McKinney: HP was supposed to leave Palm alone for three years, lacked the "patience for innovation" | webOS Nation

McKinney: HP was supposed to leave Palm alone for three years, lacked the "patience for innovation" 168

by Derek Kessler Tue, 13 Mar 2012 11:05 pm EDT

Phil McKinney

Phil McKinney left his position as HP CTO and chief big thinker at the end of this past October. Since then he published a new book, Beyond the Obvious: Killer Questions That Spark Game-Changing Innovation [hardcover, Kindle, iBooks] that explores his experience as an innovator. In promoting Beyond the Obvious, McKinney sat down for an interview with "strategic marketing expert" and fellow author Rick Mathieson. Most of the interview touches on what's in McKinney's book, but in part four of the interview he steers the discussion towards what went down with webOS and McKinney's last few months at HP. We'll let McKinney do the talking here:

"[The Palm acquisition] was going to be a long term effort. Palm was struggling and HP was stepping in, doing the acquisition, and we were basically going to take three years hands-off. Palm was basically going to get cash infusions, resources, and expertise. But Palm was going to be given three years to basically get itself positioned to be a market leader in its space. Now, fast forward to July of 2011 and, one, you had a swap out of the CEOs - Leo comes in as the new CEO - and HP, for whatever reason - I was not a part of this decision - made the decision to kill it, one year into the three year program. This is an example of not committing long term to the resources and not having patience for innovation."

McKinney notes that he was part of the team that drove the acquisition of Palm and that there are always challenges to overcome with trying to get a large organization like HP to be innovative. As the existence of a three-year plan for Palm implies, the challenge is sticking to a long-term plan that ignores the quarterly financial reports in favor of the long view.

It's equal parts hard and frustrating to imagine where Palm and webOS would be today had HP not pulled the plug on hardware development and essentially killed (and since attempted to revived) the OS. It's been seven months since former HP CEO Leo Apotheker made the decision to kill webOS hardware, and during that time we expect that we would have at the very least seen the release of the HP Pre3 and TouchPad Go, plus whatever else HP might have been working up.

For his part, McKinney still uses a webOS smartphone and a TouchPad.

Source: Rick Mathieson (Part 1, 2, 3, 4); Thanks to Haakon for the tip!


Good story.. Just makes me hate Leo that much more..

Then again.. I would have never found WebOSnation if I didn't have to worry about WebOS dying

One of Palm/HP's biggest problems was lack of support from its user base.

Remember when the Foleo was announced? Panned by everyone, especially Palm users.
So bad was the criticism, they couldn't even release it.

It was a brilliant idea, that would have put Palm/HP way out in front by now, (HP computers everywhere, running webOS that sync automatically with your phone, then save it all to the cloud)

The idea of walking up to a screen and keyboard (or carrying a Foleo 2 with you) and having access to all your work immediately, is really a no-brainer, and Apple will get all the kudos for their innovation when they do it with the iPhone 5 and Mac computers.

It's a pity that no one will remember that it had already been thought of 5 or 6 years ago.

The Foleo was dumb and deserved to be cancelled. It it were more netbook like, I'd say it was brilliant and before its time. However, it was a fake laptop tied to a phone much like the initial BB Playbook was tied to a BB device for email, etc. I was very disappointed when Palm announced it. In my book, the cancellation made perfect sense.

I'm reading Beyond the Obvious now and I was wondering about this.
Really, it's a shame it worked out how it did. I still hope for the best from Open webOS, but I will always wonder what could have been.

I'm not sure who sounds sillier here: McKinney saying HP "lacked the patience for innovation" when Palm just churned out a mini-Pre (Veer) and supersize-Pre (Pre 3) in the phone department OR HP for giving Palm " three years to basically get itself positioned to be a market leader in its space."

You can ignore marketing reports, but when you get way less developers onboard than Palm did by themselves, have Best Buy ready to ship back 200K+ tablets, and can't deliver products to market in a timely fashion, the smart play is to amputate in order to stop the bleeding.

I'm sure Phil thinks Palm should've been HP's number one priority, but they weren't even HP's biggest acquisition THAT YEAR. They spent more EACH on 3PAR and ArcSight. When the Autonomy deal went through, that pretty much removed all of this spare cash they were supposed to burn propping up webOS for 36 months. The long term plan for webOS looked to be doing the same thing over and over, but in different sizes (e.g. Touchpad GO, Pre 3, etc., etc.) and certain continued failure.

if you were part of the forum you should have known who is sillier. HP was crowing how this is a MARATHON not a SPRINT.

Last time I checked, they're still running. They just decided to give up hardware, which was a wise decision. There were serious conceptual problems with the Veer and Pre 3, and serious design and functionality problems with the Touchpad. HP sucks as a mobile hardware maker. Why continue?

That's not running. That's sitting out, officially still in the marathon, but letting everyone go to the finish line and not doing anything about it. Giving up on hardware is not a wise decision. They will have to pick hardware back up themselves, or the whole open webOS thing will be a huge waste of time and money. With the grave HP dug for webOS, no one is going to dig it back up without HP getting dirty first.

If you are incapable of making great mobile hardware, as HP most certainly is, you really have no place in the modern smartphone world except as a 2nd or 3rd-tier Android OEM. Any further HP webOS Pre-variations would actually damage the brand further.

but the pre3 was not bad. They were
almost all sold, and for high prices.
What they might have been is a niche
product, but as far as I understand,
palm was never for the masses.

Yes, and "never for the masses" is exactly where most of the things go wrong today.

If you want to be successful in what you are doing you either have to do it for the masses or you should look for some kind of exclusiveness. There is no way in between.

Palm couldn't do any of those two ways by themselves, for whatever reason. HP just knows about products for the masses and is unable to learn the other way. Take a look at their Elitebook series. They look quite cool for HP Notebooks, but when you look a little closer there's nothing much behind. Material, quality - it's all just half-baked. And this awful dumb decision of Leo and his bunch of lobotomized monkeys was just the proof for that. They wanted to play in the Major League but when it comes to it, they are just not brave enough.

Perhaps that's what they should take for a new logo. hb for half-baked.

I know. This is why I was apprehensive
when palm was bought by hp.
my guess is that the only ones
who could have achieved enough
exclusiveness are sony, and,
perhaps perhaps, htc.

Well said :))) the Pre3 was actually pretty powerful when it was announced. But we all know how that story went. .

The Pre 3 is powerful enough. 512 MB RAM and 1.4 GHz single-core is more than enough. People keep hatin' on the Pre 3 not being dual-core, yet they think it's totally acceptable that the Nokia Lumia 800 is so popular even though it also has single core.

For an o/s as memory intensive as webos, 512mb was a total left no room for growth. That's what killed the legacy upgrades.

But if you're satisfied I'm happy for you.GS2 came out at the same time and it is double the hardware in functionality.

I said "HP was incapable of making GREAT mobile hardware".

You say "the pre3 was not bad"..."might have been niche".

I rest my case.

no. I agree with metaphor_set.
you either make it for the masses
(which palm never meant to be),
or you make it exclusive
(which hp couldn't)

wrong palm aimed for the "fat middle." it was never NOT for the masses. The masses just didn't want it that's the problem. Now you guys just are whining the equivalent of "well we never meant it for you." lol. yeah right.

well they were good at that cause the masses didnt buy their products.

Palm was most definitely for the masses, the original Pre launch was intended to make it the "next big thing" after the iPhone. Its simply that the original hardware was subpar and the marketing from that point on was pitiful. Case in point, the Veer was a phone that noone was asking for, all the potential switchers from Sprint were waiting for a slab device with a bigger screen or a touchscreen keyboard running webOS (which never materialized, unless you count the Pre3 which went to market after HP bailed)

Don't forget it wanted to be number one plus.

Ah, stop with this, please. Are you, sinsin?? :-P

If you don't like webOS, you come here only to spread "bad experiences" that you; be honest, maybe never have?

Who are you? Some "Steve Job's Widow"? :-))))))

To who know read, the text leave clear that the ALL problem was the incompetent Leo, that don't know work with 30% as profit and was desperate with the idea that has to work with only 6%.

No more, and no less...

Best Regards... B)

Again, was Leo the designer of the handsets that underwhelmed? Did he personally design the Touchpad? Did he inefficiently code webOS so that it was always comparatively laggy? Was he responsible for the pathetic developer outreach that garnered far less apps than tiny Palm did by their lonesome?

All he did was come in at the end and put down a rabid, bleeding half-dead dog that was the webOS hardware. You want to blame people, start looking at Rahul Sood, Phil McKinney, Steven McArthur, and last and MOST importantly, Jon Rubinstein. These are the people that made the decisions that hurt webOS. Not Leo.

Hei! iOS love it to CLOSE the programs without leave sign, to nobody see that is buggy!

And now you come saying that... Oh, puuutz... Serious? Serious that you are trying to blame the SO and not Leo?

The webOS is "laggy" only in YOUR device (if you have, of course!). Sorry.

So, this is your strategy? Come here and try to "raise problems" in webOS? THIS is Pathetic...

The webOS has so many system problems than the iOS... less, in true!

iOS is pathetic: a locked monotask S.O. that CAN reboot while watching an MP4 movies WITHOUT Jailbreak! But... but... HOW can reboot? Have nothing to manage!

