Thanks button
  6. #6  
    ^xactly. All I heard while trying to read that was that tone a tv station broadcasts when they take a channel off the air. It contained about as much thought.
    Last edited by HelloNNNewman; 05/04/2011 at 09:25 PM.
  7. #7  
    The best argument to make would be HP bought Palm for the patent portfolio and moved on with their lives, but they obviously didn't.
  8. #8  
    article is dated from Think Beyond. and with today's announcement of the Veer on AT&T, this article seems even more irrelevant. but if it holds true, hello Iphone.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by runsweetlew View Post
    I often spend $1.2 billion to have a short term strategy with the intention of jumping in a saturated android mobile device market.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by runsweetlew View Post
    The best argument to make would be HP bought Palm for the patent portfolio and moved on with their lives, but they obviously didn't.
    I dunno, am I the only one who finds the "ecosystem" strategy really compelling? I've worked in IT my whole career, and this is what innovative CIOs do. Don't license it (which does make shareholders happy because there's more cash coming in), but own it and weave it into a greater strategy.

    The reason I tire so much of the constant sniping "Veer is getting laughed at!" "Pre3 has old hardware!" "Veer is a kid's phone which we know won't work because Kin" etc is because, as far as I understand it, HP's planning for the long game. They've invested heavily in webOS. Maybe the Veer does well, maybe it doesn't. Pre3 might not get picked up by Sprint, but maybe the slab does. Touchpad might be heavier than an iPad, but Opal's on its way. And surely more handsets. And some sort of virtual webOS on PCs. And printers.

    You can't just do this focused on the next iteration of hardware - so far I'm impressed.

    The only reservations I have regard HP being a mega-corp. Those turn slowly. I hope they've bought enough talent in the old Palm team to make them think forward.
  11. #11  
    This is the second thread the op opened today based on a story written on Feb 9th.
    Seems strange...almost like spamming the forum.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by jetsetter883 View Post
    article is dated from Think Beyond. and with today's announcement of the Veer on AT&T, this article seems even more irrelevant. but if it holds true, hello Iphone.
    Good point. I'm so glad we have a new thread based on something written in February by a publication that couldn't spell webOS if you spotted them the first 3 letters...

    Nothing to see here folks.
  13. #13  
    troll bait?
    I see pandas.
  14. #14  
    Ah yes... this is meant to go nowhere but downhill into the pond as bait.

    <closed>

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