HP's Jaaksi dishes on webOS' future and Nokia's switch to WP7 | webOS Nation

HP's Jaaksi dishes on webOS' future and Nokia's switch to WP7 90

by Nathan Mylott Sun, 13 Feb 2011 10:37 pm EST

The journey for webOS has taken far longer than what we imagined at its incredibly well received introduction at CES ‘09, but HP exec Ari Jaaksi has never lost faith and still believes our favorite mobile OS is on the brink of greatness.

“WebOS will go to places, and HP is very dedicated to make this happen. For partners, developers, and new employees; this is the time to join the ride. We have ambitious goals. We will make webOS a winning mobile operating system. We will create an exciting ecosystem with developers and other partners. We are very committed, we have products in the pipeline, and we do not hesitate.”

Jaaksi then went on to tout the newly announced webOS devices and how well they will work together, even with printers and PC’s in the future.

"We’ll have a cool tablet, world’s smallest smartphone, a big screen workhorse smartphone, plans for printers and PCs. Did you see how they work together? We have a clear developer focus with Enyo, Ares, and PDK. Have you tried them already? I’d say this is a pretty good demonstration about how serious we are."

A former Nokia executive, Jaaksi was apparently spurred on by Nokia’s recent announcement that they would abandon Symbian and MeeGo for Windows Phone 7. Nokia has long been working to keep its smartphone operating systems Symbian and MeeGo afloat against the powerhouses of Android and iOS, similar to Palm’s struggle with webOS. Jaaksi apparently sees their move to Windows Phone as throwing in the towel. He said of his former colleauges:

 “I’m sad to see they no longer trust they can make a difference. They’ve given up and given away their passion. Sorry, that ain’t gonna work. You must believe in yourself and what you are up to, and you must believe you can change the world.”

This was a sentiment clearly felt by Nokia’s own employees as a thousand of them staged a walk out following the announcement. This feeling was even echoed in the comments on Jaaksi’s blog post, along with evidence of the shrinking patience people have for HP and webOS.

Jaaksi invited his former coworkers to follow him to HP, many of whom once worked for Palm, and pointed out that there a lot of people still needed on the webOS team.

Source: Ari Jaaksi's blog, Ubergizmo; Thanks to Christos for the tip!



"join the rid"?

It's like "ride", but with some sort of accent.

I was thinking it must be some "cool" new phrase that I hadn't heard of yet since HP execs are trying to be as "cool" as Apple.

sad they let the CEO say those things. when you have to mention it, you've already lost.

I like the stance that HP has taken: provide an excellent OS, with beautiful and working products that can use it effectively, and also interact with each other 'wirelessly' and effeciently.
HP may have a periodic stumble because they 'announce' something and we feel it's taking too long to get to market, but they are on the right track when it comes to actually making a product that works for what we need it to do. I personally would like to also see a PixiPlus style Pre3 type phone, along with the Pre3 and the Veer, but if it's not in the works, I'm certain that one of the new offerings will 'grow' on me.
'Touch to Transfer', Texting/Im/Calls from the TouchPad, Wireless printing from phone/pad, and 'JustType': These are the future, and it looks like the future is actually closer than we think, even if it's not tomorrow, like I wish.
(: Keep up the good work HP.

That was Palm's creed too. Despite their combined efforts, here we are. :(

Here we are, but with a future. C'mon PreDog You've been one of the Guardians of WebOs in these here response forums...don't go bitter on us. Yes, and yes with everything that happen from hype to presentation with not true release dates, but if we developers, beta testers and and overall webos Users create, test, and critique as many apps as possible...in two month we will have a healthy and productive app world for the devices coming out. Budderscerna has howled :)

you're living a nice reality there, feel that breeze?

sorry i haven't seen apps that interest me in about a year. webos was passed by lowly wp7 in just a few months. People have been saying the apps would come in a few months when some specific event comes for years. When the catalog opens, when the sdk comes, when the phone hits verizon, CES, Feb 9th, and the best when 2.0 comes out. Funny it's out and now anything released won't work on the original phones. But the reality is the apps never came. And they aren't coming.