THIS; iOS, is a work of a pathetic developers with competent icon designer...

For other side, the webOS works and; WITH multitask opened, give the results that I need: instant and practical access.

Sorry again... or not! :-)

Best Regards... B)

English obviously isn't your primary language, so I'm not even sure how to respond to this. Anyway, you guys go on believing that everything is Leo's fault and webOS is spotless. Let me know when the rest of the world comes around.

I (obviously) love webOS & we all know that it wasn't ALL Leo's fault. With poor ads that don't really represents webOS's cool features , poor hardware (way too much plastic) , & the absence of basic features (really, I can't even change my text message tone?), it was a perfect storm to destroy webOS

that's running. but in opposite direction

...they were NEVER running, at best, they were crawling with wrong decision making, no significant developer relations to speak of, and occasional stunts by likes of McKinley and other funny people, only demonstrating how detached HPalm leadership was.

Running, NOW? are you being serious? That is just PR damage control exercise, which will be closed (or not, depending how insignificant it will become in HP's books in the years to come - with resource bleed at speed and all) at some stage, with an inaudible "puff" in the tech spheres.

"Serious conceptual problems with Pre3"????? The only problem I have with that phone right now is dead call speaker, not well put together volume buttons, and the "spring" effect when tapping the screen. Which are all related to my particular unit, from what I've checked.

That, and the total lack of applications (no wonder).

But conceptually? Conceptually, that phone is a thing of a beauty, and it is such a pleasure to WORK with it, it is so much more intuitive, effective, elegant and just purely NICER than the same things that I can with my SGS2, my gosh. Of course, the problem is, I can do a lot MORE with SGS2, with the plethora of apps available for Android, that I CANNOT do with the Pre 3 at all. But that's hardly a problem with webOS, much less so conceptual problem with it, only with it's abysmal adaptation.

So much better coinceptually it is, I find it a real relief to get back to using it from time to time, and see how productive and better thought out it is in getting me through my daily tasks vs the Android POS - again, within the confines of the applications availability.

Just hack the Android apps compatibility on it, please, like BB did, and I could do without an Android phone for as long as my PRe 3 lasts. Broken speaker and all (using Bluetooth to workaround, and willing to do so).

As bad a Leo was, you have to put the blame squarely on the BOD. They chased out Hurd. They brought in Leo. The didn't reign Leo in. And now they've got Meg. The let the HP culture go from bad to worse. They've lost contact with their markets and have opened the door for competition on all fronts except for printers. And printers are becoming more and more commoditized and irrelevant every day. Not a bad bit of work in a short 18 months. HP is gonna get taken out. The only questions now is how soon and by whom.

I strongly believe that Leo was paid off by Google and Apple to kill WebOs, esp after reading this article.

LOL. Did he design the Veer, Touchpad, and Pre 3? Did he do a horrible job of getting developers onboard? Did he decide "The HP Movie Store" and Kindle app was enough of an ecosystem?

I think the people who made THOSE decisions are prime suspects for the murder of webOS. Leo just put a mercy bullet in the head of its hardware.

Have you even used the Pre 3?
Although I have to agree on the Veer. That was Rubinstein's little puppy. They should've learned after he spent his time releasing barely-spec-bumped plus version of phones that didn't sell. They let him actually combine the Pre- with the Pixi.

No desire to use a Pre 3. Like the vast majority of the modern smartphone market, I'm good with a virtual keyboard and don't want the bulk or moving parts to deal with.

No desire to tap 100 times to switch between the apps.

No need to press, swipe,tap then type then tap for opening web pages.

I prefer bulky and moving parts to a type and tap dance

That was the zen of old
physical keyboard, flexible data,
clean design.

and we are a niche.

The Veer is a cute little phone and there definetly was a market for the Veer. But I do agree that they should've pushed the Pre 3 out before the Veer (or at the same time as the Veer). The Veer has a market, namely people who want a small smartphone but not small specs but it's not the game changer like the Pre 3 (at least game changing for webOS).

Come on, this is far more stupid than my own guess. webOS is nothing compared to what a certain special deal would have meant to the whole IT World.

Leo was "kicked out" from SAP and mysteriously landed behind the Steering Wheel of HP, which has everything (and some more) that SAP needs to beat Oracle. Oracle bought SUN and now it sells the whole range of products; Software, Databases, Hardware, Storage Systems and Support.

Leo's Idea was to chop HP into tiny little pieces to make them cheaper. Alone the announcement did quite a "good" job, if you ask me. In a year or two SAP would have been able to buy what's left of the Hardware Business and bang!

Funny Idea. But there's a lot of truth in that.

Yes, and he was a shame in the company which prided in having smart people. He was just a marketing BOZO ( thanks Steve J , couldn't resist ) has no idea about running products. Inside SAP, he was never regarded as Technical or Functional genius of SAP product.

Its a shame. I heard it was all because of that ex ORACLE guy sitting on HP board , the old grudging Ray Lane. He still have to settle few matters with ORACLE. After Hurd joined them it became personal between him and Ellison. The board has no guts to kick this old fox.

Some folks on this forum never understand the bigger picture. For them its app store , eco system...... LOL.

Read on and educate yourself.

Well isn't that special...It has been rumored that Leo was pressured by Microsoft that it was US (webOS) or them because they had been partners with HP for a number years and they didn't want to compete with webOS. So he killed everything...we didn't have a chance. The impatience was part of it, but I think that had something to do with it. It makes me so freaking mad!!! But hopefully we can show them up with the new open webOS. Its hard being fresh and new and no one wants to take you because they don't want to compete with you...because you are that good

Well if this was the case that M$ put pressure on Leo. I think a nice shareholder lawsuit along with DOJ investigation is in order. Personally I wouldn't put it past Ballmer to do that. Sounds like it's right up his alley. Considering how even after 2 years WinPhone is still not getting much here speaks volumes why they may have done just that.

Just look at HP running with Windows 8 tablets. They tout open webOS and Meg comes out saying how hardware manufacturers will go to webOS because Android is getting more restrictive, but HP doesn't even believe its own crap and dumped webOS for Windows 8.

So that new Samsung-phone with Intel Tizen indicates that Samsung is dropping Android for Tizen?
You see that that is ridiculous? I don't mean to sound like a fanboy, but you shouldn't hate on Meg just 'cause they're publishing a Windows 8-tablet first. Btw, they also have the Slate with Win 7 already.

Didn't Leo at one point make a move to get ride of all PSG hardware and turn the HP into a service company? Seems to me that if he was doing Microsoft's bidding Meg wouldn't have had to reverse a decision made about the Personal Systems Group.

Customers didn't want webOS. Carriers didn't want webOS. Developers didn't want webOS. The Market didn't want webOS. So why would Apple, Google or Microsoft even care when no one else did?

Even though I don't believe in conspiracy, it somehow makes sense. Look what Steven Elopn(former Microsoft dude) has done to Nokia. Both systems MeeGo and webOS imho had a great future, both got killed.
But seriously if that would be true, I would be ready to smash Windows-Notebooks in BestBuy ;-)

There could be some truth in it. Its not uncommon for Microsoft to ask the largest PC maker to kill webOS. HP could in return get some special favors from Microsoft. Its might be money and the long standing relation between HP and Microsoft that did it.

I do agree with you, but I don't think it would be for money. HP is the biggest PC-manufacturer, so they have money enough. So unless Leo was so greedy that he couldn't resist the smell of money, I don't think it was for money. Could be for other favors though.

hahaha, i think we all have "leo darts", personally, i use it very very often, i´m not kidding...


PS: i really don't wanna talk about Leo Aphoteker, because my comments would be deleted because of the language i NEED to use to tell the truth and explain myself...

don't you guys... or girls TeckieGirl?

This really solidifies my previous theory that Google and Apple paid Leo off to kill Palm. Perhaps they really did see how great this OS could be with the unlimited resources of HP, so they do what this country is known best for, pay people off to get your way and decrease competition backing us consumers in a corner.

Thanks for being a huge pussy Leo.

I guess he should've spent HP into the poorhouse with nothing to show for it?

Hard to imagine how he could've done worse than vaporizing 20% of HP's stock price overnight.

Again...had nothing to do with webOS.

Didn't Google have apps for webOS? Were they not singing Palm's and webOS' praise back in 2009? Don't they really just care about getting more traffic no matter the OS? Then they partnered with Apple to pay someone kill the OS that offered the least amount of competition (you know, the one Jon Ruby himself said was suffering from a "slower than expected adoption rate")? Did they pay off all the customers and developers that have turned their backs on webOS as well? Did all the TouchPad reviewers (except Derek) get a nice little "some'n some'n" on the side for their reviews? How much did Best Buy make for their slandering actions?

I'm not saying it's impossible but it sure does seem improbable.

Also, this idea of HP having "unlimited resources" is ridiculous. They had enough resources to spend three years losing money on webOS while doing nothing else OR to make more strategic acquisitions like 3PAR and Autonomy. They didn't have enough to do both.

M$ definitely paid off developers that turned their backs on webOS. The fact is, the Senior Director of Windows Phone 7 Development, Brandon Watson, offered a free phone and dev tools to any webOS developer who switched to WP7. At the very least, it shows that M$ was following HP and pounced at the chance to steal developers.

