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.