DeWitt: webOS still coming to PCs and printers, Pre3 launch limited to specific markets | webOS Nation

DeWitt: webOS still coming to PCs and printers, Pre3 launch limited to specific markets 80

by Derek Kessler Mon, 22 Aug 2011 3:28 pm EDT

webOS Global Business Unit chief Stephen DeWitt talked with AllThingsD today about the future of webOS, and while things are still pretty hazy, the future of webOS is at least a little bit clearer.

First things first, the webOS GBU is continuing their work on getting webOS to run on PCs and printers, but when or if that will actually happen is unknown at this point. They’re also planning to continue work on webOS for the TouchPad and Veer and will issue updates to the OS. The HP Pre3, on the other hand, is only going to see a launch in “very selective areas,” according to DeWitt. So far we’ve seen it appear unlocked in the UK, and according to it and the unicorn-powered 64GB TouchPad appeared on HP’s Germany store, which has been down from the traffic practically all day (a problem we’ve also encountered). The limited markets mantra means we probably aren’t going to see the Pre3 in North America any time soon, a sad reality that means our Touch-to-share hopes are pinned on an eventual update to the Veer.

Where the TouchPad and Pre3 are/aren’t being sold is hazy and ever-changing, but it just can’t compare to the fog cast over the future of webOS. DeWitt admitted that they’re not exactly sure what they’re going to do with the operating system, floating options such as partnering with a single manufacturer or licensing to many, or even taking webOS in a different direction than the phones and tablets it was designed for. Of the possibilities, we’d say licensing to one or several is the most likely. Regardless, DeWitt said that they’ve “ad a number of discussions and there’s a lot of interest around webOS,” raising our hopes that a licensing agreement is in the works.



Translation: "We still don't know what we're doing, but we thought it was important to make some official-sounding, optimistic statements. In the meantime, you can bet we're using both hands and a flashlight in our search for a clue and our rear ends."

Translation: "Ive been blindsided too, let me list all options and see what can be chosen. Nothing good in the menu, got any special on the back?"

This firesale also torches the earth for any future webOS tablet, after people taste it for 99 will early adopters pay 400 for a next gen from next manufacturer if it comes to that??

Have they also reduced Android sales by the amount of TPs sold?

Will HP benefit after all from webOS software??

Nice dark drama.

When the ipad 3 releases, you'll have your answer. I suspect long lines though.

here's the plan, HP:

In the coming months/weeks/whatever, how about firing every last one management muppet, who mention "webOS on printers/TVs/appliances/whatever", without FIRST, giving webOS phones to the market, and establishing strong presence there.

Thank you.

webOS on Printers......why would one ever do that, especially without the phone or tablet infrastructure in place: "Tap your desktop here to share."

Is HPalm really thinking that someone else will make all the investments in hardware and then let them run with it ones the ecosystem is fully fledged?


I think people are forgetting just how much money HTC, Samsung and LG are making from Android devices, hundreds of millions of dollars. That is a lot of money and if I was HTC I wouldn't rely on Google 100%, especially since Google just bought Motorola. The only thing missing with WebOS is a ton of apps. That can change with time and anyone who has used webOS for a period of time realizes that it's as good or better of an OS than any other OS... and in many ways very similar. If I was HTC or Samsung I would be looking to diversify, especially when I can afford to make a go of it.

HTC already has a 2nd OS supplier. They make a number of windows phone 7 based devices.

And many people, such as yourself, are forgetting that Apple is beating the Android manufacturers in the courts. HTC is an appeal loss away from a complete US injunction of their Android products. Samsung is currently on the hit list as well, which is odd, considering they supply Apple with components.

HP already has a printer with an Android based "tablet".

I was going to ask "who actually believes this?" Then I remembered about the crazies in the forum. So I checked and sure enough...

this is frustrating in the least, that we or the world have no clue what HP is headed for. But it would be nice if that firesale was a ploy to get units out and about in the main stream. I'm mentally tired of webOS.

What about the CDMA Pre3s that have already been produced? Those are useless in Europe.

Do we know that they actually have manufactured any of the CDMA "world phones"?

I'm sure a CDMA Pre3 would be a nice way to "make things right" for the Pre and Pre+ owners.