LOL. When HP gives away hardware and dev tools, it's garnering support and doing due dilligence.

When Microsoft does it, it's PAYING OFF DEVELOPERS to turn their back on webOS.

Little bit of a double standard, no? Microsoft is paying to get developers from ANY platform. There's no conspiracy to hurt webOS. They offered free phones to people after the Blackberry data outage and also to disenchanted Android users, too. You WISH HP or Palm made these kind of moves.

It's the funniest thing. The competition is nothing but a plot against webOS and what used to be 2% marketshare. They were shaking in their boots and decided to band together to fight the OS whose marketshare was decreasing at a steady pace quarter after quarter.

I agree with you WHOLEHEARTEDLY! They saw webOS was struggling & did whatever they could to destroy it before it could have a chance to reach it's potential & fulfill it's destiny: to be the iPhone killer.

Please. Many developers develop for multiple platforms. Did Brandon Watson say "hey, if you promise to develop for us, AND ONLY FOR US, we'll give you a dev phone and tools"? C'mon. Even HP offered dev devices to developers. They also offered much more in the form of app contests. Remember those "hot apps"? Heck, I even got an Amazon gift certificate as a "thank you" for being an early webOS developer. MS offering developers money to develop for them is NOT the same as paying off developers to turn their backs on any platform.

And what role did MS play in the developers who abandoned webOS long before Leo took it out back and shot it? Why make it sound like the exodus started with Leo when webOS has been spiraling downhill since late 2009/early 2010?

Wow....I'm not shocked, but kinda saddened to read conspiracy theory after conspiracy about how Apple or Google or Microsoft "paid off" Leo to kill a product that was never very successful in the marketplace, never had widespread developer support, and was basically spat upon by almost every US carrier and their reps. Pretty easy work if you can get it.

Isn't odd how Apple could do this, but couldn't do the same to stop Android? Or how Microsoft is capable of this but couldn't do te same to either Apple or Android?

webOS is not the greatest platform. But its not about developers and eco system. Its more than that. Its strategy. Its future growth. The way Leo came in to HP without being interviewed tells me that there is a motive. I wouldn't call it conspiracy. But a strong motive by someone in the board.

The fact that the ex-CTO of a company came out and said there made few decisions tells me that there is a bigger story.

I will wait for the day Matias and Jon Ruby come out and talk. Richard Kerris is another one with intimate knowledge of how things fell apart.

Now go back arguing about the developers, marketshare, eco system and whatever ......, I guess you might have company, there is another member who can support you for each of your arguments.

I rest my case.

What case? All you're doing is alluding to some shadow cabal that somehow didn't have enough power to stop HP from acquiring webOS, yet had more than enough power to get them to cancel it 12 months later....why stop there?

The pieces of the conspiracy were in place long before HP entered the picture. Sprint was in on it for selling less Pre and Pixi devices every quarter they were on sale. Verizon was in on it for making "mom" commercials at launch for the Pre Plus. Best Buy was in on it because despite featuring custom displays for the Touchpad at every store, they were stuck with hundreds of thousands of unsold units. This goes all the way to the top, undoubtedly. Clearly, the President, FCC, and Joint Chiefs of Staff were threatened by the infinite potential of a smartphone OS.

They all killed it!


I'm shocked that you are so delusioned you don't see through the plot of Three Horsemen of Apple, Google and Microsoft. Android, iOS and Windows Phone are their joint attempt to bring in the Mark of the Beast, usher in Big Brother and inaugurate Fascist World Technocratic Government. We all know Steve Jobs is not really dead but is preparing his ascension to President of the World and cast his reality distortion field upon the entire world. Bill Gates will be vice-president and Léo Apotheker will lead the World Council of Technology. The whole plot will be revealed on Dec. 21, 2012 as the Mayan calendar predicted when Steve Jobs executes Order 66 which will activate a mind control chip in every Android, iPhone and Windows Phone our only hope will be to remain 100ft from all such phones, a lead helmet or an aluminum cap (10 layers or more).

WebOS was our one and only chance for a world free from:
1) Corporations that string on their customers with promised updates.
2) Corporations that promise future synergy features but never develop them.
3) Corporations that design poor quality hardware and nearly destroy a Cell Phone carrier by making them have to expend their inventory on warranty replacements.
4) Corporations that abandon their entire existing customer base in order to focus new hardware that no one can buy... until the coming months.
5) Evil developers that once the rug of Mojo was pulled from underneath the feet of their hours upon hours of application development time... so selfishly refused to adopt an incomplete Enyo that had no hardware to run on and develop applications that they might never recuperate their costs to redevelop/develop.
6) Corporations that sucker a new round of customers to buy the new hardware that be abandoned after a couple months.
7) Corporations that believe they can restore their abandoned customer base by selling to humans cell niche phones that could only be marketed to Hobbits in the Shire. Sadly Bill Gates threatened to burn down the Shire if the Hobbits bought Veers.

Face it... WebOS no matter how cool it was and no matter how much we all wanted it to succeed was fighting a uphill battle. Palm, before HP bought it, was suffering from poor leadership and had completely lost their ability to develop software much less operating systems (i.e the Cobalt, PalmSource, Access debacle). Palm was losing customer share for a half a decade and was just months from declaring bankruptcy before they threw their WebOS Hail Mary pass as CES and a cash infusion from U2's Bono. Sadly the missteps that plagued Palm in the PalmOS days continued into the HP WebOS days. HP's bureaucracy, CEO shuffling and indecisiveness further contributed to Palm's woes.

In summery WebOS was killed by
1) poor quality hardware
2) momentum killing slow hardware releases that wasted immense positive press
3) unresponsive repair of software glitches
4) broken promises
5) a habit of abandoning existing customers
6) poor marketing
7) poor leadership

There is NO need to create conspiracies but..... If the Aluminum Hat fits Where It.

LOL. Thanks for that.

Mark Hurd was part of the acquisition. They agreed to  3-year trial run with Hurd, but then the HP board used a sexual harrassment allegation to get rid of Hurd and bring in someone who can make them a quick buck, Leo Apothecker. Leo only thinks in terms of dollars and cents. Innovation meant nothing for him, so instead of waiting to see if Touchpad 2.0 could turn around webOS, he killed off webOS without warning, without thinking twice. Now, HP is forced into patience the hard way, having to recover from an over 20% share price drop in one day with a new CEO who is hoping an open source webOS can recover at least some of the value they dropped with their $1.1B investment.
HP lost its way with Leo, only cared for a quick buck instead of true innovation. It's a shame really.

The share drop had nothing to do with canning webOS.

But let's remember what "webOS innovation" meant:

- Openly seeking to copy the iPad with the Touchpad according to their own internal documents.
- Releasing in 2011 different sized editions of a phone that first dropped in 2009. I guess the Droid 4 is part of Motorola's drive of innovation too?
- REMOVING the innovative gestures that made webOS so awesome in the first place from the Touchpad

Why would anybody double down on that?

It was a symptom of the decay of HP, as was the canning of webOS. Giving webOS three years for innovation reflects the old HP, one that took risks to bring innovative products to market. Old HP made mistakes, but they learned from their mistakes and became the world's biggest computer company. New HP makes mistakes, and they head for the hills and concentrate on making money, which the market didn't fall for and gave new HP a big spanking.
Part of innovation is making mistakes on the way. But new HP never gave webOS the chance to pick itself up and release new hardware that people wanted.

rsanchez, it's a "symptom" of fiscal responsibility, not decay.

Not just "making money", but staying solvent. MAYBE the HP that bought Palm could've "survived" three years of throwing as many billions as possible at webOS to keep it in the market.

The one that spent a combined $15 billion cash on 3PAR, Autonomy, and FarSight certainly could not survive pouring hundreds of millions per quarter into webOS with what operating capital they had left. You decry a lack of innovation, but they "innovated" in being a hardware company jumping into enterprise data storage and information management with those acquisitions. That's where the future of profitability lies for them.

Really ? Well look @ all the things iOS, Blackberry, windows phone & Android 4.0 have copied from webOS: Gestures , cards , some form of synergy. Those OSes are innovative aren't they ?

Those were innovations from late 2008. HP re-launched webOS in 2011.

you're so negative about webOS. I've seen your posts before & I've honestly never seen you say anything positive about webOS. Do you have anything good to say ?

It's bizarre that not entertaining ludicrous conspiracy theories and actually observing the market NON-performance of webOS is considered negative. There's plenty good to say about how webOS - the product - works for me and other people.

But the articles here lately tend to veer instead toward "what if" fantasies that simply aren't supported by what actually transpired.

I guess few of them have nothing better to do than make fun of others. I comment here because I love webOS and I am a proud owner of several of Palm's products. I am genuinely interested in knowing more about the story behind the decision to kill webOS. Compare that to folks who never held webOS phones and never spent time with webOS products and talk big about many things.

Compare that to folks who never held webOS phones and never spent time with webOS products and talk big about many things.

While you're at it, don't forget to compare that to those of us who have been here for years and have used Palm products exclusively for the majority of those years. Some of us have actually used PalmOS, webOS, Android and iOS for a significant amount of time. Some of use have actually developed for those platforms. Some of us have converted family members to webOS and have done our part to spread the gospel that is webOS.

