HP and the WebOS

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    Posted: 17 June 2011 09:15 PM #16

    How far ahead is Apple in terms of putting together the whole package? Product design/imagination, market timing, development knowhow, pricing, retailing, supply chain to name a few of the functions they integrate well

    [ Edited: 17 June 2011 09:19 PM by Paul Goodwin ]

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  • Posted: 18 June 2011 01:07 AM #17

    Paul Goodwin - 18 June 2011 12:09 AM

    IMO very few Windows users would run WebOS on a PC. And w/o that paired technology like OS X and iOS their ecosystem will be restricted. I’ve always respected HP hardware design but I’m not sure they have the big picture focus for the SW side. I guess we’ll see. And they can’t just give away the stuff. The development costs of SW are huge compared to the HW development costs. So will PC buyers pay extra for the integrated package? I do with Apple HW but the average computer and phone buyer in the PC world focuses almost entirely on the price of the HW and what free or cheap software they can get. I believe there’s a niche there for the sophisticated PC users that HP can start to grow a reputation with, but how long and how many $ will it take. Wall St has very little patience

    Paul:

    Good to have you posting in the AFB.  grin

    HP has the resources to develop a competitive OS. Mercel and I were talking about HP earlier this week. His view is a bit different than mine on the prospects for HP achieving success with the WebOS.

    This is a step by HP towards greater differentiation of its PC products and a step away from a reliance on Windows as a hardware maker. Success with the WebOS will take time.

         
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    Posted: 18 June 2011 11:05 AM #18

    Thanks for the welcome. Innovation and differentiation is a good thing.

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  • Posted: 18 June 2011 12:16 PM #19

    Paul Goodwin - 18 June 2011 02:05 PM

    Thanks for the welcome. Innovation and differentiation is a good thing.

    This is why HP is shipping all PCs starting in 2012 in dual bit configuration: Windows and WebOS. It’s instant installations for anyone buying an HP PC. Will it work? We’ll see.

         
  • Posted: 18 June 2011 01:39 PM #20

    Paul Goodwin - 18 June 2011 02:05 PM

    Thanks for the welcome. Innovation and differentiation is a good thing.

    Paul, let me extend a warm welcome too.

    DawnTreader is much more optimistic about the possible success of HP’s webOS than I am, but then again, DawnTreader is much smarter than I am. With that caveat in mind, here are my three questions for HP:

    1) Is it too late? I’d posit a qualified “no”. No one else besides Apple has been able to jump in and grab the number two spot in tablets. Android is struggling, Windows 8 Tablet is non-existant and RIM’s Playbook is imploding. On the other hand, maybe no one can establish a foothold as the number two tablet maker because Apple has sucked all the oxygen out of the market. There’s no room to breathe.

    2) What about Apps? Is webOS going to be able to create a vibrant App Market from a virtual standstill?

    3) Does HP have the kind of corporate culture capable of competing in the fast-moving, cut-throat world of mobile? I have a lot of respect for HP. But - and this may simply be a personal prejudice - I see them more as a go-along-get-along type of company rather than as a ruthless, fast moving shark. HP beats you with solid engineering, great distribution and a workmanlike get-it-done kind of attitude. How will they fare when they go head to head with Apple? Because make no mistake about it, with the webOS strategy, HP is not only competing with Apple, they are trying to out Apple Apple. Is that really a wise grand strategy?

    OK, that’s more than enough uninformed rambling. What are your thoughts?

    [ Edited: 19 June 2011 11:41 AM by FalKirk ]      
  • Posted: 18 June 2011 01:47 PM #21

    Paul Goodwin - 18 June 2011 12:09 AM

    IMO very few Windows users would run WebOS on a PC. And w/o that paired technology like OS X and iOS their ecosystem will be restricted. I’ve always respected HP hardware design but I’m not sure they have the big picture focus for the SW side. I guess we’ll see. And they can’t just give away the stuff. The development costs of SW are huge compared to the HW development costs. So will PC buyers pay extra for the integrated package? I do with Apple HW but the average computer and phone buyer in the PC world focuses almost entirely on the price of the HW and what free or cheap software they can get. I believe there’s a niche there for the sophisticated PC users that HP can start to grow a reputation with, but how long and how many $ will it take. Wall St has very little patience

    I do not expect that HP is including WebOS with the idea that Windows users will run it.  It is my expectation that this is an early step toward the goal of replacing Windows on some large subset of their PC customers.  Perhaps they see a MacBook Air form factor running WebOS?

    @DT:  I don’t define the market as “mobile devices” and I am 99% certain that HP does not define it that way either.

    @Ballmer:  Will you port Office to WebOS?

         
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    Posted: 18 June 2011 01:58 PM #22

    capablanca - 18 June 2011 04:47 PM

    I don’t define the market as “mobile devices” and I am 99% certain that HP does not define it that way either.

    The broader market is “computing devices”. This is exactly what Steve was pointing out when he said ?We?re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device.?

