Particle Debris (wk. ending 8/19) High Tech Chess and Carnage

| Particle Debris

Now that Hewlett Packard has cancelled the hardware on which webOS runs, and that includes the TouchPad, all kinds of opportunities are coming to light. First, Samsung, which is in a patent kerfuffle with Apple might decide to abandon Android on its Galaxy Tab and move to webOS. Windows 8 for tablets is probably too far away for consideration. Also, HTC, which has to feel royally screwed by Google, is probably looking to replace Android on its phones. That might be Windows Phone 7 or webOS.

The net result of this is, I think, a big gain for Microsoft and HP’s webOS software and a handsome headache for Google. I fully expect that by next summer, Android will be found only on Motorola phones, and its market share will take a continued beating from iOS 5 and iPhone 5. At least, Google’s fragmentation problems will be over.

Next, because Motorola Mobility, soon to be owned by Google, also makes the Xoom, I wonder if Google will amp up its efforts to pit the Xoom against Apple’s iPad — or kill it. Ramping up against Apple would get them into the same trouble as Samsung right now, but Motorola is better position to defend itself with patents. In addition, with HP killing the TouchPad, Samsung taking a beating from Apple, the minuscule sales of the Xoom, and the PlayBook an utter disaster, it seems that all those expert predictions that Apple would have its market share diluted in the out years by competing tablets were just wishful thinking.

Business Chess

I am still digesting what happened at Hewlett Packard. In the meantime, I’ll just point to the best articles I’ve found. This article at ZDNet suggests that HP CEO Leo Apotheker is uncomfortable with hardware and wants to remake HP in the image of SAP — from whence he came.

The future of Todd Bradley and Jon Rubinstein at HP is discussed in this article by Kara Swisher.

TNW Insider has some of the details about the lead up to Thursday’s press conference by HP and the history and fate of HP employees involved in the webOS hardware.

What was probably the nail in the coffin was abysmal sales, reported by Arik Hesseldahl. When price cuts don’t move a wishy-washy product and the only prospect is financial loss, then action has to be taken. All the predictions we made about Apple’s great A5 processor, the appeal of iOS and the locking up of component parts percolated and cooked until launch day. Then the TouchPad collapsed.

Finally, another article from TNW Insider reveals that there were significant problems with the TouchPad hardware that limited what the engineers could do.

All in all, the picture that’s emerging is that HP was dysfunctional. The CEO wasn’t, apparently, 100 percent behind the project, the hardware wasn’t so great, developers weren’t lining up in droves, and not all parts of HP were operating at their A game level to compete with Apple.

I had high hopes for Hewlett Packard’s TouchPad. It turns out that HP isn’t the company I thought it was.

Moving on. Volumes have been written about the mentality of people in the Windows vs. Mac wars. I’ve also seen some of that in the Nikon and Canon world. Here’s an article at ars technica that explains some of the psychology: “Fanbois treat criticism of favorite brands as threat to self-image.”

I’ve seen that myself in the case of Apple’s implementation of Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR). It wasn’t as well implemented in Snow Leopard compared to say, Vista and Windows 7. So when security experts said that OS X security was poor (in that respect), Mac fans who didn’t understand the issues felt offended — then rolled the old argument that Macs have no viruses! So the experts must be wrong. Sigh…

This quick demise of the HP TouchPad had everyone comparing it to the Microsoft Kin. (Both died in 7 weeks on the market.) That got Harry McCracken thinking about other products that failed, and failed fast. Here’s a neat compendium: “Gone in Sixty Seconds: The Shortest-Lived Tech Products Ever - subtitle: Ten gadgets and services whose existences were nasty, brutish, and short.”

Finally, to lighten up your week, amidst all the wreckage in the industry, here’s perhaps the coolest new toy to ever emerge and not be created by Apple. These hightech binoculars have image stabilization, auto-focus, zoom from 0.9x to 10x and can record 1080p HD video. Didn’t Luke Skywalker use something like this? Anyway, we talk a lot about SciFi here, so forgive me for this non-Apple, awesome product. (Probably not so good for star gazing, but that remains to be seen.) Here’s anther article at CNET .

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Comments

archimedes

I?ve seen that myself in the case of Apple?s implementation of Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR). It wasn?t as well implemented in Snow Leopard compared to say, Vista and Windows 7. So when security experts said that OS X security was poor (in that respect), Mac fans who didn?t understand the issues felt offended ? then rolled the old argument that Macs have no viruses! So the experts must be wrong. Sigh?

