Round Table: Think beyond. | webOS Nation

Round Table: Think beyond. 30

by Derek Kessler Mon, 17 Jan 2011 1:00 pm EST

Welcome to Round Table, which is in fact not a table at all. Round Table is a continuing series on PreCentral where we pose a question to the staff and they provide their thoughts and insights. The question could be something simple like “how many Touchstones do you own, and where are they?” or something a bit more complicated, like “what’s to blame for the brain drain at Palm?” Or maybe we’ll just end up chatting about how much better the original Star Wars trilogy was than the prequels. Today, however, we’re wrapping up our three-part Round Table series: Think Big. Think Small. Think Beyond.

Adam: “Think beyond” is the wildcard here. From a physical device perspective, I think they are going to announce additional devices or form factors for the future--from things people expect like printers to things that none of us have thought of yet--and lay out a roadmap of where they see webOS going in the future. I hope they have some amazing ideas like Jonathan’s profile-independent device vision or Dieter’s concept of being able to load up an instance of your webOS device right in a PC’s web browser, but I really have no clue what they will come to the table with. I just hope that in the end, they can show how an innovative company like Palm (“small”) and a technology giant like HP (“big”) can come together and bring something to the market that is truly revolutionary (“beyond”) to put webOS back on the map. We will all just have to be patient just a little while longer!

Derek: Think beyond is a bit of a puzzler, but if I had to guess (which is totally in the spirit of Round Table), I’d say this is in reference to the next major version of webOS, and I’m going to call it version 2.5. webOS 2.5 is going to bring the massive interconnectivity that HP needs to build their webOS product ecosystem. The updated OS will also run awesome Enyo apps, scale with ease between multiple screen sizes, and hopefully bring much-needed updates to many of the built-in webOS apps. I do not expect to see 2.5 running on anything other than tablets or smartphones at this point - HP is going to need more than six months of work to bring webOS to devices like printers, PCs, and toasters. But don’t think that doesn’t mean they won’t talk about it. All this said, I see this interconnectivity taking a page out of the Foleo and not the Playbook: the tablet and smartphone and toaster will be able to operate entirely independently (you’re not going to need to hook up the tablet to your smartphone just to handle email). I hope that this means they’ve figured out how to implement sharing a Palm Profile on multiple devices. I also expect to see Phil McKinney and his magical flexible display.

Dieter: While we got a brief taste of what’s coming in webOS with the Enyo preview, HP needs to blow it out with webOS and right soon. webOS 2.0 was an incremental upgrade at best - every single native webOS app is feeling long in the tooth and a few are criminally out-of-date and out-of-touch with current trends. I’m looking at you, Maps and Email. While I think that “Think Beyond” is probably just a reference to HP teasing ever more devices running webOS - from Printers to Netbooks - what I *hope* is that it will be a meaty helping of information on the future of webOS.

Jonathan: My major expectation for February 9th is for “think beyond”: HP will launch (or at least announce) of a revolutionary new multi-device strategy for HP, centered on a broad cloud service accessed via webOS, where a user’s profile, apps and files are automatically synced across all webOS devices she owns (smartphones, PDAs, tablets) or logs into (printers, desktop clients). Intelligent algorithms will manage syncing to ensure maximum power efficiency and prioritize critical files, and HP will strike deals with carriers to exclude syncing from data use limits.

Mark: Think beyond must surely be referring to HP’s long-term vision for a unified webOS experience across multiple devices. The February 9th event is likely to roll out plans for a fully realized cloud-based computing experience. That is to say, the same data, content, access and UI experience regardless of your location or your device. I also think this is where HP and Palm have the greatest room to surprise us. I expect that Palm and HP will introduce cloud-based features that until now they have only hinted at and we have yet to think of.

Nathan: Think beyond is probably the most metaphorical of the three teasers, and probably does not specifically refer to anything in particular. Palm and HP want us to forget the dismal past and see the future as a limitless dreamland of possibilities. They have big, big plans for webOS and there is no limit to what they will do with it and how big it will grow. There are probably ideas that have been kicked around HP board rooms that we could never even dream of. Maybe a desktop OS version of webOS to take on Google’s upcoming Chrome OS and truly bring to reality the prophecy of the cloud-based OS? Maybe webOS powered cash registers for retail outlets? It is anyone’s guess and they want us to keep guessing and look at HP/Palm the way many people look at Apple and Google: like they never know what those tech giants will come up with next but they cannot wait to get their hands on it.

Rizwan: With HP taking a huge gamble by completely pulling out of the Windows 7 slate development and essentially disappearing from CES, I can only imagine that they’re coming to this prepared. Bearing that in mind, I only have wildly ambitious hopes for what this means: To me, “Beyond” means a cohesive ecosystem. The kind that can only come when you’re a massive hardware company with it’s own polished OS. I think “Beyond” is going to be a range of products and peripherals: a roadmap for webOS in 2011. A tablet, sure. But I also see this as being Atrix-like touchstone connections: desktop workstations with monitors and keyboards. Printers. Cloud-linked services for streaming your content from your PC to your webOS device. Heck, I even see a webOS notification watch that pairs over bluetooth, synchronized to your handset.

