Microsoft jumping even deeper into the hardware pool with Surface tablet [the competition] | webOS Nation
 
 

Microsoft jumping even deeper into the hardware pool with Surface tablet [the competition] 68

by Derek Kessler Mon, 18 Jun 2012 10:10 pm EDT

Alternate Title: How do you feel about webOS now, HP?

Microsoft jumping even deeper into the hardware pool with Surface tablet [the co

So today out in Los Angeles brought forth an interesting piece of hardware: a tablet running Windows 8 (nothing exciting there, we've seen plenty of those) to be built and sold by Microsoft (wait, what?). Yep, Microsoft is diving headfirst into the hardware pool with their new 10.6-inch Surface tablet. It's a strange entrance, not that the tablet itself is strange, just the way that Microsoft is going about things.

First and foremost is the idea that Microsoft is going from wading into hardware with the successful XBox series and a series of otherwise complete and utter duds (Zune, Kin, et al) to performing a cannonball at the swim meet where it's supposed to be the coach. The introduction of the separete-but-sort-of-the-same-but-still-different Nvidia- and Intel-powered Surface tablets strikes us as not only unusual, but possibly threatening to Microsoft's third party manufacturers.

It's a problem Palm had to deal with when they tried to license Palm OS to Sony and other companies while also making Palm-branded hardware themselves. It led to the company being split into two halves over the concerns of Sony and the like with competing with their supplier.

We can't help but imagine that Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and everybody else who has plans to build or has been considering a Windows 8-based tablet is feeling a little anxious right now. Palm, even when one company, wasn’t a particularly powerful firm. Influential and well-known in the mobile space, yes, but not a force to be reckoned with.

Microsoft, on the other hand, is a force with which the companies and many more are going to have to reckon. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says the point of the Surface tablets is to "prime the pump," so to speak, but we can't stop thinking of it as the swim team coach yelling, "Let me show you how it's done!" and jumping into the pool at regionals in front of stunned students and their family.

Will the entry of Microsoft into the tablet hardware space send chills down the spine of their hardware partners? No doubt the idea has been for some time. But will it be enough to send these companies in search of alternatives, and what are they going to find?

If Microsoft's Surface foray proves to be successful, it could both assuage and stoke the fears of hardware partners - simultaneously demonstrating demand for Windows 8 tablet products while delivering that product, brand loyalty, and profit exclusively into Microsoft's lap. If it goes poorly it will assuage and stoke the fears of hardware partners - simultaneously demonstrating that Microsoft can't single-handedly upend the established order of the Windows ecosystem and that customer demand for Windows 8-powered tablets isn't what they had hoped (or is exactly what they feared).

Either way, we have little doubt that Microsoft's Surface is going to send more than a few hardware manufacturers on at least a side quest to see if there's another operating system worth considering. They'll find two: Android, which people know but have been reluctant to buy in expensive tablet form, and webOS, which is in the process of an open source transition with questionable support from the company that's pushing it into open source. It's hard to gauge customer demand for webOS in tablet form, given the incredibly odd and short shelf life of the TouchPad tablet. And with webOS being open source, tablet manufacturers would be able to customize it as do with Android, and much unlike what Microsoft is allowing them to do with Windows 8.

So here's the big question: Does Microsoft Surface provide an opening for webOS? Yes, it does. It's a narrow one and it'll require that HP and the Open webOS team play their cards just right if they have any hope of convincing somebody to make webOS tablets where HP didn't have the will to succeed. Then again, maybe HP could just try again themselves.

68 Comments

It is fun to dream that someone would snap up webOS and re-present it to the world. I was showing my Pre2 to someone yesterday, and he said "Wow...that's pretty slick. How come I've never seen that?" I'm still hoping for open source to where I can boot webOS on a new piece of hardware...to think that it would be released again on new hardware is almost too much to wish for. Would be so nice...

open webOS Ahoy!
 
HP can't make hardware sexy like that, so they'll have to differentiate with software.