HP made clear that they never had any intention of "make things right" for Pre/Pre+ owners. Leo is clueless and a liar.

According to the WebOS hardware phone guy who did the AIMA, the Pre 3 was still too buggy to be released in the US and will never see these shores.

i've been wondering the same thing myself. no one really knows whether there was ever any production quantity of CDMA Pre3's made.

it may have been a case where the Pre3 was going to launch on AT&T, since they already have the Veer (and the TouchPad 4G was going to be AT&T GSM as well), and the CDMA Pre3 was going to come a good bit later on Verizon. in that case, there probably never were any production runs.

at this point I'd move to AT&T for a Pre3. I never though I'd say that, having been a Verizon customer since before it was Verizon, even before it was AirTouch.

Death to HP, long live WebOS!

Not him again, one cant understand what he says and says a lot, does he

common do a pre-3 fire sale


Now I'd buy that in a heartbeat.


They better strike while the iron is hot. I'm getting ready to jump ship because my pre is on the downside for sure.

The iron was hot February 9th. See how well that was handled?


You know how to figure out if this guy is lying? Are his lips moving?

well THANK GOD WebOS will still come to printers! after all that's what we've all been in this for since the beginning right? right???

/me rollseyes.

...until they launch their 1st WebOS printer - and 6 weeks later decide that its not working out and dump the printer division too. By that point they'll be selling carrier pigeons.

I've been waiting for WebOS on a toaster - none of this phone, printer or computer talk for me :-)

Would this be tripling down now?

Update my Veer to webOS 2.2 so i can get SMS text on my Touchpad and do Touch-to-Share. Thanks.

Gotta get me a Pre 3.

That's my mantra for the next few weeks.

Spun off personal computing group should make phone/tablet hardware and license webOS from HP.

Why would anyone want webOS on a PC or printer?

What would you use it for?

And they are still figuring out what they will do with webOS? They wouldnt have made the announcement without some idea. I think that idea is that it is dead. Simple.

These guys are just covering their rears, and De(Dim)Witt in particular is trying to keep himself in a job.

And I should trust DeWitt why exactly?

Because he's a salesman. You can always trust sales people, right?

Errr... Hmmm... that didn't help any, I think.


Why didn't they ask if quickoffice editable version was still coming? from what I have been reading that seems to be the one app people talk about the most.

Microsoft probably didn’t like the idea of webOS on all of HPs computers along with windows so they pulled support of MS office on the touchpad.

It's kind of funny that he considers throwing out the Pre3 in a fire sale for €79 a "launch".

The Japanese tsunami catastrophe in DeWitt-speak is probably a "temporary sea-water induced voltage output reduction".

What I expect to see is a brain drain from HP, then with out the developers, without the hardware, without a market, they will finally realize what a F*** up this was.

Nah. Never happen. Leo's too cool for that.


That's very good news, because my Pre3 needs an update to fix some bugs and my Pre2 paid apps do not show up on my Pre3.
However, finally got sms working with the Pre3 and TouchPad. Touch to share is awesome and blew the minds of my coworkers at my office!
The apps that show up have to be scaled, because of a black bar at the bottom. Some devs like Ian Beck (TapNote) and Codingbees are working on or already have submitted an update to support the Pre3. Hope other devs will do too ;-)

The Pre3 built is so much better than my Pre2. Slider is rock solid and that bigger screen is just great. There is Mobile Hotspot on the Pre3, so I can go online with my TouchPad when I'm on the go!

(Twitter: @Pre2Ries)

So, which of the internationally available Pre3's will work on a US carrier?

I don't think there are any "available". I managed to get one into my shopping cart today here in Germany and then tried for three hours straight to checkout ... without any success. When my login attempt finally went through, my cart was empty again.
Now the "Buy" button is gone ... if you manage to get to the page. The server is still down. And it's past 10 PM here!

The European Pre 3s will work on T-Mobile and AT&T, but the fastest speed you will get is EDGE.

That depends--it *might* be possible to do a FrankenPre³ with the radio from a Veer. We'll have to wait until someone has a Pre³ to disassemble to find out.

Coming on the heels of the HP webOS device fire-sale, HP needs to have some HW partner announcements in the next 2 weeks, if they want to have any chance of holding on to developer interest. In that announcement, the licensee/buyer of webOS has to has to be able to say they will bring a webOS device to market in a matter of a few months.