Sorry bud, its over. I was the reluctant guardian after they killed PalmOS. To have two O/S die in my hands in two years after a culture of "continuity" for ten years, is one time to many. WebOS 2 was the trial I needed to justify giving Palm two more years of my life.

I cant be bitter. I cant be angry. Sure, I was lied too. But a year without updates, secrecy over HP plans, new hardware STILL not even on the horizon...Palm and HP killed the WebOS passion. There is no bitterness or anger where there is no passion.

WebOS is destined to be a cult. A cult is an organized culture of misguided trust. I'm out of misguided trust. This is ending.

Mr. Smith from The Matrix works at HP?

"Mr. Anderrrson...your attempt to run webOS 2.0 on legacy hardwarrre is doomed to failturrrre"

HP should start a speaker bureau. Theire "execs" sure can talk...........

they are excellent talkers.

HP's strategic vision for webOS should make Palm loyalists excited. HP has the ability to finally bring scale and deep support to the brilliant webOS. I didn't buy my Pixi until after the HP acquisition was completed, providing some confidence there was a future for Palm's creation. HP's vision of integration across a wide variety of devices provides HP a path to offer differentiation and avoid the commodity hardware trap. As a consumer I see huge benefits ahead for me, but the payoff for HP will be even better on their corporate hardware and services side of the business. The new announced hardware is important and exciting, but the big news is the ecosystem vision.

It doesn't look like HP's vision includes anything prior to the Pre 2.

vision is about the future, not the past.

Vision is about keeping promises.

What's becoming very clear is that HP's secret sauce for mobile will be integration.

I could believe this is why it is taking them so long to get things to market too - there are alot of corporate cats to heard into the vision. Perhaps a bit too much to hope for, but maybe also alot of testing and back end engineering going on as well?

I got into this WebOS community only at the end of last year. I haven't been dispointed - reminds me of Apple during it's low period.

If HP can crack good solid integration, then they will be set up for both enterprise and consumer markets. Throw in a few killer apps and this same developer enthusiasm for the platform and there will be no stopping it.

I can understand the impatience, but it seems people forget that the Palm acquisition was completed less than eight months ago, and HP went through an upheaval when their CEO resigned shortly after.

There is certainly going to be short term pain as they get products into the pipeline and reestablish the brand, but I think HP has tremendous opportunity and they recognize it. My bet is a stronger focus on the corporate market than the consumer market, for a number of reasons:

1) They have an established sales channel that they control, rather than relying on carrier cooperation.

2) The corporate market is less price sensitive on hardware costs.

3) The announcement that the new phones will support VPN and encrypted mail storage out of the box.

4) The announcement from Citrix of day-one client support.

5) HP's leadership in the thin client market. I will be very surprised if they don't phase out their Linux-based ThinPro line with WebOS powered thin clients.

6) HP's bidding war over and eventual purchase of 3PAR in August. End to end integration needs a cloud-friendly storage infrastructure.

7) HP's hinting at WebOS integration for printing.

Imaging getting to work, whipping out your phone and doing some last minute revisions on a presentation. You sit down at your desk, tap your phone against your (thin client) workstation and it pops up there. You set your phone onto the touchstone, and it goes into an exposition app that hooks into the corporate VOIP system.

Presentation time comes up, grab the screen from your workstation from it's touchstone stand. You make a stop at the printer, tap there to make printed copies of your presentation, then head off to the meeting room.

*That* is the sort of vision I hope HP has.

Fantastic analysis. Thank you for putting together such a well thought out post.

I just hope they embrace the genius of the 'and' and avoid the tyranny of the 'or'.

In other words, focus on both the Corporate -and- Consumer markets.

The Veer seems to be a clear play for the consumer market. And the promised printer integration is intriguing, especially coupled with the talk about off-device storage.

Rather than popping an SD card in and printing from that, you would be able to directly browse your photo albums from the printer.

Even better would be if you could share albums with friends and family. Take photos at your kids birthday, and the grandparents have instance access.

(If they /really/ wanted to go in whole hog, moving into the Smart TV market - or just marketing to an existing manufacturer - would be a smart fit. Or even an auto platform, in the same vein as Microsoft Sync.)