I'm not a MS hater, but just how many platforms can MS support successfully? You talk about Android fragmentation or IOS being a closed system, but MS is all over the map. I like the RT version, but in order to be successful it needs to be sub $300 (pref $250). The upcoming Acer Iconia A210 (with similar specs) is being targeted at this price range. Then there is the x86 tablet. Why do we need a x86 version? I mean really. Most of the x86 legacy software is not optimized for tablet use. Seems like a good idea, just not a practical one. The x86 version will be too expensive, so expensive that you might as well get an ultrabook with an i7 chip. Don't believe me? Read the Windows 8 Pro Tablet specs, "Pricing: To be determined; competitive with ultrabooks". Sounds like upper $700 to me. Instead of increasing manufacturing costs, MS should bombard every platform with their software suites. How cool would it be if MS made a Metro interface (ala HTC Sense) for android or IOS? or Visual Studio for the iPad? People would gladly pay for it. Google just has to drop the Nexus 7 on the market and Apple a 7 inch iPad, that would be enough to flood the market and make it extremely hard for MS to be get a foothold. Stick to what you do best MS, write great software.

Where you see fragmentation, I see unification.
Just imagine being able to use most, if not ALL your desktop apps on your tablet w/o having to pay for them again.... The Pro version with pen input looks promising ...I'll be buying one...The RT version, not so much.

I am still looking for my first occurrence of user-impact fragmentation in Android. One thing is clear, the LG Optimus is a device to avoid. But the Evo line and Galaxy series phones....its one big happy functional phone.

Fragmentation was the WebOS rally cry against Android. In the end, just about every device had their own WebOS required version, and few apps supported more than one of them. You had your Pre/Pre+ fragment, Pre2 fragment, Pixi fragment, Veer fragment, Pre3 fragment, and tablet fragment. Now that is Fragmentation done with Malice Majure!!!

All this fragmentation, clearly Sprints fault. And Obama helped.

Hmm, webOS is "long dead" and your still here bashing? Wow. Anyway if you had an Android device and spent 4.6 seconds in the Play store, you'd see in the reviews the 100's of "Doesn't work on my phone! " and "This is not compatible with my XX phone! ". Heck, you'd even experience it yourself.

So if you're gonna sit here claiming Android fragmentation is a myth... Yeah ok buddy. /smh

WebOS isn't fragmented? The most popular WebOS phones only run1.4.5.1 unless you try and kludge 2.0 in.

@cobrakon, didn't say "long dead", said fragmented. WebOS has become a hobby. Ham Radios and canning vegetables are not dead, neither is WebOS.

And I've always said, stay away from fringe hardware on Android. It's as poorly supported in some cases as WebOS products. Feedback on devices like the Optimus and Replenish are bad, buy an odd bit of hardware, pay the price.

Each device on WebOS pretty much has it's own o/s version that may, and often isn't, supported by apps. Each device, it's own o/s, all devices made bay Palm/HP. That my friend, is the ultimate fragmentation.

And I didn't say fragmentation on Android is a myth, WebOS is a glass house, a total poster child for fragmentation. I noted the irony that our old rally cry bit us on the behind.

Anything else I didn't say you'd like to take issue with?

So in your purview, everything is fragmented, even Apple. iOS 6 can be installed on iPhone 3GS, but it won't work 100% (no Siri). Fragmentation.

Yet unlike Apple, there's plenty of Apps (the majority of the ones I have at all, in fact) that work on both my Touchpad and my Pre 2 (albeit in tiny phone emulator mode, but it's still there.) My Pre 2 isn't running on webOS 3.0.5, yet the app still works.

Different OS versions in webOS is not an absolute qualifier for fragmentation.

What apps are not running other than Siri on an iPhone G3s?

The iPhone G3s was released at the same time as the Pre and the debut of WebOS.

The iPhone G3S is supported with current iOS software. It is slated to get the iOS 6 update as well.

What WebOS version did Palm or HP send out as an update to the Pre?