         
  • Posted: 18 June 2011 02:12 PM #23

    Welcome Paul,

    My two cents:

    HP is weighted down by bureaucracy and history. New blood in the house?  Jon Rubenstein is one guy and his efforts are probably split between fighting the culture and attempting to create WebOS traction.  I remember at the time that a significant number of WebOS engineers bolted shortly after HP acquired Palm.  Not a good start.

    I’ve used WebOS, having purchased a Palm Pre near it’s launch.  I remember the hype well.  It was a good handset at the time, and from my experience, WebOS was never better than iOS, which has since improved more than WebOS.  I felt the media was bending over backwards to praise WebOS, but it sounded more like encouragement than accomplishment. 

    On the mobile front, they’re not doing much in handsets—the Palm Pre/Veer is TOO small and the Palm Pixi is for your teenager.  They’re niche handsets.  This is something HP could fix but the fact they haven’t suggests more HP-myopia?

    HP has the hardware/software chops to produce a viable tablet. It’s late though. HP lacks Apple’s ecosystem, apps and mindshare.  It could easily be the best of the rest, but I’m not sure it won’t join the ranks of the “thundering herd.”  Or another journey to the land of misfit toys…

    Which brings me to the computers.  HP machines have a reliability problem, which isn’t easily fixed in the Windows world wherein customers are accustomed to choose on the basis of price.  The design REEKS of “me-too” that ends up looking cheap.  The WebOS/Windows platform isn’t likely to make a difference from what I’ve seen.

    Disclosure:  I don’t own HPQ   LOL

    [ Edited: 18 June 2011 02:44 PM by ByeTMO ]      
  • Posted: 18 June 2011 02:39 PM #24

    My quick 2 cents…
    Personally I think webOS looks pretty appealing. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it looks better than iOS, but I certainly wouldn’t mind owning a webOS device.

    My question is how will their existing software ecosystem adapt and scale to desktop use? Will they run the same software but enhanced to take advantage of the bigger screen, like going from iPhone to iPad? You still have to deal with the move from touch-based input to mouse and keyboard. That’s not a terribly difficult thing, but it does have to be considered.

         
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    Posted: 19 June 2011 02:23 AM #25

    Thanks for all the welcomes. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops. One thing for sure is that if you get the right people working for a great leader (extremely rare these days), some great things can happen. Apple was literally written off as dead when they did it.

    I liked the disclaimer. DISCLAIMER. I own a little AAPL. I bought some HPQ in 2001 but it flat lined for three years so I got rid of it. It hasn’t done much in the past 10 years. I wish HP the best but I’m skeptical.  It’ll take some astounding investment and development. The best part of HP became a separate company Agilent 10-12 years ago.

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  • Posted: 19 June 2011 03:08 AM #26

    I’m surprised to learn HP is shifting computer production from China to higher-cost Japan.  Charging a higher price does not equate to a premium product. 

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/43434600

         
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    Posted: 19 June 2011 03:17 AM #27

    HP carries a LOT of baggage into this fight. As one who purchased an HP computer and dealt with the bundled crapwear, I would NEVER purchase another HP device. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice…...........  ah, won’t happen!

      cheers
        JohnG

         
  • Posted: 19 June 2011 12:29 PM #28

    capablanca - 18 June 2011 04:47 PM

    [

    @Ballmer:  Will you port Office to WebOS?

    Too many markets have already been lost to MSFT’s unwillingness to step beyond Windows and embrace emerging platforms with Office solutions.

    The revenue opportunities from adapting Office for iOS and even Linux have already been lost.

    The Windows era is over and all the effort in the world won’t exited the dominance of Windows past the PC and all of the lack of effort in exploiting Office solutions on emerging platforms won’t keep these platforms from achieving success.

         
  • Posted: 27 June 2011 11:26 PM #29

    Via John Gruber over at Daring Fireball:

    Austin Carr, writing about HP?s WebOS and TouchPad for Fast Company:

    Ironically, in order to compete with Apple, HP is taking a page from Apple?s playbook. Steve Jobs?s strategy has always been to control both the hardware and the software it runs on. While other PC makers, including HP, have relied on Windows, Apple?s Macs have always come with Mac OS, an operating system designed specifically for its hardware. Apple has followed the same approach when expanding to the iPhone and iPad with iOS. ?Everyone is figuring out that if you want to survive, you really want to control the experience end to end,? McKinney says. ?The ability to control both the hardware platform and OS is absolutely critical.?

    Remember now, this man is talking about the company (Apple) that supposedly LOST the PC wars.

         
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    Posted: 27 June 2011 11:48 PM #30

    FalKirk - 28 June 2011 02:26 AM

    Remember now, this man is talking about the company (Apple) that supposedly LOST the PC wars.

    Right. And Apple will supposedly lose the smartphone war in exactly the same way. 5% market share and 50% profit share. I’ll take that “loss” any day.