Mmm, yes I can imagine very serious business people, carrying the all-mighty Veer and fun Pre 3. They are so fun!

Explain to me why you would grab your screen, take it to the printer, and tap there to print your copies? why not do it like the parents of the superfast baby in the HP commercial. they printed FROM ON VACATION to their printer at home. now that's impressive.

just because you have remote capabilities, doesn't mean you have to do things backwards.

The Veer is clearly a consumer phone, but the Pre3 is a world phone with a slide out keyboard and corporate mail features (i.e. Exchange + VPN + encryption).

Remote printing works too, but there are times when a touch-to-print interface would be more convenient. For example, we have dozens of printers here and I can't always remember what the nearest one to a particular conference room is.

yep. printing isn't exactly something you hang your hat on for phones. it's a feature but i don't think it's a major selling point. They act like the world is fiending for printing from phones.

your 7 steps point greatly toward a bright future for tablet and pcs, but maybe not phones.

hp will be able to sell pcs/tablet through their channels, but without carriers what about phones?

the desktop will b a thing of the past soon

mm, not yet. we still have some time.

honestly nothing in that "vision" makes the phones they released much more appealing to me. I don't care about their printing, or whatever one day clients and thin pro lines are. Will it do netflix, will hundreds of thousands of companies, NOT just hobbyist developers, start releasing apps for it. will they make the music player not suck. That's what i care about. but if they think that's what people want good luck to em.

Yea I'm SOOOO excited that I'm not getting the updates I was supposed to get. Excited I now have to wait out my contract with a barely working POS phone that doesn't do all of what I need it to and has a tiny app store, and excited to buy a Pre3 and "hope" they keep their promises in the future?


Actually, I'll be excited when I have a new, non HP/Palm device. Think you can piss on me and tell me it's raining? F Off and enjoy last place losers...

Right on, Pixi owner. I did the same, feeling that my new PixiPlus with Verizon was a safer bet after the HP purchase of Palm. Even recently purchased 3 more for my spouse and teens. They love them, even if 2.0 is not possible. Who keeps a device more that 18-24 months anyway.

so after they screwed up meego and sank nokia, he invites them to join palm? No thank you.

cmon you think it's the devs that sank nokia? that's silly.

you know Meego is actually one of the nicest looking operating systems out there. the problem is, not until like a few months ago has there been hardware with enough horsepower to run it properly and it was missing some huuge key features (like multi touch). not to mention they were still using pressure input touchscreens. its too bad

Meego is nice? It looks like the UI was designed by toddlers.

wow what a thoughtful comment. meego has and had for some times so much webos does not. it has supported flash for awhiiiile and multitasks just as good as webos. im just saying give credit where credit is due. the UI isnt that bad really. idk where u get that impression.

it sounds like the same argument as 'well, if webos has won the best OS contest fifteen years in a row, why does it only have 3% market share?' meego, yougo, webos, they are not proven performers. you can tout features all you want, but meego is as good as dead (especially with intel handling it) and webos has to start from ZERO and then prove itself in a couple months time, while fending off better competitors. what is there to rave about flash support? flash is not mobile optimized! it's fine for your desktop, but if was never meant efficiently on a phone, a tablet. it seems backwards to put bigger batteries in something while the software itself is doing the harm.

i will give meego credit when it has real users. you can be the first to do anything, but if it doesnt translate into concrete results, then something is wrong.

UI quality has nothing to do with platform popularity. Get your shit straight.

Ijust realized how badly I want PC on my computer last night when I wanted to tranfer a file quickly to the phone without pluging it in or using filesync. I just wanted to put my phone on some pad or something and BOOM the pictures on my phone.

don't we upgrade our phones every two years or less? Why do people still talk about phones prior to the Pre2? Do they plan on using it forever?

You act as if everyone buys their phone on launch day.

no but the Pre minus actually is one year and more than a half older. not two years ;)
that's considering US release. if you consider the EU release, we are talking little more than one year. Just to say ;)

"We’ll have a cool tablet, world’s smallest smartphone, a big screen workhorse smartphone, plans for printers and PCs."