I am one of those that fit everything I've just described and yet I recognize the failure that webOS has become and can look objectively at its performance in the market over the years. I can see what webOS has leached off of the competition as well as what it has contributed back.

I write here as a technologist (albeit self proclaimed).

I am a professional cross platform mobile developer (it has literally been my bread an butter, my sole source of income to support myself an my family for the past couple of years).

I am a technology enthusiast with special interest in mobile technology.

I'm a business owner.

I've been in IT (ranging from developer to architect to technical lead) for close to 20 years.

I've taught high school kids how to develop software and have helped IT professionals understand mobile technology and software development in general.

I've converted people to (and advised people towards) webOS when it showed promise and have converted (and advised) people away when that promised potential failed to materialize into anything useful long-term.

I'm a fan of technology rather than a single platform or OS and I'm very practical about it.

There are many, MANY people who know MUCH more than I, but that does not disqualify me (or anyone) from posting "opinions" here.

But, I guess it's easier to assume that anyone who does not worship at the webOS alter has either never used webOS or simply don't know what they are talking about.

Same here,
Programming LAHF, MOV ..Palm VII....... Pre .....Android , WinMo, iOS..... everything but BB

Put conspiracy aside go back and spend some time on internet searching all the press releases and comments from everyone from Leo to Todd to Rahul Sood to Phil .... then tell me why on earth HP decided to keep PC division ? because they ran the numbers and realized that its better to keep PC business ? Wow, do a 180 in August, then do another in October. So there is no motive behind these exact opposite decisions. Just random acts by the management only after running the numbers on spreadsheet ? Supplied by Microsoft ?

Tell you what, I respect your background. Do yourself a favor, make friends with few HP employees who can match you on experience, ask them what they think of it the whole thing webOS / PC .... all that. FYI, I have few buddies who work there. I knew the internal message board chatter about Leo getting fired prior to the actual day.

I am not here to argue about the merits/demerits of webOS or how strong the eco system is or how anyone at Palm messed. I am here to comment on the decisions Leo took. To me there is a motive ( I wouldn't call it conspiracy).

Take it easy,

And while you are searching, the answers reveal themselves. Both Intel and Samsung PUBLICLY stated they were not going to buy HP's PC business. Those are just the public rejections. HP floated the idea and got no capable takers hence the "180" to keep it inhouse. Just like when they tried numerous times to unload webOS or at the very least license it.

Nothing random about it. I actually have a couple of friends who work at HP as well. But they didn't have anything particularly salacious to say regarding Leo. He was clearly supported by many higher ups and board members, and they're still trying to move the company in a higher-margin "services"-oriented direction. There's been no "course correction" on that. Nor are they trying to reverse any decisions he made with webOS.

"This is a company that requires an executive team to be on the same page. I would spend time here or at board meetings or whatever the occasion was and we didn't see an executive team working on the same page or working together."

"(Apotheker lacked the) ability to get down deep into the businesses and understand the dynamics that were going on the businesses, and that could land us on a quarter ahead of expectations."

Nuff said. have a good evening.

Why are you trolling here? Even when very valid, non-conspirator, remarks are made, you still go out of your way to refute.

1. You truly believe that 20% share drop had nothing to do with webOS? Had HP announced poor quarterly results, but backed it up with a strong plan to win in the market (without backing down from it), the share drop would have been far less than 20%. Don't even try and argue that it was investors sour on the Autonomy deal. When investors first caught wind of that deal it was viewed internationally as a great move & the stock climed most of the day. It wasn't until the 'we're going to be a service company & we're killing hardware & webOS' leaks that the share price started to tank. Really, it had nothing to do with the 20%? You are so lost.

2. You dismiss the Pre3 because of your preference for touch only keying, yet you have zero experience using the device. Whether or not you have desire to use a device, you really have no ground on evaluating it's potential viability. I can assure you, the Pre3 is the absolute one device HP should have and would have succeeded with (with regard to capturing some market share).

Anecdotal or not, everyone I show the Pre3 to asks what it is & almost all are VERY interested in it & want to know where it can be bought. I just grabbed a replacement SIM at my AT&T store & the rep wanted to know the best place to acquire one. He noted he never had a Pre, but bought a firesale TouchPad & was very interested in the Pre3. That was LAST WEEK!

Some of what you write makes sense, but the rest just feels like trolling. Any factual assessments you have made are easily eroded by your blanket remarks about what caused the stock drop & the impending failure of a product like the Pre3. True colors. I'm very curious why you feel so compelled to squash the notion that Leo was risk averse & lacked the will to innovate anything? Sure, he's not the only person or product to blame, but this article is about Leo's leadership or lack thereof, and it's on a webOS fan site. I'm just upset I took your bait. I guess that means you win. Now, take your ball & go home.

I may have misunderstood the reports (finance has never been my strong point) but I thought the drop in share had more to do with HP getting out of what investors saw as it's core business (consumer hardware; i.e. PCs) rather than just webOS. So while I wouldn't say it had "nothing" to do with it, I didn't get that it was the most importing factor that caused the drop either.

Oh and anecdotal works both ways. Most of the people I showed webOS products to like it but not enough to even begin to consider replacing what they had. Half of the people that I know personally who got TouchPads have already gotten rid of them.

Btw...I was not refuting you. I haven't really had any issue with your posts. I was replying to this jessica person.

Agree on anecdotal evidence going both ways, I've seen it go both ways. I have a great number of friends and family who have left webOS. That said, anecdotally, most are very quick to remark, "Wow, I wish my Pre was like that, I would have never switched...".

Ever notice the personal attacks and character assassination always come from the people who claim to be AGAINST trolling? odd.....

Anyway, I'll take the high road and avoid the personal attacks and just talk about the substance of the issue.

1) No, webOS had nothing to do with the 20 percent share drop. it was related to the announcement of spinning off the ENTIRE business, but ultimately, it was the only hardware they ended up cancelling and trying to sell off. HP quickly made a decision to keep the PSG in house. They didn't quickly make a decision to change course on webOS. In fact, they NEVER made such a decision. That alone should tell you how tangential that was to the turmoil in their stock price.

2) I don't dismiss the Pre 3 based on any personal feelings. That's irrelevant to MARKET performance, which is what we're discussing. And the market performance of EVERY Pre device has been lacking across every single carrier. I'm glad some people you showed the device to liked it. I've heard 50-60 such tales from people here about showing off their Touchpads. Yet, it was a highly publicized bomb.

My question, really, is this: If webOS is of such import that cancelling ti changes the fates of companies and Apple, Google, and/or Microsoft are SOOOO SCARED that they have to pay off people and CEOs to ensure it fails.....why did HP fail so badly with it? Why couldn't they make a single dime with this game-changing product that somehow has the world stacked against it? Why couldn't Palm make money off of it? In fact, why has no one except for eBay resellers made money off of it?

How is it personal when I do it? You have been attacking the so-called conspiracy nuts on here all morning. I am refuting your basis for making opinion based statements. Whether you believe them as facts or not, they aren't. I am an investor & I paid attention the entire time.

You dog on the Pre3 & market failure, but the Pre3 never made it to market. You lose credibility when you make remarks like 'supersized Pre' and nobody wants a keyboard....etc. etc. Those are not the arguments of a clearly thinking objective individual. I am at least making an attempt to classify anecdotal or opinion based remarks for what they are.

I also clearly stated, of all the products they released, that they missed the boat on the one product that would have made market headway (the Pre3). And it would have done so in the expected hands-off period between HP & Palm. All you have to do is hold it for a few seconds to realize it's not even in the same class as the old hardware. Its specs may not make the world go 'wow', but that hardly matters when you hold it in your hand & mess with the UI for a few minutes. It's a class well above & far more consistent & market relevant an experience than my Pre, Veer, or TouchPad ever were. So yeah, when I hear it brought into the conversation of why webOS/Palm sputtered under HP, I call BS.

Since we like talking space here, if NASA had build the finest MARS rover in existence, but funding & politics prevented it from ever being put on a rocket for launch, that doesn't make it a failed rover, nor does it void it's technical relevance. The Pre3 isn't relevant from the standpoint of sales at this point, but is is a massively relevant device in the current product cycle & fails at very little, minus the ecosystem support the others get so gah gah about.

I already highlighted below why the remarks about investors are off base, so I'll refrain from beating that horse, except to say, if you didn't expect HP/PALM to lose money & see stock pressure with direct regard to webOS, then you were not paying any attention. And yes, the lion share of stock drop was the massive announcement of the PC division discontinuation/spinoff/whatever you want to call it. But that's not what you said in the post I replied to. You said "Again, had nothing to do with webOS." That is false, and if you fail to realize it, I call BS again.

It's not personal, but trolling is what it is. It's coming to a fan site & making 20 posts that you know will garner everyone's attention & create emotional responses. It is what it is. Not personal, just fact.

I'm not attacking anyone in particular, but like I said....your insults were silly and amusing.

Just like your boosterism of a Pre 3. Nothing you say about it should be listened to in any sort of objective analysis of the device or its market appeal. After all, you're such a rabid fan of it as to have purchased it after it was discontinued. It's not even "massively relevant in the current product cycle" as there's no such thing. It is an early 2011 device and it's now early 2012....not that that webOS exists on the market anymore. And it - like every other webOS device - failed to excite the market. The room wasn't excited when Rubinstein announced it on March 9. Developers weren't excited to get onboard webOS after Feb. 9. Carriers weren't excited to offer it and many turned it down flat, including Sprint and several UK carriers.