@rennock, Pre wont run 2 or 3, Pixi can't run all that Pre can because of screen size and subgrade processing, Pre2 can't run 1 or 3 and could not do TTS, Veer could not run 1 or 3, and had an odd screen size the blocked some Pre3 apps, Pre 3 could not run 1 or 3, TP could run some 2 apps but stuggled with 1's despite the higher hardware capacity. Most apps were written for 1, the best apps were written for 3....fragmented.

Unification indeed! Last week while laptop shopping I was dreading the impending Windows 8 drop. Now that I see how they're completely rounding out the ecosystem, I'm actually looking forward to it.

By my math, the bigger 8 version with tactile keyboard is a form factor that just edges out (or close to it) the small MacBook Air. Run tablet and full-fledged desktop apps? Still play nice with all my old stuff? Have it light and sexy at the same time? Yes please!

The smart cover that doubles up as a keyboard is pretty interesting....

Agree...110% and love what they showed.

Some aspects...ran into problems (OS wise and system glitches), but the Smart Cover looked rock solid and I like what they did almost completely hardware wise. Smart Cover, Integrated Stand, Modern Hardware Support, and the lists goes on.

OS wise...hmm...noticed a bunch of hits and misses during the presentation (very much like webOS two years ago when they introduced Palm Pre to the market). WebOS wasn't perfect and it didn't get better till webOS 2.04 almost 6-months after its initial release on Sprint.

That is scary proposition coming from Microsoft and too be honest...what does this mean above Microsoft future plans and hopes when it comes to its new OS. Microsoft is smart...really smart and has a way of pulling out the magic if and when needed, but if HP released webOS today and expected to hit a home-run compared to IOS 6...I just don't know.

Either way, I love what I saw and glad to see MS stepping up to the plate and making their own dream hardware happen. Sorli...

It's freakin' awesome and an answer to old desire. Only bummer is the screen won't stay up right without the kickstand having something to rest on.

Hate to say it, but if all this sexy was wrapped up in an ultra-premium version of the Transformer form factor (self-supporting hinge... extra battery optional in the base), it would be perfection.

Still, this is so svelte while giving me buttons that I likey!

I'm with you @jelvis. All my android friends say that they would use webOS if it was presented/ported to a better hardware (they liked the Pre³ btw) and a "little" more apps wouldn't hurt at all.
And yes, I do think that any well driven/marketed/business_planned company would see that this is the wakeup call to put a 100% effort into their own $ 1.3 bill ($ 3.3 bill w/loses ¿…?) mobile OS which is envied/admired by the most reckoned mobile gurus (Jobs once said he appreciated webOS' influences on the mobile OSes) and if well implemented, presented and executed, could flourish into what its potential has always dictated!
Thank you!
LONG LIVES webOS!!!

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In one of the Forum chats, I talked about why people shouldn't be so quick to dismiss webOS. Yes it can fail. But yes it can rise to the challenge. The only certainty in the Tech World, is that it offers no guarantees - the mighty rise, and the mighty fall - ask Nortel. But, it`s also a world where weakness became an art that Apple perfected to success.

What webOS represents to HP, is more than just an operating system. It may occupy a small fraction of net worth, but it also represents an avenue for HP to remain where it has been for so many years - a giant in the computing world.

http://forums.webosnation.com/webos-open-source-general-discussion/31417...

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Assuming that HP Shareholders would like to remain amongst the top tech companies, it`s reasonable to believe that recent circumstances might dictate HP having their own OS.

Google has Android & Motorola
Apple has the Ipick-your-consumer-tech-good, and software iOS
RIM has CrackBerries & Playbooks ..... and BB10 -
And Microsoft, the purveyor of software, and normally not a Competitor for HP in the PC world, about to be like those above - A Windows tablet maker & software guru.

Which leaves HP - a supposedly large dynamic company - now playing with the little guys. And in an area they once dominated - personal computing devices. Mimicking to a certain degree, with how RIM has given way to its competitors. The difference being though, HP has a much stronger stomach to handle the crowd.
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How it battles its competition, is how HP's fortunes will be decided. For me, webOS is a no brainer. They've written off the 2 Billion dollar brain fart. And now they have a software that could excel - with Homebrew enthusiasm, and HP support behind it. Add the fact that HP has all kinds of hardware that was almost started, or barely allowed to surface.