Look, he slipped up. He mentioned a product that hasn't been announced. "A big screen workhorse smartphone." (with 4G....hopefully)

IMHO he meant pre3... It has bigger screen than any other pre's out there.

Yeah, don't get worked up. The Pre3 is the workhorse. It has their biggest screen, so they call it that way. And the processor is the fastest of their phone lineup. This isn't a slip, just an overstatement of that phone. (and yes I will get a pre3 come Sept)

lets hope for july release!!.. come on HP.. get it done..

the end of may is the beginning of summer where i live (by the beach) lets hope thats when they release it!

He did slip up. He should have said "medium" screen smartphone.


He wouldn't have said "big screen" unless he was referring to the Pre 3 AND if there was not a bigger screen coming. By that, I mean if there was a bigger screen device coming then he would never have called the Pre 3 a big screen.

The Pre3 is really going to look like a "big screen" when it releases AFTER the 4" iPhone 5.

I think he meant the Pre 3, but I was talking to a Manager at Sprint yesterday about my premier Status (silver vs gold) & we were talking about our Pres--I jokingly mentioned the HP built Pre 3--ironically, he thought I was talking about the upcoming 5" HP product...we stopped talking at the point.

He is a rep. He has no more credibility than my chair, but he is a Manager & he brought this up to me. It made me wonder a bit.

LOL. The screen on the Pre 3 is a whopping .48" larger than the Pre.

what was his involvement in running symbian into the ground?

he had a lead role in that responsibility.

I understand that changes need to be made. Now hp/palm states that the original pre can't handle webos 2.0! That's not our fualt or problem. They should have addressed this last year. Instead of buliding false hope. Also they never gave us second alternative (pixi doesn't count). The trust is no longer there! What they should do is...... Give sprint palm pre owners a major discount on the pre3!

Ruby did say they would offer pre owners some kind of "gift" when there was an explosion of hate comments all over their blogs and web pages right after they announced they were not going to release 2.0 to older devices... i dont think they knew about the shit storm they were driving into when they planned on canning the update.

it's the least they can do to "make things right". One last thought. Why isn't anyone stopping blackeberry from copying webos! That's just pathetic!

Not only are they not stopping RIM from copying WebOS, but have actually ruined the WebOS usability/experience on the tablet by removing the gesture area and gone backwards with a stupid useless home button... (that they removed from the phones because of their uselessness)

RIM ripped off the interface, but actually got it right!

will you stop with this copying webos business? webos didnt invent the cards concept, thats why they cant do anything.

Perhaps they didn't create the concept of the multitasking switching window concept, but they did create cards, so far as I know.

just take pride in the fact that we have Angry Birds and they dont :D

You know how a whole bunch of Palm People left after HP took over...

I BET it was because HP said they were taking the gesture bar off the Tablet.. and the major folks who created webos and the hardware design (much like the webos user base) said


"Im out of here.. thanks for killing one of our diferentiators"


im sure it was more than that, but i wouldnt doubt if that was a downer.

being swallowed up into one of the largest tech companies sounds great for us, but im sure the outlook was different for them.

I can see why they took it off. When I let people play with my Pre I try to explain the gesture area and they still don't get it. It's on of those things that until you're forced to use it it's really not that straightforward. I mean, if you have to go through a tutorial on it before you can begin to use the phone for the first time, that's saying something right there. Yeah, I'm sad it's off because once you learn it, it makes navigation so much more fluid than button-punching, but in the end, people are used to punching buttons and have come to expect it.

The thing is...
Those pinch gestures on the iPhone (as an example, because they're often said as being intuitive)...
They're not intuitive. I mean, I'd say that there's no such thing as intuitive, but that's a whole other can of worms. What made the pinch gestures so "intuitive" was a huge marketing effort.

Assumptions make an ass out of you and me.