And yes, the stock drop had nothing to do with webOS. You saying it did is BS to me, but we'll never see eye-to-eye on it, so why waste another word on the subject.

I don't mind your trolling. It's easily rebutted and a fun time-killer. Thanks, sweetie.

Interesting that you continue to dismiss the webOS impact on the stock price. If memory serves me correctly, the next major press to release was an investor conference call where the CFO spent a more than significant amount of time discussing the hardware/webOS issues, so much so that it became a dominant presence on the call.

Why would the CFO beat the snot out of Palm/webOS on the conference call if it did not require the time or care of HP investors. Fact is, so many facts were left out of Leo & Cathie's initial announcement that shareholders pressed for answers. I can assure you, that level of detail was not given in goodwill to the rabid fans of webOS. It was shareholders who wanted answers. And guess what, the next market open saw shares tumble again.

I'm presenting you with facts. Can you not see that at least?

Thanks, babe.

BTW...yes, I am a big fan of webOS. You are misinterpreting my definition of market relevance in the current product cycle. What I am referring to is speed, capability, usability, function, etc. Despite being a year off in tech now, it more than holds it's own with current generation devices. It is not slow or laggy. It renders more websites than any apple phone or tablet device on the market. It Skypes, has a multitude of productive apps that are currently relevant for business & pleasure. It lacks very little & has no major hardware defficiencies. It is not a cheap plastic upgrade of the Pre. It's in its own class amongst webOS devices. And before I'm dismissed further. I have an iPad, iPad2, and Kindle Fire...I also sport CM9 on my TouchPad to fill in current webOS app gaps on my TouchPad.

I'm a rabid fan of tech, just as the other dissenting poster is. I do not subscribe to conspiracy, and I am more than aware that Leo did not cause all that has become of webOS to date. But I'm also an informed investor, and you are very much off the mark with a lot of your analysis, and I gather you did not review any of the quarterly results in much detail. Nor do I get the impression that you understand that Phil M. really has little to gain by making stuff up about what was going on with HP. From what I have at least read & followed, he is a man of admirable character.

The fact is, the CEO, whether acting under orders from the BOD or not, was an incredibly poor tactician when it came to execution of those orders, and they all failed investors by not seeing the plan through. And being a corporate type myself, I can also say without a doubt that acquisition is not innovation (as has been implied on this comment thread). That's absurd. Unless that acquired capital (intellectual or otherwise) is used to innovate, it doesn't matter if the purchased company was innovative before. It's nothing unless it either continues to innovate, or contributes to future innovation. The other fact is, it is not possible to call a product division a failure if it was operating under a 3 year investment/innovation plan, if it was not allowed to follow that plan. Businesses can fail at their plans, but that's where the argument comes in on who caused the failure & what were the pre-defined acceptable levels of loss. Because loss was expected. The BOD & Leo misled investors & did an incredibly poor job of executing whatever plan was in place. That is not attributable to Palm or my opinion. WINK WINK.

Again, babe, thanks for your time. I enjoy your 'opinions', they are indeed humorous.

Take it easy on her.
She is sent by Leo from Germany :-)

Back on topic, I had "Several Hundred" shares of HP during that time and I KNOW FIRST HAND about the mess. I listened to investor call where Cathie Lame Lesjak said she made a mistake on her spreadsheet formula.
Wow, so they ran the numbers and results doesn't look good ???? And fast forward October, they fixed the excel and the results are better. So keep the PC division. I wish I get a job like that.

We will hear soon from Ellison's mouth how Autonomy or Anatomy or whatever the heck it is costing HP.

Lol. I mean, insinuating that demolishing the webOS plan in the manner that it was carried out was a dismissable move on the basis of economic theory & fiduciary duty is pretty funny stuff. We are talking about them deciding to fight cancer with tylenol here. :P

No CEO or BOD in their right mind would have made even the PC announcement the way in which it was done. They were clearly operating under panic mode. That wasn't a profitless business, and that's certainly not the public forum in which you drop a bomb on all of your enterprise customers. The entire thing is laughable, and would have been whether they ever acquired Palm or not. Tell me different & I'll call that person crazy. But for people to throw stones at webOS b/c the former CTO talks of mismanagement & that he still saw significant potential in an axed division....why? Why is anyone defending LEO or the BOD for that matter?

The abandonment of Palm & the plan wasn't a sound fiduciary decision, there were other ways to cut losses. What HP did was signal to all investors that they had no will to follow through with their plans. It destroyed confidence with investors who cared little about webOS, but who saw the abandonment as a decision indicative of what they could expect even from positive acquisitions like that of Autonomy (which remains to be seen btw). That's why the bottom dropped out, not because of some furious black hole of cash that webOS was creating. Hah. :)

What "PC announcement"? They said they were exploring a range of options. That's it
They continued to do so throughout his tenure and a month after it ended. Same people running the company now.

This laughable exasperation at a CEO who killed a product that missed every internal milestone they set for it sure is fun to read. How dare he try to protect company value by doing his job!

Come clean. You know Leo don't you?

Wait, what? The announcement on ditching hardware escaped you? Range of options? Lol. Corporate speak. In this single post you are negating that announcement, but before you were claiming webOS had nothing to do with the stock drop. Which is it? If the PC announcement was indeed neutral, and in the best interest of protecting company value, why such a drastic stock drop? Why did enterprise customers flee like rats on a sinking ship?

Wait, I'm bad. I said I was done & I didn't stop, that makes me a troll today. For that I'm sorry. Olive branch of peace. :)

I guess when you're bereft of wit, you just repeat what other smarter people say. i appreciate the compliment.

Anyway, this post is mostly a jumble of nonsense. Among your qualifiers for why the Pre 3 "holds its own" with current generation devices, you list that " It renders more websites than any apple phone or tablet device on the market." which is a flat out lie. I guess you're using Flash as the qualifier for this, but iOS has alternative browsers in the App Store that render Flash PLUS they render iOS customized versions of sites that a webOS browser wouldn't even see.

Even funnier is that you think a device "holding its own" means something. Any LG high end Android phone can hold its own in regards to processing power, screen size, and even form factor. Runs the same apps. Yet, these devices get smoked in sales by Samsung, Motorola, and HTC. Same goes for Sony, yet they continually flop. Just holding your own and doing what other handsets can do is meaningless in today's ultracompetitive market. The Pre 3 however does NOT hold its own in apps, ecosystem, and content - things that matter to consumers. Yet you say "it lacks very little"!

But're presenting "facts". Hilarious.

Here's an actual fact: webOS was an absolute failure by HP's own internal metrics, regardless of whatever vague "3-year plan" Phil was blathering about. My proof?

Take it away, Cathy Lesjak:

"At that time, we set clear metrics and milestones to monitor the success of webOS. We launched the flagship product, the TouchPad, on July 1. And frankly, the software was met by strong reviews, but the sell-through of the product was not what we expected. Our intention was to solidify webOS as the clear number 2 platform for tablet. But with such a young ecosystem and poorly received hardware, we were unable to achieve our target. Additionally, it quickly became clear that pricing parity would not generate demand and we subsequently lowered TouchPad pricing by $100, which has added incremental near-term cost to our model. Even with the price reduction in Q3, we needed to better align our unit forecast with the sell-through reality in the quarter, and we took a $0.05 charge to EPS in addition to the loss we were already expecting in the business. We would expect an even larger loss for webOS in Q4 if we continue to operate the business in its current form. Essentially, the TouchPad and our webOS phone have not met our financial targets and other milestones that were set. To make this investment a financial success would require significant investments over the next 1 to 2 years, creating risk without clear returns."

Keep the "facts" coming! My sides are still aching from the laughing.....

Sheesh. I love her use of jargon "creating risk without clear returns". That sums it up right there. Any company that claims to have a plan of innovation while making that remark, is absolutely fooling themselves and misleading their investors. It's a cop out remark, and I have studied the numbers.

How many drugs or medical devices are on the shelf that didn't face years (some faced decades in R&D before generating a penny) of billion dollar risks without clear returns??? (Notice I didn't compare it to some small startup, but used a revenue comparable example.) What's your thought on that? I'm interested. HP had a 3 year plan & claimed commitment to innovation, yet expected to be No. 2 in a massively competitive market, out of the gates??? Great plan...if you want to temporarily steal from your investors pockets before you tank their earnings.

Second, I use iOS every day of my life, and I assure you those flash options are horrid, and they are in no way a real solution to a lack of flash. If you have ever used them vs. truly flash enabled hardware, you know this to be true. We are a household of many devices, of which I've already discussed.

Next, aside from some niche apps, tell me what the Pre3 is lacking? You're evaluating it on paper, with some pretty strong preconceptions in mind, based only on the preceding hardware devices. You absolutely cannot say with any level of fact that it would have flopped on the market, any more than I can claim fact that it would have gained market share (it's called an opinion). The Pre3, in my opinion, negates the idea that HP was unable to create relevant hardware. Had I never owned one, I would probably agree with you, as I had my share of issues with past devices. But I do own one, and I know the options out there, I've had my share of demo units. Furthermore, most of the people that inquire about the device, are associates in the enterprise space & many are decision makers who are not happy with their current options. Had HP committed to it, I have no doubt it would have claimed enterprise market share.