That all has to mean some value, should HP make the right decision and play like a Big boy. And not the cowardly lion that was Leo.

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> ...a supposedly large dynamic company ...

Supposedly not as bureaucratic paperwork apparently gets in the way to often. Being huge is not necessarily always a benefit — that makes a difference anyway.

This is a game changer no matter how you look at it and WebOS had better be looking like the future when open source is released, not 3 years ago.

Agree, this is a game changer. webOS is really beyond reviving if no hardware is released by either HP or third parties this year. After that everyone will move to another platform. Even I felt teased by this new offer.

So HP it's your move now. Still want to be in the hardware game? Better start competing with a compelling offer. Choose between competing with Microsoft or having your own ecosystem based on webOS? Shouldn't be a hard choice. No money to invest? Better stop and get out of the hardware market and dump webOS (still hope to have an open webOS release for my current devices though).
Maybe Leo's idea to move out of the hardware was not that bad after all.

> ...it'll require that HP and the Open webOS team play their cards just right ...

Can they, or is that gonna put the last nail in the coffin for webOS?!

From previous articles outing inside information from HP, it seems they have huge obstacle in making innovation take years instead of months, making it necessary to predict a fast pacing market years ahead — a tough job if you're not creating the market trends.

So, there are three parts of the population to convince here; the iPad accepting/worshiping mass, the alternative-accepting mass — and the occasional nerds. Neighter will put up with mediocre products/hardware if they are somewhat enlightened about alternatives.

The firs lot will easily be lost to the almighty god-pad (yes, I deliberately omitted the capital G), and the nerds are best served with for instance Samsung/Asus ... stuff made for android, that we can slap our belowed OS onto.

The second lot can be more easily convinced, but not with more mediocre attempts. It will just be another hard earned "lesson". Time is essence, and HP can't afford to play with to much of it unless another failure is the "goal".

HP needs to look towards Asus's innovative pace and learn a lesson. Downsizing the business is hopefully done by removing a lot of middlemen and procedures/protocols that hold innovation back until it's less than mainstream functionality/solutions.

Everything so far has indicated that Open webOS has nothing to do with targeting new, innovative hardware and everything to do with just shoring up the OS for the Open Source community. Which, honestly, sounds like BeOS-level talk.
 
Unless something is announced soon hardware-wise to complement the Open webOS project, well, there's a level of futility here that I don't think HP's "investment" is going to recover from.

A Microsoft tablet? Meh.
I want my brand new cutting edge wOS tablet, please!

Me too!

This is gorgeous. I hate a 16:9 tablet, so I stay on webOS.
(Win8 for the touchpad? pretty please?)

WebOS, as a mobile and tablet operating system, has always been and still is, amongst us and in the IT press, well received.

What let it down, in terms of not enough apps and insufficient market penetration, was perhaps the lack of hardware quality and choice, as well as poor marketing.

Our best hope may be for an OpenWebOS that can be ported onto a non-webOS mobile/tablet. I hope so.

Then after say a year of hopefully increasing numbers of webOS users and apps, new hardware dedicated to OpenwebOS may follow.

By the way, there is rumour of a Facebook mobile in next 12 months, but what might its platform be, a version of Anrdoid or OpenWebOS or switchable between the two...?

I don't know what reviews you're reading, but webOS has, from the start, always been received in a "it's awesome, but it suffers from dealbreaking issues" sort of way.]

When will you people realize that webOS is dead! Sheesh

The moment you stop coming here to tell us webOS is dead, is the moment we realize it. As long as people have to keep telling us it is dead...

webOS is the zombie that has been modified to have 2 brains and 3 hearts, so there is always a sequel that will have you coming back to see what is going to happen next.

Stay tuned. See you back soon.

Well said my friend...

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I hate giving out those +Ones .... but in this case ...... +1
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WAKE UP, HP!!! THIS IS YOUR LAST WAKE UP CALL!!!

