Jon Rubinstein sends message to HP staff; Addresses TouchPad reviews
In an internal email sent out to HP staff, Jon Rubenstein (Senior Vice President and General Manager, Palm Global Business Unit) has reached out to his employees to address a growing concern from the reviews of the HP TouchPad (read ours here), reviews that say the device is too slow and laggy, that the number of apps available just aren't enough, and that the hardware is not up to par with the competition. But it's those same reviews, he says, that line up with what HP believe is true and talk about "signs of greatness" for the device (from David Pogue at New York Times).
It is clear that HP, all the way up to the former CEO of Palm (and beyond) are reading the reviews from people in the tech world, and Rubenstein let his staff know that OTA updates are on the way soon to address a majority of complaints that are found in those reviews. At the end of his memo he compared the review of the TouchPad and webOS 3.0 to another company that he is very familiar with; Apple's Mac OS X received the same criticism from the same critics just 10 years ago, and now the company is on top in a way that is nearly unreachable. Rubenstein says, HP's webOS is in the same position now, and has a lot of greatness ready to push it forward.
Click through the break to read the entire email from Rubenstein. With the amount of effort that has been poured into marketing and building the tablet device (which was started one year ago), we'd like to think that Rubenstein's words will ring true over these next few weeks. Though, there's no doubt about it, we'd love to see these updates come sooner, rather than later.
Today we bring the HP TouchPad and webOS 3.0 to the world. The HP team has achieved something extraordinary – especially when you consider that it’s been just one year since our work on the TouchPad began in earnest. Today also marks the start of a new era for HP as our vision for connected mobility begins to take form - an ecosystem of services, applications and devices connected seamlessly by webOS.
If you’ve seen the recent TouchPad reviews you know that the industry understands HP’s vision and sees the same potential in webOS as we do. David Pogue from the New York Times says “there are signs of greatness here.” (I’ve included links to David’s review and others below.) You’ve also seen that reviewers rightly note things we need to improve about the webOS experience. The good news is that most of the issues they cite are already known to us and will be addressed in short order by over-the-air software and app catalog updates. We still have work to do to make webOS the platform we know it can be, but remember…..it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
In that spirit, Richard Kerris, head of worldwide developer relations for webOS, reminded me yesterday of the first reviews for a product introduced a little over ten years ago:
"...overall the software is sluggish"
"...there are no quality apps to use, so it won’t last"
"...it's just not making sense...."
It’s hard to believe these statements described MacOS X - a platform that would go on to change the landscape of Silicon Valley in ways that no one could have imagined.
The similarities to our situation are obvious, but there’s also a big difference. Like David Pogue, our audiences get that webOS has the potential for greatness. And like me, they know that your hard work and passion, and the power of HP’s commitment to webOS, will turn that potential into the real thing.