I had a chance to work with a friend's Blackberry Torch yesterday. I don't like their OS at all, but that hardware was solid as a rock. Some steel in the case, tight slider, very nice. If the Pre3 puts webOS on a device like that, I believe they will have a solid foundation to build on, and if webOS catches on, that phone will fly off the shelves. This is not the time to save a few bucks on the "first launch" hardware. HP needs to establish a reputation for great harware AND great software. The OS is well on its way. I hope they can complete the picture.

did you not realize they had their presentation two weeks ago? they are not going to be releasing any other phone hardware for the next two years.

i've owned HP products for many years and there fit and finish is good...maybe there former palm design is throwing us but I have to feel one to decide for myself

They should have changed the design more. The new phones looking like the Pre will hurt them. The Pre was so bad, to see a rock shaped phone makes me i'll.

lots of people joined the "ride" long ago.
the result is well known to everybody here @ precentral.
No thanks. This time you won't fool me and my poor money. I'll wait and see what HP can do.
Then we'll talk again.
Someone told this guy from hp that his colleagues already used those exactly words.
btw, thankyou.

Here's my non-industry, educated, consumer-driven, average-Joe two-cents:

- Marketing is crucial. Apple does it right - they show the phone DOING THINGS THE PHONE DOES. I don't want to hear a creepy lady talk about how smoothly life flows with the phone, I don't want to see some lady walking down the street swinging her arms at an obvious CG animation. Show me what my money will be buying.

- Price it right. If the tablet is more expensive than the iPad, they've already placed themselves in a position to lose out. If the phones are more expensive than the iPhone 4, same deal. If HP is serious about mass marketing this, they need to consider they will be losing a bit of money at the start by selling at or below cost.

- It comes down to Apps. HP is doing it right by telling developers they will port their apps for free - a great start, something I hope they continue until webOS can stand on its own. Until that time, again, they need to consider taking a hit and pushing as many quality apps as they can.

just because apple did something right doesn't mean hp has to run up to the concept and kiss it. there are other ways to get the point across. how does that drive innovation through marketing?

As far as marketing is concerned, innovation needs to take a back seat to showing people what webOS can do. The first-person approach of the Apple ads, showing webOS in action, is a great approach.

You can quickly show off the notification system, the card system, Synergy, and how the phone multi-tasks in the same 30 seconds. These are the four key elements that make webOS different from everyone else. At the same time, run shorter ads showing off one or two of these features.

I can't wait for a kick-ass emulation of the landscape mode, HP-11C calculator. Then I can finally retire my 35 year old one.

nice read I have seen the light....being in the beginning of something great comes only once in a while....just be honest that's all we want from you HP

what happened to Peter Silkman?

I *LOVE* WebOS. I think it has the strategic positioning to become a great platform.

BUT --

1) I will not defect from Sprint. I had VZW before I had the Palm Pre (with another Palm device, I might add!) and I hated VZW with a passion. I like Sprint now - have had great service and think that they've made huge strides from their "bad days". If a WebOS device doesn't materialize on Sprint, and there's no way to port WebOS 2.0 to a Pre Plus in the coming months - I'll have to seriously consider finding another device. I won't change carriers for a phone (especially to VZW) again.

2) No LTE on the new Pre3? Really?!?!? I know that while LTE/4g is a big deal, it's still in it's infancy. But at least give me the _choice_ in the matter. It's not a deal breaker YET - but I'm not locking into 2 years without it. Maybe on the next handset?

3) "We won't announce something that won't ship within weeks." "The Pre3 and the Tablet will be available this summer." Oops, sorry - I took weeks to mean 1-3. I'm 1872 weeks old - so I guess you can say I'm just weeks old...

4) "We'll continue to support older devices with WebOS 2.0." "No, we won't support the older devices with WebOS 2.0." I've seen WebOS on the older devices - here on PreCentral and on videos. It's obviously nearer than we're being led to believe. I don't think OTA is going to be possible, much like you couldn't upgrade a PC from Windows 98 to Windows 2000. Or upgrade a PC from Windows XP to Windows 7 directly. Write a little tool that backs up the phone (to a non-encrypted, non proprietary format in a folder on the desktop), updates it and then restores it.

5) In a spec hungry world, give us some SPECS! I wanna blow the Apple fanbois out of the water with my specs. Seriously. Specs + WebOS = WIN.

apple folks dont care about specs on their phones. thats why they go with apple. go ahead and ask a random person with an iphone how much RAM their phone has, what their processor is clocked at, the resolution of their screen. they will have noooo clue. and they dont need too or care. the phone runs just fine, thats all the care about. it works and they r fine with that... the people i know with iphones (ALL OF THEM) will not know any of those specs i promiss you. but, they luv their iphones... the people i know with android phones (some of them) will beable to tell many specs of their phones. funny it works that way huh?