MS is officially in the hardware business now. Please, please, please see the writing on the wall. If you continue to just make hardware for Windows (any version), you need to realize that you are (and will continue to be) competing against any number of other hardware manufacturers; now even MS will compete with any tablet/laptop hardware you make. If you think that your profitability has suffered from the decline in PCs in the last few years, just imagine what that will be like without a real foothold in the growing mobile world.

The success of Surface will be dependent on many factors, but price, cross-platform compatibility and the adoption of the "metro" interface will be some of the primary ones.

Regardless...almost the only way that HP can truly compete now is to harness the power of WebOS and GO ALL IN! Remember the goal of putting WebOS on PC and every other type of device?!? You may want to reconsider doing that...including phones. I'm not saying to stop making hardware for other OSs...hell...keep making Windows-based stuff if you like, but you need to develop WebOS hardware (and software) NOW. In the near future, Android devices may be primarily made by the former-motorola (& Google). We know where iOS is. We now know where MS is going. HP...WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU GOING?!?!?

Yes.

Good news for WebOS its all I can say...
HP it's your turn now!

I'm chuckling at how you guys see this as an "opportunity" for webOS. Let's see...a compelling new device from Microsoft with a slick OS and top-notch hardware (or so it appears) and plans to actually release a product by end of the year. That's a wonderful opportunity for webOS and HP to, uh...what was the argument again?

It's a great opportunity for HP to make Windows tablet clones (competing with Acer, Levono and the Koreans should give them huge profit margins) and transition their webos team to designing HP crapware for Windows Metro!

This article is fantasy - nobody is going to put out a WebOS tablet to compete against the Windows Tablets - especially the pro one - which enterprise is going to pick a WebOS tablet over a windows one - not even HP will do that.

The real question is whether HP will stick to their dates and deliver a product in September or will they sheepishly scale down (is that even possible?) this endeavor and let it die off.

Only if that is achieved can you consider hardware possibilities and then the answer is still none from HP. They have real problems. They make a lot of mediocre machines ( the Touchpad was oh so mediocre) , a few good ones, that aren't differentiated and probably aren't that profitable. They aren't nimble or quick. Their plans are already laid out, good or bad, and my guess is that no division is including Webos in those plans.

If you're looking for equipment running WebOS, it's going to be homebrew porting it onto someone else's equipment. And it will probably be a tablet. But I want it on a phone. My Veer is nice and all that, but it's not the Pre3 that I was waiting for (Damn you, Leo, forever!) and I'm getting bored with it. I miss the updates and the excitement of something new. I have a pathetic life, I know. But, it is still a capable phone and system, just falling farther behind every day.

whitman told cnbc on May 24 that she is debuting a back to school win8 tablet. So presumably manufacturing already started. What will become of this, can it be repurposed for webOS? It would be great to get some reporting on this subject.

They would come back to the marketplace with open source WebOS 1.0? That would be more stupid than buggy WebOS 3 in last year's launch.

YUP!

Although it makes for interesting arguments and questions for their hardware partners, the price point for these is at $1000. Yeah, that's already an uphill battle for something that's not even on the market yet. Did they not learn from Xoom and their failures? Price point is almost everything right now.

Also, taking a play out of the handbook that just doesn't work well: Announce a product in June for a release "sometime" in the Fall. Really MS?

Well, I'm glad you were able to report hard numbers on price before anyone else, considering that Microsoft hasn't released any yet!

I guess I was the only one in the nation that read the article on CNN about it's price points according to MS? Windows RT (the first release of this tablet) will run on an ARM chip. This version will be priced "comparably" to other tablets on the market (already two different OS systems). The full versions will be on an Intel chip.

"The full Windows 8 version will be available three months later in 64- and 128-GB versions. Microsoft plans to set its price point in the same zone as ultrabooks, which typically run around $1,000." -CNN

If HP doesn't want to reinvest into building proper hardware to run WebOS, I don't think anyone else will. What's it going to be Meg?

She has already told everyone. Open WebOS with a team that has been gutted.

And then compete with the subsidized Asian W8 tablet manufacturers for a scrap of that market. Sure to be hefty profit margins there.