I'm done feeding everyone today though. I've met my once a quarter quota of caring enough to post comments on a story. No worries. Life continues, and people remain blinded about what really happend at HP, without letting all of the stories unfold. Two last questions though, why do you dislike Phil so much, and why do you defend Leo with so much resolve? I don't get that.

You raised many questions/salient points or so, and this new commenting system is pretty bad at allowing extended exchanges. So I'm going to answer each as concisely as possible. please don't take my answers as glib:

1. "Any company that claims to have a plan of innovation while making that remark, is absolutely fooling themselves and misleading their investors." When did HP say they had "a plan of innovation"?

2. "How many drugs or medical devices are on the shelf that didn't face years (some faced decades in R&D before generating a penny) of billion dollar risks without clear returns???" How many were created by companies with enough cash on hand so that this wasn't an issue? I'm guessing most. HP just didn't have cash like that anymore.

3. "HP had a 3 year plan & claimed commitment to innovation, yet expected to be No. 2 in a massively competitive market, out of the gates???" The tablet market in early 2011 wasn't massively competitive, actually. Cathy specified THE TABLET MARKET. There wasn't a decent competitor to the iPad until the Galaxy Tab 10.1, then the Kindle Fire.

4. "Second, I use iOS every day of my life, and I assure you those flash options are horrid, and they are in no way a real solution to a lack of flash." I also use it almost daily, and they don't need to be (like webOS' Flash implementation is so great). The point is they browse the same sites that webOS' outdated Flash does so your "fact" is actually false.

5. "Next, aside from some niche apps, tell me what the Pre3 is lacking?" Games. High quality tablet apps like Garageband. Content options. Ecosystem. Accessories. Current developer support. Virtual keyboard. Landscape orientation of the entire platform. Slimness compared to Galaxy S II and iPhone. High pixel density. More than 16GB of storage. webOS 3.0. Netflix. Tweetdeck. Instagram. I could go was just another failure. Glad you like it. Doesn't change the fact that it was the latest in a long and rather similar line of failures.

ummm the Pre 3 does have high pixel density: 260 ppi. & HP did have a plan of innovation but they failed on it. & webOS 3.0 was specifacally for the TouchPad , not smartphones. If you're going to troll on a website dedicated to webOS , atleast have your facts straight .

ummm the Pre 3 does have high pixel density( 260 ppi.) , HP did have a plan of innovation but they failed on it , webOS 3.0 was specifically for the TouchPad , not smartphones , & the Pre3 is a slider , so it's obviously not going to be as slim as a phone with a candy bar form factor . If you're going to troll on a website dedicated to webOS , atleast have your facts straight .

sorry for the double post . . .

& just like vastaus said , unless you have a Pre 3 , then don't post anything negative about it .

Does that stop ANYBODY around here from crapping on Android and iOS when they don't own those devices?

And you're right about the pixel density. My mistake. Now about the OTHER FOURTEEN things I mentioned that make the Pre 3 inferior in today's market.......

ummm actually I've owned an iPhone 4S & an HTC droid incredible , & I was VERY impressed with the iPhone 4S. It's fats , slim , responsive screen , stunning display , & a MASSIVE eco system. But in my opinion , it lacked usability & I was (coming from a Pre Plus) apolled , no not that , actually insulted by it's multi tasking abilities. & I absolutely missed the ripple effect that webOS had. The Droid incredible impressed me as well. It was also fast , slim , & beautiful display. But again , it felt very rigid & unintuitive . So I went back to a Pixi Plus. Yes it's woefully underpowered & it runs 1.4.5 , but I am happy with this device so I'll stick with it .

"But with such a young ecosystem and poorly received hardware, we were unable to achieve our target"

????? young ecosystem ? poorly received hardware ? Can you fix it ? or not ?

Tell you what , Cathie Confused Lesjak should pony up money from the government and the entire wall street to buy a mature developer supported ecosystem like iOS for 600 billion dollars. I guess that would help HP's bottomline. HP's plan was to spend 1.2 billion to make 500 billion in one year. Yes that was the original plan. I knew it. That was "THE PLAN" . Some how they did not make 500 billion so kill it. And while you are doing it kill the PC division too.

Your passionate comments are prompting me to give you an advise, talk something about whether webOS will be a failure on technical basis or talk about whether the platform had any hope if money was pumped and ideas were brought in.

***I removed my duplicate post.***

Please, troll all you want but stop talking about the Pre 3 unless you have one. Me and most other owners here of the Pre 3 recognize how fast and smooth it is compared to the previous Pre's and to the rest of the market. I even got a few people with iPhone's saying how smooth and fluent my Pre 3 is. So troll and say all you want, but leave the Pre 3 out of it as they got it right with the Pre 3 at least.

I've closed my eyes and I'm repeating 'focus on the positive, focus on the positive...'

5. Open-y goodness...webOS on a 3D printer that makes webOS toasters may happen yet!

4. Preware...webOS could never have seduced tinkerers so handily without it. Woo! Fun factor!

3. Ashley for her to be in Maxim's Hot 100! 'Olivia Munn' who? Pshhh.

2. makes me want to become a dev and buckshot an app across all platforms B)

1. The webOS Nation. wN FTW! wN FTW! wN FTW!

Stephen Stills - Love The One You're With

This song makes me feel better about owning all this webOS stuff. Five touchstones, aww yeeah.

I'm trying to figure out what kind of innovation McKinney is talking about. Coming up with the TP months after the release of the iPad 2 - a tablet competitive only at a price less than it costs to build? Smartphones that the carriers don't want to sell? Touching your mobile devices together to transfer data via bluetooth when everyone else is using the cloud? Magazine apps and an app brochure as your hero software?

It sounds like it wasn't just HP that lost its patience. HP investors lost patience. Carriers lost patience with poor selling devices. Customers lost patience with slow releases and outdated hardware. Developers lost patience with slow development of the platform. Technology enthusiasts lost patience with guys like him showing off flexible displays and then delivering an obese tablet after a six month wait with an unfinished OS.

News flash, Phil - everybody lost patience. This isn't exactly a patient industry. You snooze - you lose. Apple launches a spec-busting tablet and delivers a million of them 10 days later. Who, exactly, can afford to be patient? Even the #2 tablet maker, Samsung, came up with better hardware sooner than HP.

Palm hadn't exactly delivered the goods since about 2007. Too much patience was the problem.

"Touching your mobile devices together to transfer data via bluetooth when everyone else is using the cloud? "

Never had a Touchpad, I guess? With every Touchpad you buy you get a free account 50 GB you can even give 3 accounts of 50 GB away also. That's way more than everyone else offers. But that does also mean that they were thinking about the cloud also, else they wouldn't give those cloud-accounts for Box away with every Touchpad.

If you believe "a free account" = "using the cloud" then you've missed the context in which the post you responded to was framed.

I take a picture on one device and it is almost instantly on all of my devices. I bookmark something on my desktop and it's on all my mobile devices. I install an app on one device, it shows up on the other compatible devices. I weight myself or take my blood pressure and the data is on my devices. All this happens with no cables and and without having to bring two devices into close proximity of each other.

THAT is data sharing via the cloud as compared to sharing a URL by physically bringing two devices together.

After reading several articles where Leo was saying webOS is fantastic, it's going to be on everything that's not the exact article I'm referring to but nevertheless. Leo really talked up webOS, and then turned around and buried it very quickly. I can't help but thinking he signed on to be the hatchet guy, fall guy at the beginning. Some people wanted webOS done with, it was a money pit, and Leo did his hidden job of making it dissappear..
Leo lied majorly everyday.
Meg seems somewhat transparent and more shooting from the hip-so far.
They're still moving webOS personell around to different places, and laying people off.
The updates and other goodies seem more to appease users and fulfill whatever legal obligations they have.
Semi-unrelated, but being able to use gift cards on apps would symbolize some stability and dedication to a future of webOS.
the current scuttlebutt on leo is" He’s apparently been talking with private-equity firms in Silicon Valley about investing in mature and distressed companies," What nite mares that conjures up

Yup, he is a marketing guy with no product knowledge. He can talk up webOS. And he can kill it too. I guess he made 25 million for quitting HP, not bad.

Leo, Meg, whoever, whatever. Seems like a line from "Let's call the whole thing off".
If it's good for business, they don't tell what normal people would name truth.

As much as my opensource heart likes Meg's decision, I also know that it's just the emergency solution. No dedicated Hardware means webOS will be just for the rest of us that is geeky enough to stay with it. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty happy with that - as long as there's Hardware around and - let's name it - Android won't get better than ICS (the first usable Android IMHO).

Hmmm this makes me think of how webOS couldve improved had HP never purchased Palm. Palm couldve got them selves together *maybe* & released their list of unreleased items BUT, lets face it: With Palm throwing out 3 riverstones (Pre, Pre Plus, Pre 2) & releasing a barely upgraded "Plus" version of an underpowered smartphone (Pixi) , I don't think Palm wouldve made it much longer.

Uhm, Palm also had the PalmPad (which is what we have now as the Touchpad). Sure, early development, but hey it's something. I'm not saying that would've saved 'em, but it's more than only 3 phones and a +phone.

