HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

Summary: In one ill-timed move HP you have moved me from the "stick it out" TouchPad customer to the "extremely nervous about the platform" customer.

SHARE:

I laid out $500 on TouchPad launch day, even after reading all the lukewarm, even bad, product reviews. I see enough promise in the webOS platform for tablets that I even made it clear I was in it for the long haul. I was feeling pretty good about that decision as I have gotten more impressed with the TouchPad the longer I have used it. And then today I was scanning my Twitter feed and saw colleague Larry Dignan's tweet about his brief article announcing that HP had replaced Jon Rubinstein as head of the unit behind webOS. In one ill-timed move HP you have moved me from the "stick it out" customer column to the "extremely nervous about the platform" column.

Reasons aside, this move couldn't have been more poorly timed in my view. The TouchPad's launch wasn't the best it should have been, that is not in question. There may have been reasons behind replacing Rubinstein that make good business sense, or reasons we don't know about. None of that matters to the customers who shelled out hard-earned dollars on an untried platform for a new tablet, potential or not.

To new TouchPad customers, there is no good way to view the replacement of Rubinstein. It is viewed as dumping the guy behind the product we just bought. We are savvy enough customers to know this will have a big internal impact on the business unit that is now supporting our big purchase. We were already risking a fair bit on the TouchPad given media reviews. Now we have a lot more to worry about. Thanks, HP.

Related:

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Mobile OS, Operating Systems

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

52 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

    I think you are reading way too much into this. If they had shut down the division or kicked Rubenstein out of the company, I might be with you. This is more of a straightforward executive shuffle of a type that isn't that uncommon after a product line shifts from development to production. Note that they moved in a key business guy while shifting Rubenstein to an R&D role.
    JeffGr
    • I would not worry even if HP would fire Rubinstein altogether since what he

      @JeffGr: ... he did was taking with himself to Palm few other Apple's employees whose ideas Jobs declined from being used in iOS. However, even the declined ideas were so good, that some of them were no worse that ended up used in the final release of iOS in 2007. Just somewhat different approach.

      It is funny that HP calls Rubinstein 'visionary' behind WebOS since he was hardware guy at Apple.
      DDERSSS
    • Agreed...

      Jon Rubinstein is, as the PR release stated, a Silicon Valley icon, but knows nothing about taking the TouchPad to a second level. Ironically, he might be the reason the TP didn't met expectations.

      Now HP is doing the wise thing, and moving Rubinstein away from the day to day TP, Veer and Pre stuff and exposing him to other divisions, such as printers, laptops, calculators, etc. (hell even Agilent's oscilloscopes might benefit from the inbreeding with webOS).

      If HP wants to outgun Apple on tablets, they need all their manufacturing savvy targeted on the alternative platform.
      cosuna
    • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

      @JeffGr Totally agree. This isn't uncommon and is certainly not a big deal. The "sell and tweak" team should be stepping in at this point, anyway. The focus now is to improve it and get the word out.
      BillDem
    • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

      @JeffGr - Now James looks pretty smart to have been nervous and worried about the TouchPad's future, doesn't he?
      Malcolm R
  • There is one good reason to rejoice.

    I always had one issue with Rubinstein. He is proud that he does not use competitors platforms.

    I was impressed with Zuckerberg that he got a Google+ invite and is playing with Google+. This gives me hope that Facebook is willing to look at what is good and re-evaluate current product offerings.
    Bruizer
    • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

      @Bruizer

      "I was impressed with Zuckerberg that he got a Google+ invite and is playing with Google+. This gives me hope that Facebook is willing to look at what is good and re-evaluate current product offerings."

      Translated means, "I steal the best and benchmark the rest."
      dwhipple
      • Yep...

        @dwhipple ... compare that to the fact that Microsoft has a mere 4 apps on the App Store, and no app yet for the PlayBook nor the TouchPad, and you get a pattern that you need to play with others to succeed.
        cosuna
      • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

        @cosuna ... Just FYI - The TouchPad had over 300 optimised apps on launch 2 weeks ago. That would be more than Honeycombe has as of now, I believe, though of course there are lots more apps for older Android OSes that have been optimized for larger screen.
        babak76567
  • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

    No reason to think that this will not be for the better of the product line. They seem to recognize there was a problem and are looking to correct it.
    jjacobs3
  • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

    I read some of this news today, and not sure to be concerned. It sounded as if they wanted Jon Rubinstein to lead the development for innovative apps for WebOS. Which I believe is a legitimate move. What concerns me is WebOs may get licensed and we'll see different hardware devices that may become messy like Android.
    Sweat Studio
  • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

    "...shelled out hard-earned dollars on an untried platform..."

    BINGO!!!
    lgpOnTheMove
    • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

      @lgpOnTheMove Yep. That's my feeling too. Look if you have enough money in this economy to take a gamble like this, then you should realize that it could well be flushing the money down the toilet, even on a proven product like the iPad. If you aren't comfortable with that, put your $500 in a nice safe bank account and forget about technology. The product life cycles are so short on these things that it almost doesn't matter; you're only going to get about 6 months to a year of really effective use from them anyway.
      JoeFoerster
  • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

    Don't worry, Win 8 is coming and installing it might actually make these tablets useful ;-)
    tonymcs@...
    • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

      @tonymcs@... unless Win 8 works like iOS or Android, I wouldn't count on that. Have you tried a Win 7 tablet? [shudders] they're terrible!
      sirhomealot
    • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

      @tonymcs@... don't worry, that magical "usefulness" will be sucked up by virus scanners and pointless background services that suck up all your CPU and most of your memory. I have a lot of doubts that Win8 will solve that. But I am willing to at least look. On a fatter desktop, not on a hand-held. I do not want the latter to weigh a ton, just to run Windows.
      ta1
  • Here's my guess about how it went down:

    Leo A., HP CEO, got tired of hearing that HP was no longer able to do innovative stuff (like Apple). Jon is a talented ex-Apple hardware manager who worked closely with Steve Jobs, and is well acquainted with Jobs' M.O. So Leo said something like: Jon, why don't you be the "Steve Jobs of HP" and come up with some new, innovative stuff like Steve does. So Jon decided to give it a go. But here's the problem: Jon isn't CEO of HP. Unlike Steve, who is the ultimate "decider" at Apple, Jon won't be. His ideas, however innovative, can be (and probably will be) shot down by Leo. The second or third time this happens, Jon will have had it, will bail, and will ultimately end up as the head of some small startup, where he will have the freedom to implement his ideas.
    Just a guess.

    .
    Userama
    • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

      @Userama

      Probably a good precis, except that it was not Leo Apotheker that was CEO of HP at the time of the Palm purchase, it was Mark Hurd, until he "stepped in some turd".

      So whatever "come up with some new" deal that Hurd offered, it was Leo that sent Ruby downstairs .......
      Andrew Sheppard
    • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

      @Userama ...I guess we will see. Ultimately, if heads butt and the touchPad doesn't fly, it won't just look bad for Jon, it will look bad for Leo. Unlike some prior CEO's I suspect Leo might actually listen when someone says "no" to him, which apparently does not happen in Steve Jobs' case.
      ta1
  • RE: HP: This TouchPad owner just got very nervous. Thanks.

    is it a wonder that advertising under palm and hp for launch had the same guy? it's terrible. my sunday paper ads had nothing about the touchpad. all about other tablets introductions. i think it is a good move. put him at what he's good at. not device introduction.
    mobrien200