DJ Probe McGee

The only thing that some people do is blame marketing or a CEO for the failure of the Touchpad.

The bad reviews are ignored, the fact that it was late in the game and already outdated seems to be swept under the rug.

There was a huge marketing campaign for the Touchpad. It didn't sell. If anyone believes that HP is going to release a new tablet with open WebOS, they are dreaming.

Ditto all Android tablets. HP was the best seller with the highest name recognition aside from the iPad when it was killed.

In reality, not until it fell to fire sale prices.

The number being used for #2 is the number of units shipped to retail, not the number that were sold to customers.

Best Buy sold around 25K units in the 6 weeks before the fire sale but they ordered 250K units,

At retail it was dubbed the Ouchpad.

Touchpad was General Custer, known more for it's death, than it's life.

You guys are drunk. This will never spark life into WebOS. It died with the Great Pumpkin. Move on already!

But why should we move on, when you havent moved on. WebOS is that ex-girlfriend you always go back to, for whatever reason. She has money, she can cook, you have a baby by her, or whatever. That is webOS, and that is why a lot of people are still here visiting, trying to see how we are doing.

We are ok, Bruh-Man, we are ok.

Can we get a couple of dollars 'til times get better?

Lmao!! ^^^^^ The ex-girlfriend reference was hilarious! Well played 48, well played!

Hahaha well said...

No, webOS is that ex-girlfriend that commands a morbid interest in the increasingly desperate calls for help through stupid meme images until you can't take anymore, because it's become so absurd and insular in its degree of hatred that you can't help but feel sorry for her and her remaining friends that actually remain. It's more of a sideshow people take marginal-but-vested interest in than a legitimate display of actual potential at this point.
 
Not to say it isn't interesting from a sociological point of view, but it's at best a masochistic display of believers to continue thinking that there's some sort of retail relevance that'll come of Open webOS given how many retailers they burned the second time around. And, believe me, as someone that's been there with a retail webOS device since June 6, 2009, I'd love to believe...The Verge article pretty much validated everything many thought to be true; it was half-baked and the revolving door killed webOS.
 
How many people leaving does it take to convince people that even those involved in the creation of the OS no longer have faith, really?
 
So, based on your very own logic, your argument has zero merit, my friend.

After putting down my Google dictionary, I came to the conclusion that I first, can't stand my begging ex-girlfriends, though they did provide a service back then. Second, I can't think of WebOS as an ex, because I am still dating my Pre and my TP, and third, WebOS is still wonderful. Leo, with the help of HP, and whoever else, gave us a what if about WebOS.

I use my Pre to make phone calls, which it is great at. I use my TP or my PC when I want to do anything else. The only thing that I can think of that I dont like about my Pre is the navigation and maps. It could have faster Web browsing, but since I got my TP I dont use it for that enough to worry about it. I still have Free Tether, and all on my Pre-.

Before anyone asks, yes, I have tried others. BB, Evo, I went back to WebOS though.

On another note, I may get an Iphone next if it is bigger. Only if.

Thank you for reading.

Get the paddles. Clear! Whew, that was a close one, I thought we lost her for a minute.

Yeah, most people who have lost a loved one do come back and put flowers on the grave every now and then.

No different. However, ".....The dead are conscious of nothing at all ...." (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

I just want people to quit talking to the grave like someone is listening

RE: Money... Here is $2.00 fuyyah. Go to the pet store, buy a rat, to knaw that thing off of your face....

(Uncle Buck)

Bruh-Man, you're not just laying flowers, you're digging up the grave looking for one more kiss.