Otherwise, I don't see too much hope in the ecosystem being able to recover and rebuild. Most consumers/businesses/developers/suppliers won't put too much stock in any statements made by HP at this point (i.e. we'll put webOS on HP PCs by this date). On the other hand, an announcement with strong intentions by a licensee (say, Samsung) would go a long way to stem the bleeding.

Actually, the new company should promise to bring out new webOS hardware in coming months and then take a year to bring out whatever has already been designed. Probably something that matches the specs of an iPad 2 but in late 2012.


"bring a webOS device to market in a matter of a few months"

While I would love to see that, I don't see how it would be possible. Even supposing they have an existing device with the right Qualcomm chips to minimize the work of porting WebOS and supporting different hardware, product testing and setting up manufacturing is going to take longer than that. I think a 9 month timeline would be optimistic.

And yes, it will hurt the ecosystem substantially. Anyone who buys WebOS is going to be getting seriously damaged goods and will have to plan on putting out a lot of cash to fix that damage. Not that it's impossible, but very difficult and it remains to be seen whether anyone is willing to do that.

@jdale. I would agree. There would be few companies able to pull it off but I think Samsung could do it if they wanted to. They have deep pockets, interest in the mobile space, and the expertise required.

A transition would be tough (hosting webOS on existing Samsung HW) because, as you point out, Samsung is not using the same Qualcomm chips *AND* the same screen resolution (on either phones or tablet). A better option in the near term would be for Samsung to purchase the HP designs (or pay HP outright for production with a Samsung logo) and continue near-term production on a limited scale until they could host webOS on their own HW. Again, unlikely, but possible. Given HP's desire to quickly exit the business and get whatever return they can for those assets, it might be a possibility.

Any announcement needs to be done asap. The more days/weeks that pass just makes the pieces harder to pick up and means the value of webOS to any licensee/buyer drops (and hurts HP's shareholders worse than they've already been hurt).

I love how he insists on sticking with the idea of webOS on printers and PCs - as if people were clamoring for this functionality. HP isn't even planning on being in the consumer technology business much sooner, anyway, so whether webOS continues on any devices will be determined by Acer or ASUS.

Why don't you do the right thing and either sell webOS to a company that knows what to do with it or start focusing on getting WebOS phones out into the market.

The flame on webOS is going out quickly! It's also obvious that HP likely made some high level calls to see if they could unload the HW side of the business before they made the announcement to close it down immediately. But no takers. To me that says it's unlikely anyone with the resources needed to bring it back to life is out there waiting.

Used all my will power not to buy a Touchpad at the fire sale prices but I know I made the right decision.

For what it's worth... Apotheker is not going to come through this unscathed.

hard to imagine how it makes a printer better and why do we need another layer on a PC?

The odd thing about this is that HP bought Hyperspace, which is an instant on Linux OS to bundle with their computers and devices in 2010.

Jump to 2011

HP is intending to put WebOS as an instant on Linux OS on their computers.

"in the coming weeks."

Great news that they'll continue updating the Veer and TP. Hopefully it's true.

"The HP Pre3, on the other hand, is only going to see a launch in “very selective areas,”

What's the difference? Maybe the Pre, Pixi, Pre 2, Veer or Touchpad were available worldwide? I live in Europe and I've never had the chance to buy any webOS product in my country in 2 years!

Everybody's reporting that the Pre3 will be $75 unlocked in the UK, but it's not even coming to the US! Who says they don't show ya'll love over the pond?,2817,2391519,00.asp

Pre3 in select markets. Why don't they just come out and say Europe only... Damn you HP! Somehow USA always seems to **** its own people...

To those asking about why webOS would be put on a printer, take a look at printers nowadays. They're mostly all-in-ones: scan, copy, print and even fax. They all mostly have a UI and can operate as a stand alone, no computer required. webOS would be easy to integrate into these guys.

Also webOS can be licensed out to companies like Xerox, Minolta, etc... companies that make the large office copiers that need a robust software to run. webOS would fit in that industry nicely.

Now think about hospitals... MRI machine, CT scan machines, Xray, monitoring, etc... think of all of the equipment that use a UI. Hundreds.

