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Author Topic: Adios, WebOS  (Read 2787 times)
perkiset
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« on: August 18, 2011, 11:17:14 PM »

It was the little OS that could've. In a hauntingly familiar way, WebOS was doomed more by the incompetence of it's business masters than it's capabilities - more frowned on for it's late-to-the-gameness. And so it joins a long line of superior products that just couldn't compete. Price, applack, no buzz or cool factor and a 90's feeling campaign. HP has become old.

I suppose Betamax and OS2 are reasonable cellmates ... But I though that those crazy Palm gurus had more go in them than this.

Too bad really. They could have really given Apple a run for it's money.
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daviator
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2011, 08:37:24 AM »

Yeah, a couple of billion here, a couple of billion there, and before you know it, you've pissed away some real money.

I fear this is the beginning of the end for HP.  Quite a shocker that they are just dumping the tablet business and WebOS - not even trying to sell it - though perhaps it shouldn't be such a shock, given that 90% of their production hasn't sold through and is sitting on store shelves.

Now Amazon is really the last viable contender to significantly challenge Apple in the tablet market.  If they can't do it, Apple may just hold onto their 90% market share.
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daviator
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2011, 08:44:00 AM »

Whoops, I was misinformed, I thought HP was actually dumping WebOS, but it's only the WebOS hardware they are killing.  Read http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/19/hps-webos-reportedly-runs-significantly-faster-on-ipad-2-than-on-touchpad/ and you can see part of the reason why...
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perkiset
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 08:46:18 AM »

It's not just their mobile biz ... They are offing their entire PC business. I don't think there servers are in that OU, but that means the entire HP/Compaq line will go the way of Lenovo. I read that their margin on PCs is only 5.7% - pathetic, but understandable once PCs become a completely commoditized widget.

Apple has really disrupted the world this time. The tablet market has chewed into better than 20% of the PC market and it doesn't show signs of stopping. With HP out of the game, this puts the Android and Windows offerings in an even better position to compete.

I'll betcha HP is not the last vendor we see do this.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 08:57:09 AM by perkiset » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2011, 09:08:58 AM »

re. webOS - HP says that they want to be a software company, so that's why their keeping their options open. But I think that's a bit of a pipe dream, since any other hardware vendor that uses it will need to license, and with Windows and Android already in pole position behind Apple it will be one helluva hard sell. without HP making dedicated hardware for it, I don't see much option for them yet. But time will tell.
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2011, 04:12:01 PM »

I didn't comment on the sale of their PC business because that part of the announcement wasn't even a little bit surprising to me.  There's no money and no future in the PC business.  It's a commodity business and none of them seem to be very good at innovating or differentiating in any meaningful way.  I think IBM saw the writing on the wall a long time ago, and HP is figuring it out too (also, Apotheker (HP's new CEO) is really a software guy.)

But I fear that the age of HP is ending.  I hope they can find their niche, but it's a little sad to see one of the real pioneers of the hardware industry in this position.
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rcjordan
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 04:26:13 PM »

Guardian: "Think HP is going to be able to license WebOS? Think again" 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/aug/22/hp-webos-licensing-prospects

I think Amazon, Google, or -a long shot- Facebook may buy WebOS.   Mostly for the patents. I believe Palm's board of directors valued those patents at $800M minimum back when HP was buying them. With the G/Motorola deal raising the ante on mobile tech patents recent guesstimates put Palm's in the range of $1.5B ...or close to what HP actually ended up out-of-pocket for Palm.

If G were to add them to the Motorola/Android armaments then their arsenal begins to look really formidable as  Palm holds some of the early broad smartphone patents. Also, there's been a lot of talk about WebOS really being suited to smart devices like kitchen appliances.  (Great, now Big G will know the milk is out of date.)

And then there's the need to keep someone else from buying them and competing.  We've seen more than a few buyouts just to shut them down in this industry.

Meanwhile, Samsung has been spotted touring HP's outsourced production facilities. 

BTW, I bought 4 of the Touchpads for $99 8am Saturday morning at the local walmart.  Waaaay before people started standing in line for these.  Even with its just-average browser, this is a worthwhile machine.   Had it come out earlier, it would have been serious competition for ipad.  Its virtual keyboard's usability puts my iPad2 to shame.

The default browser is Safari-ish, and while more than good enough for the average user, are not in the same league as my tweaked iCab on the Apple.  I've yet to find a way to automatically clear cookies only closing. OTOH, it does flash. OTOH2, no streaming Netflix.

<added>
Given the recent legal setbacks Samsung has had with marketing the Galaxy line, I'm now betting that they'll be the one that'll pick up WebOS, maybe even some of the hardware.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 04:31:24 PM by rcjordan » Logged
perkiset
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2011, 11:15:58 AM »

I think you're right on the Samsung line. They need something *badly* to combat Apple and the courtside beating they've been taking. The EU ruling yesterday is going to be devastating. So even if they just purchase WebOS for the patent list and bury the product, they'd have some weaponry against Apple in court.

But the purchase of Motorola Mobile by Google is now also very interesting. That puts them in a position to have a similar walled garden or at LEAST a hardware perfectly matched to software platform ... and if they go that direction, the market for the Samsungs will be decreased yet again - leaving yesterday's Android or Windows 7 Mobile as an option.

BTWm nice to see you about RC. Been a while. Hope you and the lovely lady are well.
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It is now believed, that after having lived in one compound with 3 wives and never leaving the house for 5 years, Bin Laden called the U.S. Navy Seals himself.
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