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  1.    #1  
    I just read about HP's decision to put a lid on webOs devices, and I got to thinking, how could both Palm and then webOs fail so badly? Where did it all go wrong?

    I think it takes one of two things to have a successful product: it either has to be revolutionary or cheap.

    Apple wowed the world with the iPad and it exploded because there was nothing like it. The same thing happened with Palm waaaay back. No one had a tiny device that could do so much, and it became so popular that even knock-offs were called "Palm Pilots".

    Wal-Mart was not revolutionary, but it had two things going for it to make it what it is today. The first was that it started off cheap, and built a reputation on that. The second is that it's all-purpose--convenient. Need milk, a dress shirt and a hearing aid? Wal-Mart's got'em all--cheap.

    Android, to me, is the Wal-Mart of OSs. Google's got it right--start everything out free, and then capitalize on the popularity that comes from allowing your product to spread instead of paying to spread it.

    I think both senses of "free" have to apply to a product that is not revolutionary. That is, it can't be expensive and it can't be restricted. For example, I think one of the things that killed Palm was the glaring omission of wi-fi on their PalmOS phones when wi-fi was becoming an industry standard. I still don't understand why they couldn't make the changes to the OS to incorporate it. If a program can be written, it can be rewritten.

    Android came along promising to be free and flexible--a winning combination when you're the newbie. Unfortunately, with missing expandable memory, HDMI slots and the basic expectation of document editing (among other things), the convenience of both Palm and webOS weren't there, and now they've fallen short.

    Anyway, just some thoughts.
  2. #2  
    successful product: it either has to be revolutionary or cheap
    A successful product is one that turns a profit, works well and has a satisfied customer base.
    Android came along promising to be free and flexible--a winning combination when you're the newbie
    The freeness of Android doesn't really do much for most of the users. They buy a phone, that's not free. As for being unrestricted: not really. You have to root your Android phone to get access to lower level functionality. To install alternative firmware you have to unlock the boot loader. Both of these depend heavily on the handset you're buying. It's possible on some, but not all.
    missing expandable memory, HDMI slots and the basic expectation of document editing (among other things), the convenience of both Palm and webOS weren't there
    Having no expandable memory is fine. The SD cards produce all kinds of headaches on Android, because you have to manage your internal and your sdcard memory. HDMI slots? Only very few people need to connect their phones to a projector. Document editing is a glaring hole. But the worst thing was that the included apps rarely got updates and the whole OS never performed snappy.

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