You're incorrect. Whether or not they know how much RAM they have, they know that the experience is a fluid, snappy one - whether or not they have TRUE multitasking makes no difference. And they know that their display is a "Retina" display - that honestly looks DAMN hot.

Glad I snatched up some of them discount touchstones.

that they still need folks for webOS is an understatement. Main thing they need though: folks that efficiently code (even when the mgmt tells them battery life & lag are not important)
and some folks with vision (cmon, everyone else is going gesture, and you don't know how to do it anymore since mattias is gone?!)

This is all good, but the fact is, a lot of Sprint Pre owners are running out of options. My 4th Pre broke this weekend. I could get another referb for $35, but I have had enough. I have a upgrade availible, but payed full price for a EVO. I save money in the long run, because I dont pay for insurance on five phones. Anyways, I hate android, but HP has not given me a option. I need a phone that works. I will wait to see if the new HP phones are better, before I waist more money. I love web OS.

Wrt Qt: I don't think it's a good idea. I don't think it's necessary to let Qt apps live in the webOS environment or even if it would be ported, it would be an extremely low priority. Language-wise, I believe JS (with C/C++ for PDK or native binding employed) is the way to go. That coming from someone who's been developing and comfortable with C and C++ for over 13 years now and who is just starting to learn JavaScript.

If the Nokia devs do come aboard to HP, I hope they openly consider forgetting Qt and instead learn Enyo.

From the article:
"I’m sad to see they no longer trust they can make a difference. They’ve given up and given away their passion. Sorry, that ain’t gonna work."

Does he live on Mars??? Does he thinks that webOS community (users and developers) can still trust Rubenstein and HP after last week poor announcements and with new models with already outdated hardware?

Here's the answer of the angry webOS community:


I hope HP doesn't get any of the Nokia employees that drove Symbian into the ground.

well it wasn't like this Jaaksi dude took them to the top of the mountain or anything. Personally, Nokia would be the last place I would look for somebody with SmartPhone expertise.

echoshatter: I totally agree with you, The first step should be to show the world the capabilities of WebOS, but unfortunately as "toofast4yourazz" said about
taking the gesture bar off the Tablet get mad to all WebOS user and let us thinking this must be a terrible nightmare.

I say this is the most stupid idea HP could had for a Tablet, is to kill the legs of WebOS, is anybody out there?. Forgive me guys but this incredible OS is not WebOS without a gesture area.

Gesture Area is most exciting and advanced feature a Gadget could has.

I honestly would say bye to HP without this thing.

I read some grumbling about leaving old phones out of the updated webOS 2.0, but let's face it. As much as Palm loyalists love the webOS interface, HP faces a demanding task. HP must essentially relaunch webOS in a vastly changed landscape. Android is a carrier juggernaut now (albeit with lots of "old" versions on old phones and fragmentation in overlays). iPhone is only stronger with iPad. And even RIM has the new touch-based interface and a PlayBook coming that borrowed copiously from webOS. Windws Phone 7 is here with serious handset partnerships and Microsoft's deep pockets. HP's commitment to bring scale to webOS beyond just phones is critical to the opportunity to make webOS a market success, not just a technical masterpiece. I love my Pixi but I'm perfectly happy to buy a new webOS 2.0 or 3.0 device to get the improvements wrought in the last two years. The realistic alternative was the untimely death of webOS. HP has to look forward. And I love the vision forward that is an ecosystem far deeper than just phones or tablets. Cool hardware is great, but the synergy and integration behind the phones will multiply value and create real value for users, consumers and businesses. The intuitive webOS makes the power easy to access but the magic has to grow in scale, depth and power. HP has the resources to accomplish what Palm could not. I'm looking forward too, not back.

you have "a big screen work horse smartphone"? Ummmm, if you say so. Although I wouldn't call 3.6 inches a big screen. And wouldn't say anything unless it was available for sale.