In every field of big business there is equipment that has to have software to run. I don't know what they all use now but I'm sure it's not anything near as slick or easy to work in as webOS.

HP is sitting on a gold mine for the enterprise sector and they know it. With their ever expanding tentacles they are guaranteed to make big money when they start deploying webOS in that market.

The consumer market is much more fickle and there is a larger chance of failure. Especially if you don't know how to operate in it. Leo and co obviously have no clue, can't adapt and don't have the stomach for the fight. This is why they should go.

If nothing else happens out of all of this HP's Board of Directors need to have a serious investigation as to what went wrong here. They need to start by calling the heads of precentral, engadget, this is my next, webOS roundup, gizmodo, etc and ask them what they think HP needed to do to give webOS the best chance to succeed (i guarantee all of the answers would be very similar). Then they need to ask Leo and friends why the **** they didn't do the same thing.

Whoa there! Easy, boy! Perhaps HP should see if they can make webOS run successfully on a smartphone or tablet before they go of installing it on MRIs and ICU monitoring equipment. I'm sure all of those hospital equipment makers are just dying to try out that OS that HP abandoned after 6 weeks on the market. I'm thinking they will pick something that has a little more of a track record to run their machines, thank you.

I thought the whole idea behind WebOS was so that you didn't NEED paper as much?? This was a perfect Green approach. Now we're putting an OS meant to promote Green, on a device that kills trees. "Gee Matt (Matt Foley).. How can we get back on track"??!!

HP is all about the ink. Its the most profitable thing they make, and their entire model, if they really have one, revolves around creating need for more of THAT.

So you are hoping for what to be launched by then? The aborted webOS slab phone or the Pre 3 that isn't coming to the US?

It's just not going to happen. Either keep your Pre or get a refurb from TEP or jump ship to Android or Windows Phone 7. Sad set of choices. I wish I could get a firesale Pre3 and somehow use my Sprint Pre- comm board in it.

What kind of calling plan can I get for those printers? Will Sprint have it?

even if they get a hardware partner, lets all remember there is really not much demand for webOS devices, especially at normal prices. I don't think a fire sale of phones would see the same demand as the fire sale of TouchPad. phones are already subsidized and most people have Their phone os of choice.

the touchpad firesale was successful cause most people don't already have a tablet. And a tablet is universal don't need carrier support.

so even though the webOS base has grown significantly, I do not see the same demand for phones, and any other new webOS device that is priced at a normal price.

I think the tablet is a great way to introduce the webOS experience to the world. By that alone, I can expect people wanting the same experience to reflect on their smartphone. I think this is a great opportunity for a new hardware manufacture to support webOS. Especially now with all this noise. It will be the little OS that made it to the top. Everyone loves an underdog.

Let's say they had a GSM/CDMA "world phone" unlocked Pre3 and they did a firesale for $75 worldwide...I do think it would sell out.

Samsung purchase for the Win!

man, that sounds so desperate fan boy...sigh

they should open source it or atleast just release the touch to share functionality to pre2 and veer users.

We might see it for the Veer. The Pre 2 doesn't have the communication coil required, and there'd need to be a way to connect that.

HP: You **** ****

I would like to see webos on a 23 inch touchsmart and the CEO sacked.

Sorry, but I don't know if they seriously think they're going to sell loads of Pre 3s, unless they heavily discount them. Ever since Palm OS, we've sat around waiting and waiting for updates, only to find them far and few between. Now here we are, HP saying they're done with mobile hardware, so there's probably no chance we'll see any updates for webOS.

As for HP? I'm done with them. Won't be buying anything until they get a new CEO in that is stable. I mean, c'mon now. Computer company all of a sudden says they're going to sell off their computer segment, and months after spending loads of money on a pretty awesome mobile phone company says they're done with the mobile business? What am I supposed to do when they say they're done making ink cartridges? Go out and buy a new printer? Might as well just buy Epson to begin with.

Its a little OT, but the last line,

“ad a number of discussions and there’s a lot of interest around webOS”

Is it just me that reads this typo with a 'cockney' accent like the Geico gecko!

And the Pre2 right? They're still planning to update that along with the Veer and TouchPad right? Cuz I just got one! O_O


Is that a WebOS Printer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me??