HP/Palm is About to Shake up the Tablet Space With webOS

HP/Palm is About to Shake up the Tablet Space With webOS

Summary: Having HP step in to buy Palm was the best thing that could have happened for webOS, and we're about to see the proof of that when the expected webOS tablets get announced next month.


Palm was never able to get good traction with webOS, even though it is an insanely good OS for smartphones. Whether it was marketing failure, unappealing hardware or lack of apps, the buying public didn't pick up phones running webOS in sufficient numbers. Having HP step in to buy Palm was the best thing that could have happened, and we're about to see the proof of that when the expected webOS tablets get announced next month.

HP/Palm is throwing a webOS press event in San Francisco on February 9th, and indications are we'll see phones, tablets and perhaps netbooks running the OS. Of all the product categories HP is considering for webOS, the tablet has me excited as I believe the OS is so fitting for the tablet form that it can take the competition by storm.

WebOS is tailor-made for the tablet, from the great multi-tasking to the innovative (and intuitive) touch control that is part and parcel of the platform. Palm incorporated intelligent gesture control into the OS, a natural for touch operation. The card metaphor employed for running apps, that are updated in real-time even when the app is not running in the foreground, will shake up the way the competition handles multi-tasking. Heck, RIM took the idea for the upcoming PlayBook, as demonstrated by RIM every chance it gets.

A webOS tablet backed by the muscle of HP will be huge, and I can't wait to see it. I like the Android tablet, but Android doesn't handle touch operation nearly as well as webOS. If HP markets a webOS tablet properly, I predict we'll see these things everywhere in short order. That's why I will be attending the webOS press event with great anticipation.

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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  • HP already "shaked" music players market -- few times

    and it was not really noticeable because HP is as "hip and cool as brick".<br><br>Seriously speaking, lets see; they have a long way to ago and the "shake" will be very, very slow. Application count will not grow to 400 000 like for iOS or even 200 000 like for Android overnight.
    • Since the Davik VM and all is open source, HP could embrace the execution

      environment for applications. Would give them 200,000 applications overnight.
      • RE: HP/Palm is About to Shake up the Tablet Space With webOS

        @DonnieBoy : yeah... donnie boy... but that would create a webOS android hybrid, which could erode HP developer's efforts. In my view, it could pane well with HP, but not sure if they'll have the nerve to do it.
  • Will be interesting year with Linux Derivatives

    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
    • RE: HP/Palm is About to Shake up the Tablet Space With webOS

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate

      Don't want to make that "This will be the year of Linux" do you DTS?

      Or are you thinking the interesting times Chinese curse?
  • Exciting times...

    I really think the HP/Palm tablet could be a great seller. WebOS is perfectly formed for tablets and with the right marketing could really differentiate itself from android and what is soon going to be a flooded market.
    • I agree, WebOS could offer a very strong alternative. Hopefully HP gave the

      team free reign and the necessary resources to make the best tablet possible. It will be interesting to see how they position it, enterprise vs consumer.
  • WebOS is my favorite Mobile OS.. BUT...

    Palm had 1) pathetic hardware and 2) pathetic marketplace for apps and 3) pathetic & "creepy" marketing campaign.. you look at the ad and no one even knew what the hell they were selling.. c'mon guys!<br><br>1) hopefully the HP industrial designers are now on the job and are in charge of this.. cause the guys at palm were out to lunch on this one.. it's the best TOUCH OS on the planet.. stress that.. huge beautiful screen guys..<br><br>2a) hopefully HP will have a strategy to get app devs on board and producing apps for this platform.. this is absolutely essential.. undercut Apple.. only take 10-20% of app revenue instead of Apple's 30%.. hell.. pay them to produce apps.. lol..<br><br>2b) hopefully HP will be able to provide seamless integration to media access.. form a strategic alliance with amazon... stop trying to latch onto iTunes<br><br>3) take a book out of Apple.. just show people what your device can do for them.. straight up.. stop trying to be so profound and artsy.. just make the damn value proposition to consumers..<br><br>you guys have an OS with everything.. it's polished and refined and rivals everything that Apple and Google are doing.. don't screw this up!
    • RE: HP/Palm is About to Shake up the Tablet Space With webOS

      They need to do everything possible to offer hardware that DOES NOT depend on the telcos. Wifi slates and perhaps an iPod touch competitor. Nobody wants another subscription.

      Palm also completely screwed up their relationships with 3rd party developers. They better get your point 2a perfect, and have an SDK that's very cheap and easy for anyone to download, develop and deploy apps.

      They need a well organized app/media marketplace where the devs have reasonable assurance their apps won't be pirated. Don't pull a stupid Palm trick and depend on iTunes for synchronizing your music.