Reading some of the 'theories', this place is getting pretty crazy, next someone is going to claim that Satan forced HP to drop WebOS.

I know, right? There's not even a basic structure of how corporate hierarchy functions. If you think CEOs can simply be "implanted", then be free to make massive changes to the company without the approval of the board or anyone else, I invite you to read up on how the Sprint BOD embarrassingly cut the legs out from under Dan Hesse when he tried to buy MetroPCS.

some people are so desperately grasping at baseless conspiracies it's quite pathetic.

Leo clearly faked landing on the moon and is in league with the Empire to break up Nasa. He says he wants a more efficient business and he's losing money on senseless mission to space but we really know its because they new that if we only gave Nasa time they'd have finished building that starship enterprise to slingshot around the moon and blow up the Death Star and mean old Darth.

There is no conspiracy. Palm didn't execute and understand market trends (bigger phones and virtual keyboards), didn't have good relationships with carriers, and rushed the touchpad. WebOS is/was good but no one knew it. HP had incompetent top management which didn't listen to its upper middle management like Bradley, Mckinley that thought webOS could succeed with support. HP and Dell, etc have become commodity manufacturers of pcs with thin margins and don't have cutting edge design. Leo didn't believe in the hardware market and tried to shift to enterprise stuff before people and the market were ready. So HP lost 40% of its value overnight due to his incompetence and world class bad communication skills. Which leaves us with the pieces.
Meg can only keep webos alive with open source, hope someone bites for phones again. If there is a glimmer of hope then maybe hp will do tablets with webos as well as windows. (or dualboot) I think Meg is just trying not to lose the entire cost of Palm acquisition.

No surprise, and, as suspected, an excercise in total mismanagement.

Probably one of the most intuitive mobile OS's ever concieved, and, lack of vision by a new CEO destroyed it.

Im not into the Open Source channel here; personally, I believe that unless there is new hardware for WebOS within the next 6 months, it will go the way of the Sony BetaMax, and we will all be worse off for it.

Kudos to Phil M. for his initial vision, and for the candor in this book.

Lessons learned, hopefully, by those who care to pay attention.

If you're paying attention, then you may have noticed that webOS was never commercially successful, never had an ecosystem around it, and turned many carriers and retailers against it LONG before Leo (AND THE BOARD) made the decision to stop making hardware.

You might as well curse Elevation Partners for not sacrificing all of their financing to Palm so they could stay solvent another quarter or two. Apparently, "vision" around these parts consists of betting your entire company on webOS "making it" someday. Forget about fiduciary duty to investors.

webOS must succeed at all costs. Yep...nothing zealous or maniacal about that, fellas.....

Fiduciary duty to investors? Lol. As a long term investor I have to laugh at this notion. Investors could not have been misled more on the vision of HP than they were under Leo. I'm not a cospiracy goon, and I know there are laundry lists of follies with webOS & many others employed by HP & its shareholders, but your continued remarks about HP & its investors are incredibly off base.

webOS & the Palm acquisition was framed as a 'startup' acquisition, with expected losses. It was essentially a venture capital investment in a startup, only in this case it was done by a massive global entity on a much larger scale. Anyone in the lending arena knows that at minimum, start-ups must present 3 year financial plans, and typically have nearly all of those 3 years before they are expected to show signs of growth & a profit.

EVERYONE, every single educated investor with HP knew that there were going to be years of losses with the webOS GBU, and as noted in this article, they were expected to deliver results over a 3 year period. This was expected from the start. If you missed that, then you paid absolutely no attention to earnings reports, publicly available financial results, etc.

Again, I'm not disputing the muck ups that happened all over the place, but your rationale behind your arguments lacks any real factual information with regard to investors. Your speculation on why the decision to axe everything was a good one, is really not that much different than those who just flat out say that it wasn't & inject a bunch of rhetoric about conspiracies & such. But you are out of your mind if you think everyone here is going to read your ramblings & blindly agree that you are somehow the queen of how business works. I can assure you I do, and I can also assure you that I can smell BS from a mile away...and I need a mask it smells so bad in here.

Odd, I am an insane rambler, yet you reply to my remarks at length.

Oh well...I find your insults silly and easy to disregard. Moving on.....

Yes, investors and the HP board expected there to be losses for some time to come. That much we know. What we didn't know was that HP was going to continue making acquisitions that would rapidly deplete the amount of cash on hand to fuel this webOS "startup" venture.

So the same board that approved Palm, also approved the costly acquisitions of 3PAR, FarSight, and finally Autonomy. They brought in Leo SPECIFICALLY TO MAKE those kinds of acquisitions. Those information management software bits are his area of expertise.

Now, at this point after the cash on hand has been heavily taxed and sales across the printer, PC, and server divisions are on a bit of a downswing, you have a fiduciary duty to remain solvent, keep a decent amount of operating capital on hand, and execute your primary vision...which was NOT webOS. It was gaining a foothold in enterprise information management software. As Leo cautioned, there was little room left for "profitless revenue", much less money sinks like webOS. Something had to give. webOS was it.

The alternative was sinking billions more they could scarcely afford into a business that didn't really have a clear path forward towrd profitability with the recent emergence of both Windows 8 (making webOS on PCs totally pointless) and the Kindle Fire (making the possibility of selling a profitable tablet that wasn't an iPad in volume pretty remote). You claim to be about business so much, but you forget that famous Keynes quote "When the facts change, I change my mind...what do you do, sir?"

The facts of the industry (and their bank account) changed on HP, so they wisely changed their mind.

"Those information management software bits are his area of expertise." Seriously ?

What precisely was Leo's expertise ?


You are right.

I know nothing, and, Im a fanatic, and see everything with a total bias, because, dismissing the facts just makes me feel better; your comments above, although incredibly irrelevant to the topic at hand, have shown me the light.. thanks!

(incredible amount of sarcasm intended above)


Some people just like to read what they write here, instead of listening and honestly trying to understand other people's point of view.


I have a HP Veer since two weeks (bought a used one on eBay) and I love WebOS. I hope new devices using the open WebOS will come out soon!

Most of you guys do realize that the business world, for the most part, doesn't work like Star Wars, right?. There usually aren't evil lords wielding their power for to cause destruction. Whether Leo was right or not about the PC hardware division is yet to be seen. Does anyone here think that PC hardware holds much of a future as a platform for innovation?

Of course! The PC will never go away and sure, you can innovate on this platform.

I think most people would agree that there isn't much value left in PC innovation. The advantages are going to companies that can lower their prices. HP's major PC innovation at CES was a notebook with a glass case. Last year was Beats Audio. Meanwhile, Microsoft is making Windows 8 look like a tablet interface.

Not sure what you mean about Star Wars, unless you are comparing Leo to Darth Vader.

Leo wasn't evil - he was incompetent and impatient; he tried to make HP his, despite obvious longer term commitments that had been put into place, particularly with Palm and WebOS.

As for the hardware division, remember, a computer has a life cycle of about 3 years, and there are billions of them in the world. Lots of room for innovation there, just ask Microsoft.

This is very sad, though. WebOS had such great potential.

Dude, the board that backed Leo's EVERY DECISION is still there. He wasn't trying to make HP his...he was brought on to transform it into what the board wanted.

They haven't reversed any concrete decisions he made. The hardware spinoff or selloff were always possibilities that were floated, not a definitive mission statement. And I'll remind you that MANY here WANTED a PSG spinoff to happen in the vain hope that Todd Bradley would control it and bet their entire future on webOS.


The board retracted spinning off the PC business that HE wanted, because he wanted to convert HP into a software company, just like SPF, where he came from. They said no to that.

Im not sure what you are implying, though, really.He certainly DID a complete turnaround, and put BOD members nto place ot help him to just that. :)

Again, its just a sad situation, for a mobile OS that had such great potential.


The board retracted spinning off the PC business that HE wanted, because he wanted to convert HP into a software company, just like SPF, where he came from. They said no to that.

Im not sure what you are implying, though, really.He certainly DID a complete turnaround, and put BOD members nto place ot help him to just that. :)

Again, its just a sad situation, for a mobile OS that had such great potential.

There were multiple "possibilities" floated for the PSG...not a single plan of Leo's that was "refuted by the board". selling the business was impossible because there were no serious buyers. That sounds familiar....

Spinning it off was a very real alternative, and remember that they didn't "decide to keep it" until a month after he'd already been fired. If they were specifically rebuking him, the snap back would've been immediate as I mentioned with the Sprint BOD and Dan Hesse.

No, spinning off was the LEO alternative, BECAUSE he is incompentent. Came from a failure and continue as failure.

Remembering: with Mark, everything worked well for many years.

So, if was working with Mark, and didn't working with Leo, the problem was....

... JessPley! :-P

Best Regards... B)

Yup came from a failure and left as a failure. Lets not talk about the millions he received when he was shown the door.

This really is all about one thing, the BOD. There is a contingent of members who wanted badly to go the IBM route and still do. When Hurd was let go in hind sight we now see it was away to get him out of the way. Had he had more backing by the BOD not only would we have had new product the VEER more then likely would not have been first to come out. Along with HP not taking a 20% hit in one cause of that stunt Leo did.