What HP needs to do is take their "Back to School" tablet, running Win 8, have the WebOS UI they talked about at "Think Beyond". Continue to make PCs with the WebOS UI available.
This would give people a "Plus 1" device. When solving issues with customers you always go "Plus 1". Give them a bit more than they bargained for.
I am not taking about the OpenSource WebOS, I mean the latest version, all upgrades, etc., including the tap to share for those lucky few that have Pre 3.
Offer a "New" back cover for existing Palm/HP devices, similar to the touch stone back cover that will enable tap to share. That is a "Plus 1". I would get that tomorrow if they offered it.
Continue to make HP hardware with Win 8. Offer the WebOS as an option or free. Imagine it on their touchscreen computers?
Once you get the millions of users with WebOS enabled Win 8 devices, you will have people clammering for more of those WebOS devices. Make calls from your computer (no skype), sync of contacts, calendars, etc. It is a no brainer.
Heck. Roll out a firmware update or software update for current HP computer owners to download and use on their devices.
We can even have OpenSource send to these devices for trial.
HP has so many avenues to chose from but they just don't.
And for those that say WebOS is dead, why are Pre Phones still selling for over 200.00 on ebay and touchpads still selling for more than that? Obviously there is still a demand.

Lots of requests for things for free,

HP should give people things for products off the market? For $99 Touchpads?

Is it free? No. It has been written off. They did the work on it already. What I am saying is include it on their laptops like they said they were. Included it on computers and any new tablets coming out, especially the win 8 tablets. This is an investment.
Get people interested in WebOS. If it is on their computer, they will see it. ALL THE TIME!
HP has an updated manager on their systems. Include on that update manager a listing of available apps for WebOS, user videos, etc. Bombard the consumer of HP products with this great OS.
Hell, include footage from Think Beyond. Phone integrating with tablet. The big seller is synology. If you have a HP laptop that syncs with your HP computer and your HP touchpad, whats not to like?
Recent events with MS EAS failing and changing protocols screwed many people like myself that have their contacts and email pushed to their devices and computer. This would solve that issue.
Good marketing gets the idea out there, implants it in the minds of the consumer with product placement, innovation. HP has the tools and it cost them nothing to do.

So if this thing succeeds, it might push HP to reconsider putting webOS on a tablet,
and if this thing fails..., it might push HP to reconsider putting webOS on a tablet.
Could it be that HP just might want to reconsider putting webOS on a tablet? ;)

P.S. HP may be out of the phone business, but what about at "Pre Touch" (or "Pre Player")?

I have always said that Bill Gate$ and MS were somehow behind the "failure" of webOS. If it had succeeded and HP, the #1 maker of PCs, put it on all of their computers- what would happen to MS and windows? That's a big chunk of change to fall off the table. I have no proof MS did anything to sabotage webOS...just sayin'
Now MS is jumping back in the hardware/tablet game. I'd love to see HP grow a pair and put them on the table. "We are going to continue to make hardware and put webOS on all of them". Going big and taking over...or going home trying. Never going to happen though. Risk/benefit is too risky.

It's a good OS, it just wasn't ready for release and it already had faltered in the marketplace.

"how did it get like this for webOS "

Hanky panky would be my guess. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

As it was, that single event initiated the rift in wedOS's timeline, that would expand once the ranks were adjusted for the umpteenth time. The new sheriff was in.
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To say webOS was hampered by a guy who wasn't enamored with his arranged marriage, would be understating things. He preferred the Bride in the clouds. And then in the interests of breaking-even, he presented a product before its' time .... Literally.

An unpolished piece of tech, with an unpolished piece of software, all for the low price of an ipad

Then he pulls off a brilliant move ... He pumps out a piece of hardware at a "we're new" price point. And it sells. Plentiful. Success at last.

Unfortunately, he did the right thing for the wrong reasons, and then proceeded to take it in another direction. None.

All this by the man whose "actual" success has been fleeting in the business world - which begs the question ... "How did he get this far".

Right now - he's irrelevant. What he did though, shouldn't be to HP. They're in uncharted waters - what some might say is where they've been for the last few years. Whether HP endures themselves to its' adopted child, is now in the hands of Meg and her merry band of Directors.

At least until September.
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Regarding the closing sentence: not a chance if Windows 8 pulls off its tablet trick. Firstly because it'll be a third major OS competitor. But more significantly, the level of investment that went into this new hardware combined with Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 and the opportunity Microsoft has with the new kernel changes? That's a significant barrier to make an attack on from any direction (even with a full Linux kernel backing webOS). Especially while still already flanked by the other two mobile OS players.