      And they need a consistent lineup of devices (like Apple) with consistent screen sizes, hardware and interface.

      Finally, most importantly, they better plan on a 3 - 5 year timeline before Palm OS, the hardware, the apps, the retail distribution, i.e. the ECOSYSTEM starts making them real money. Just look how long it took Apple to get all those things lined up and they already had half the eco-system in place when the iPhone launched. HP has zero ecosystem.

      If HP starts screwing around with Windows or Android mobile devices in the next 3 years, Palm is screwed.
  • Great to have more competition!! Would they think about being compatible

    with Android applications? That would give them an instant supply of applications, and Google would welcome them with open arms.
  • And, to be fair WebOS was actually born within Apple, from iOS

    <b>It is just a group of Apple employees fled to Palm for money but failed at that</b>, even though supported by the likes of also former Apple friend Bono from U2 with hundreds of millions of wasted dollars.

    Maybe now, after fair failure, HP will be actually successful with WebOS -- even though if will be a slow "shake".
    • RE: HP/Palm is About to Shake up the Tablet Space With webOS

      @denisrs : correction. It wasn't Bono's money. They had the backing of Elevation Partners (McNamee, Bodnick, Anderson, Pearlman and Bono).

      They had a very cool OS, but lacked the umpth needed. HP <b>could</b> help them, but after Carly Fiorna haven't done enough to be innovative.
    • RE: HP/Palm is About to Shake up the Tablet Space With webOS

      @denisrs "hundreds of millions of wasted dollars" - Elevation Partners actually made money out of the deal.
  • another nail in M$ monopoly coffin

    OSS wins again!
    Linux Geek
  • amazing

    a tablet OS by an iOS copycat, one year later! nothing about webOS is innovative, it was and is just a redundant copy of the real thing. sure pundits loved it, because it was their only hope for an apple competitor at the time. the card metaphor? seriously, that's the innovation? and no, the multitouch gestures were not innovative, just stolen from iOS like most of webOS.
    banned from zdnet
    • WebOS did 'borrow' from iOS but.. it did have some innovations..

      @banned from zdnet and to be honest.. iOS 'borrowed' heavily from Palm's preceding devices.. basic tray + app icons grid is a palm thing

      - they off screen gesture area.. no back/forward buttons taking up screen area etc one handed use.. tray app launch from this area
      - no save.. you make a change and it changes..
      - multi-tasking actually in the OS.. and cards metphore in UI..
      - compact notification area..
      ..and many other innovations that even today rivals what Apple and Google are doing.. you see Google and RIM copying some of these innovations in their products.. Apple in it's next release making equivalents with 4 & 5 finger gestures..

      webOS has everything an OS needs.. is beautiful and easy to use.. what it didn't have was and ecosystem (apps and seamless access to media) and good hardware.. or good advertising..

      the OS is great but that is not enough these days.. ecosystem and apps are absolutely essentials for them to succeed but these take time to build up.. their main focus needs to be to somehow accelerate this by intensivising devs..
    • RE: HP/Palm is About to Shake up the Tablet Space With webOS

      @banned from zdnet True Multi-tasking is innovative. Just because you don't like the card metaphor, doesn't make it bad.

      See, to me, when Apple is so controlling, a copycat that might give us what we want should be a good thing!
    • RE: HP/Palm is About to Shake up the Tablet Space With webOS

      @banned from zdnet
      Seriously? You should pay your respects to Hp as the father of touchscreen technology. Stealing multi-touch from ipad seems vague to me in contrast of Apple taking the originality of Hp's technology and evolving it themselves...For all you know there are probably many former Hp techs running apple development teams as Hp's very own Sakoman did for the Newton back in 93'. WebOS oushines iOS in speed, productivity and multitasking ability. Face the facts...making tablets aren't all about flashy games and cute apps...to be honest, a REAL OS should suffice from ease of use (which is apple's only core feature other than speed), manageability (which apple is terrible at though the public seems to not care as much until HP/Palm shoves it in our faces), and ingenuity (which former Hp and Palm workers have supplied the apple universe with for who knows how long)...Apples OS would be nothing without their flashy apps because the system is falling behind in innovation which will be the downfall of the ongoing hard-headedness of their company.

      By all means, An apple fanboy can squeal and flash his loyalty in any forum out there but here my friend, apple's reputation relies on Hp's tech and ideas; therefore, your arguments here carry very little weight.
  • RE: HP/Palm is About to Shake up the Tablet Space With webOS

    Actually Palm developed their original software based on the work done by Apple for the Newton, which was the first mobile PDA.
  • REALLY???

    How much did they pay you to write this article.... c'mon ZDNET... get relevant...