Instead we got Leo the Hatchet man cutting off HP at the knees and wondering why the people reacted the way they did. Companies are allowed to change course. The way this was done though is a perfect example of what not to do.

There should have been more forward communication that HP was going into greater services and less hardware. Over time the stock would not have taken the hit and the transition would have been smoother. What they did was basically LIE to investment community and they paid for it. What should have been demanded though was along with Leo the persons responsible for this on the BOD should have been shown the door to. Sadly I think they still hold too much sway.

It's a sad situation anyway you cut it. OpenWebOS is a nice idea and will stay that way until someone puts up the bucks to make hardware. At this point Duarte should be quietly talking up google execs about getting WebOS cheap and incorporating the best of what is good. That along with the patents to fight Apple would be worth it's weight in Gold to them.

Thank you for this post. Finally, someone who gets it. Very well put, and I agree. FWIW

Yup, very well put,
Its the BOD and Ray Lane precisely.

For anyone upset with the Veer or Pre3, I'd love to have the choice to use either one on Virgin Mobile. The Pre3 would be the flagship or the carrier... and the carrier has quite a few Android phones.

Tomorrow they are releasing a new phone, the Venture, that seems to have a similar chip to the original Pre (600mhz).

Even today, there would still be a market for phones of Pre3 specs on some carriers. This would be the place for webOS phones to start since it is viewed poorly with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.

I agree with jessicatapley. The board had backed up Leo & they were always there & still are their. Also, Leo wasn't evil. He was impatient, incompetent, had a short vision, & lacked innovation. Had he waited, Palm might've had a chance. But AGAIN, lets face it: throwing out 3 riverstones & releasing a barely upgraded "Plus" version of the underpowered Pixi, Palm was basically just doing the same thing over & over again.

Leo wasn't evil, but was incompetent enough to try waste the excellent ideas only to save himself from fire...

Well... didn't work, and was close to kill webOS in process...

Best Regards... B)

We are going back and forth on this.

To put things in perspective,
Why did HP buy Palm ?
Did they not know what to expect from the deal ?
Did they expect to become Apple in one year ?
Why did they killed it in 1 year ?

My understanding from the earnings call was that Cathie Lesjak's spreadsheet had a bad formula. She said HP could not afford to loose money every quarter on webOS. So they cut it off.
Fair game. But then why PC division ? That came from nowhere ? Even Todd Bradley didn't knew it.

cause it has thin margins and is a business in decline and she forsaw what happened last quarter in the PSG: a 15% decline in profits with no end in sight.

but "bad formula?" Come on you're just listing precentral conspiracies now.

Fair question. Its not bad formula. I am being humorous. And there is no conspiracy.
My point was for a CFO to say in an earnings call that she looked through the numbers and came to conclusion that its not worth keeping webOS looked to me like she pulled it from the outer space. She knew it well before. She knew it when the sales did not gain momentum. She knew it when they bought Palm. Didn't she ran though the numbers , the worst case scenario ? the best case scenario? ...... Sure she did.
Forget Phil, the decision to yank webOS and later the PC division was never communicated in advance even to Todd. How do you explain that ? I know what folks here say, "Need to know basis". I say it was motivated by the BOD for reasons we do not know now. When someone is ready to die there comes a book and we know why.

sorry but you question public statements made at by an Officer at HP with no proof they are in error other then saying "it's my understanding." sorry precentral if full of poor understanding. False statements made at such a meeting would be grounds for a 10b-5 charge. As soon as someone trades HP in after hours it would subject her to claims of intentional misrepresentations. If they were unintentionally wrong HP has a fiduciary duty to make public correction or they'd face punishment from the DOJ. Now it's perfectly fine to levy all these claims that the numbers were wrong and this and that in precentral forums cause nobody is gonna question it. But the U.S. government has laws to ensure that public statements by companies are true to the best of their knowledge and if incorrect they are stated. Because billions of dollars is traded based on the statements, pensions and 401k's hold these securities. This doesn't mean every claim has to come true. It means if they report their financials they need to be accurate or they'll end up like Jeff Skilling, in jail. So when people say oh they made this financial figure up, or they lied about that in their announcement, or as you did used a wrong formula they ignore the massive deterrent to that. They ignore that if it had happened there's a duty to disclose that and no such disclosure happened so it's extremely unlikely that such a mistake was made. So conspiracy? Yeah it i think without indication that the financials are incorrect other then angry webos fans i call it a conspiracy.

And honestly if they were wrong about webos, if it was gonna be so profitable, why didn't Meg, "No the numbers are clearly wrong. There is no way we can pass up all that profit. Start ramp up production. She was named CEO in September, hell it's not like they didn't keep selling lots of touchpads for a few months after. It's clear because it's not profitable.

Good post.
I think we are going circles on this. We knew webOS failed for HP.

I was being sarcastic when I said Cathie Lesjak's spreadsheets have errors. What I meant was that HP officers did not lie. But they knew the the best and worst scenarios of this acquisition. So all of a sudden they close the unit and use the numbers to support them.

This is how the CFO put it,
We failed.
It will take long time to succeed.
Its a risk.

I am fine with the explanation.

However if I was the largest shareholder I would have lost 20% of my money on single day. I would demand to know why on earth they wanted to buy Palm. Whoever involved with this mess needs to be shown the door.

well sorry for the typos. i tried to edit my post and clearly inserted on thought smack dab in the middle of other.

Well sarcasm is fine. I just doesn't transfer well on the web. But i thought you were restating that line of reasoning because honestly i've heard it mentioned seriously like that they lied about the numbers or it was much more profitable but they just wanted to kill webos. That makes no sense. It only helps hp if it was profitable. Regardless what i was trying to state is that if after reporting numbers and finding out they are incorrect they have a duty to publicly restate the numbers.

Another point is they actually announced early. That's is what companies do when they have horrible news so as to soften the blow. But companies don't pre-announce bad numbers as a lie when they are actually good. That's just kinda illogical. It flys in the face of the idea of fabrication. If they'd fabricated numbers one it's usually good numbers when they are actually bad not the other way around and typically they don't pre-announce. I know you were being sarcastic. But that's a line of reasoning i've heard.

Hurd wanted to buy Palm and they already showed him the door. I'm sure others thought it was a good idea. If It has to be agreed to by the board to buy them so they agreed. Personally i thought then and think now buying it is a bad idea for anyone not willing to spend billions on what is needed to make it competitive with android.

There biggest shareholders today are a bunch of Hedge Funds. Dodge & Cox, Vanguard, Black Rock, State Street. Institutions own 74% of HP. Doesn't look like more then 5% by any single one though. Those guys can probably get some hp execs on the phone i'm pretty sure. Now i'm sure they aren't getting too decent an answer. interestingly it lists hurd and Leo still as shareholders but who knows if it's true. Plus i'm sure some of Leo's haven't vested or more likely are not worth anything at the moment as i'd bet the exercise price is higher then the price it is now.

They bought it to get a consumer tablet out quickly and remain relatively hands-off AS LONG AS webOS made certain short term sales and revenue milestones. It didn't even clear those tiny hurdles despite hundreds of millions in promotions and several temporary price cuts.

End of story.

So what are you saying webOS sucks ? and hardware sucks ? right ?
No problem, we are with you on that. I hope you get it.

Now the issue is HP thinking that they make 100 billions or 50 or 25 or 12.5 .... in one year with 1.2 billion investment , that to me is ,,,,, hmmm lets put to perspective, going to Vegas and start playing slots hoping that you make a billion in one year.

For comparison sake NPD just announced that Android might match iOS in 2015.

T h a t i s t h r e e y e a r s f r o m n o w.

Have a god evening.

Looking forward to having a god evening. ;-)

But seriously, no one is saying webOS sucks. That's a silly misreading of what I said. Merely that HP invested in webOS in good faith that they could meet a series of milestones. They flunked the first tests. That's it.

You fail to meet performance goals at a job, you get fired.

You fail to meet them in a class, and you do not get to pass.

So why is Leo and Meg and the rest of the board so wrong for killing the hardware?

Saying that all is Palm business group's fault is untrue. webOS under performs in many ways and hardware could be better, but Leo's fault is evident. Releasing media and content consumption device without any content available was suicide and that was Leo's fault, and other members of top management were also responsible for fiasco. Device design, price and segment positioning are high above PSG or GBU. Decisions of that kind are in realms of top management.
Android on tablets is shit, I have one and it's unbearable. I saw Touchpad performance and it outperforms my Galaxy Tab. I don't use it at all and I'm using only IPad, but still, people are buying Android tablets because content that is available. If Hulu, Netflix and some of top digital entertaintment companies were behind webOS and price was more realistic, story of webOS would be much different even with laggy performance and missing features.
Leo and top management were so focused on Autonomy acquisition and webOS was only unnecessary obstacle in their way to company transformation from hw to software and consulting. they haven't done their job right.


So on one hand, Palm were supposed to be hands-off running as a startup, and Leo stepping in an shutting their hardware down was BAD LEO.

On the other hand, Leo - not Rubinstein, McArthur, Bradley or any of the others - is now PERSONALLY responsible for getting media content, design, and other big decisions accomplished. So that's also BAD LEO.

So basically Leo is Satan incarnate because he meddled too much with webOS and also not enough. That's a CEO's job, of make all of the choices for his employees.