Heheh, I guess I don’t qualify. I’ve said that Vista had a number of good security features, and that Apple should adopt security features that Windows had first such as data execution prevention and browser sandboxing. [I believe 10.4.4 prevented stack execution but the heap remained executable until Leopard; Lion introduces sandboxing for Safari, and this will likely be extended to all apps in the Mac App Store. Chrome actually supported sandboxing on Snow Leopard.]

I still think that OS X would benefit from having a built-in *outbound* firewall as seen for years on Windows in ZoneAlarm, and supported in Windows itself since Vista, but currently only available on OS X via third-party products such as Little Snitch.

skipaq

John, your take as to the direction the mobile OS market is headed is about the same as my opinion. When I started to look at this from more of a business point of view with the legal battles as just the backdrop; it just looked like this would happen. Next thing you know Motorola is threatening other Android OEM’s and then Google buys them out. Samsung begins making different statements about their direction. HP dumps most everything they were doing in this area (personally not happy it came to this).

All this upheaval is likely to continue. It just isn’t that comfortable for the upper management teams at these companies. They just don’t appear to be ready for the change created by iOS in many different businesses. The really frightening thing is that they don’t have an answer for the seamless direction Apple is taking across multiple platforms. And Apple isn’t sitting still!

mhikl

Quote: Also, HTC, which has to feel royally screwed by Google, is probably looking to replace Android on its phones. That might be Windows Phone 7 or webOS.

Google’s big beef, I believe, is that it makes so little off adverts on the iPhone. Only 1% searches there compared to computers, I have read. I don’t know how this compares to other mobile makers and I may have the facts a little confused.

So how would MicroSoft and WebOS compare along those lines? Would Google miss the advert revenue with these guys, too?

What an annoyance this must be to Larry and his troop of harlequins! But them’s the vagaries.

mhikl

Quote: Next, because Motorola Mobility, soon to be owned by Google, also makes the Xoom, I wonder if Google will amp up its efforts to pit the Xoom against Apple?s iPad ? or kill it. Ramping up against Apple would get them into the same trouble as Samsung right now, but Motorola is better position to defend itself with patents. In addition, with HP killing the TouchPad, Samsung taking a beating from Apple, the minuscule sales of the Xoom, and the PlayBook an utter disaster, it seems that all those expert predictions that Apple would have its market share diluted in the out years by competing tablets were just wishful thinking.

Now we would have 4 phones: iOS, WebOS, Android and Windows 8; so we must introspect the delights for their plights with due interest what four furious foes fraught with phones have fought.

mhikl

Quote from : “Because the brand is seen as a part of the self by virtue of being intimately tied to the self, failure on the part of the brand is experienced as a personal failure,” reads the paper. “Therefore, in an effort to maintain a positive self-view, high SBC individuals react defensively to brand failure by evaluating the brand favorably despite its poor performance.

What does del do? Delete?
Wow. This says a lot about AppleHaters and why they feel so threatened by Apple. I am sure there must be Applefans in the same boat but from most of the contributors to TMO and friends who play in the Apple farm, I don?t see this so much; but then, Apple does rule and when one of its toes is in the fire, the others are waving flags. I don?t know what I would do if Apple suddenly lost its way; though if an another took up the good fight, I suspect I would switch and be happy, yet sad to see an old friend go.

Being a Toyota owner, I did ignore the hoopla over the gas pedal but still, I wondered ?whatever was Toyota thinking?. I just figured the company would get back on track but I was disgusted with the deceit. I also am tired of the higher prices of some of Apples older products. With the loot in their bank, enough is enough. I also can?t understand why the Apple TV (I have v 1) is so set on M4v and why I am forced to convert my movies. (Tried jailbreak. What a bother.)

Still, food for thought which goes to sheds some light on Bosco?s energies. Ron and I should be more understanding, but ismf.

John Martellaro

This just in.  I read that Apple may try to buy up the webOS patents from HP.

  http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2011/08/19/webos-and-palm-patents-now-wait-for-apple/
I don’t know if that’s likely, given what HP just said about the desired to license webOS to other hardware companies.  But if Apple pulled that off, it would be another fabulous move on this chess board.

skipaq

This would not be surprising. Mobile OS is like the wild west right now and everyone anticipates a shootout in the near future. All sides are arming up. The local citizenry is divided as to who is the hero as they peek through their windows in excitement and dread. Who will come walking back up the street with phone still smoking?

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