In the end, it has to be a range of products to get back in the game, and with a broad, cohesive ecosystem, you expose the problem with the current state of Android: Fragmentation, with hardware manufacturers having no idea where Android is going next (buttonless it seems) and consumers having no security that their fancy new tablet is future-proof for more than a few months (I’m looking at you, Samsung).

So, that wraps up this Round Table series: Think big. Think small. Think beyond. Comments are below - you know what to do.


I hope HP has some awesome "stuff" in February or we'll all be looking "Beyond" webOS.

The scary part is that this seems like a repeat of 2009. Palm eventually releases Palm Pre in June after waiting months for it after CES 2009, then about a month later, Apple releases iPhone 3Gs. So HP makes an announcement in February then Apple tweaks their iPad 2 and it will over shadow what ever HP announced and no one will jump on the bandwagon.

How can we trust that Palm/HP would not abandon the initial WebOS/HP TouchPad users just as they did with the initial Palm Pre users?

~~All I want for Xmas is a 4 inch screen, a hi-res screen, a fast little machine!~~

One month out of context, but who's counting? :P

I thought "think beyond" ment go get an Evo. Sad thing is....I think most of the homebrew developers did too.

How long will you be playing the Grim Reaper? I'm glad you got your dream phone. Have fun being locked in that contract watching more efficient phones pass you by.

I am returning my Evo today as my 30 days is close to an end. Loved the hardware, screen, and apps. Never got used to or liked the OS or the virtual keyboard. Waiting for HP's announcement 2/9 to determine my future.

I would love to see a Touchstone Plate - a large Touchstone charger that can accommodate multiple devices at once.

and dishwasher safe!

Think big = PalmPad.
Think small = Palm Phone.
Think beyond = HP printer.

I'm hoping "Beyond" and Apotheker's Enterprise focus means seamless network access in the office vs. outside...
full Exchange 2010 mobile features,
MS LAN access to files (in network and/or through INet), easy automated networking tasks (maybe app capabilities) such as Active Directory integration,password resets, file transfer to/from networked pc's and servers, connection to VOIP phone system, Corp. IM, etc.

I think Jon and Mark nailed it.
Think Beyond = All your data are belong to us (aka, "Cloud")

You're all wrong: On Feb 9, HP is simply going to announce its romantic dinner plans for Valentine's Day with Palm, its new hunny-bunny!

:) I like that.

Or better yet, "Think Beyond" = Everyone write down your thoughts on what you want because we're clueless and we need ideas. We'll implement them and not credit or repay you in any way. Then we'll tell you it's coming in the coming months but when the coming months arrive, we'll have a bigger announcement of more stuff that's "just coming".

Maybe one we could possibly see webos on house hold applianced.Maybe a HP dishwasher,washing machine,dryer,refrigerator,and yes a toaster all running WebOS syncing with the cloud and interacting as one ecosystem.Now that's what you call synergy!! Did I just predict the future or gave HP some ideas??!! Only time will tell.But remember I called it first.

As sarcastic as your comment was, webOS appliances are a real possibility,

Think of a webOS refrigerator w/ a bar code scanner and weight sensitive shelves... as you put a gallon of milk on the shelf, the bar code reader enters the date and weight into the data base. you consume the milk, or when it's expiration date passes, you are notified that the milk is gone (or, gone bad), and it's added to the shopping list. ...or, better yet, the list is sent to Peapod and everything just gets delivered... (screw food shopping, I hate it.) ;-)

Think Beyond-

Flexible displays such as a wristband smartphone, or a roll-up 15" "tablet" computer

Future of inductive charging, such as being build in to desks and countertops of the future, so whenever or wherever you lay your device, it's charging.

HP is working on two things: memristors and flexible displays. Any chance memristors are in the works for a WebOS device?

Like I said in the other forum, I think Beyond is Beyond HP and Palm to a partnership with Amazon to create one e-reader to rule them all: the Amazing Amazon SuperKindle, powered by HP WebOS (to vanquish Android's nook color and Apple's iPad).

Think beyond is a Kindle app that when you open an ebook the LCD goes dark revealing an e ink display...and that cloud stuff too.

It's not the hardware that I am waiting for, but that would be great. If HP doesn't get a lot more software developers on board ASAP, the hardware just won't be enough.

something big is going to happen with the cloud service. I think that's why Sprint is rethinking their unlimited data plan and bumping up the price expecting a great jump in usage from Sprint users insince a large majority of Pre users are on that net work. The next phone will be great and I think worth the hype they are going to make use about it. Cloud storage is goingto be a haveto in order to get this great idea of an ecosystem of interconected devices. I just really hope that they have been taking their time with this cuz they want to get it right off the bat and not have this great idea fall flat.

Think beyond...the fact that we have nothing real right now, but look at what we have coming in the coming months...

Think beyond now. Think beyond what we say we can deliver in the now (which is nothing) to what we might possibly have for you in the future, when we will perfect yesterday's technology for the now, which will then already be the past. And in the spirit of looking forward to looking to the past, we are pleased to announce or forthcoming announcement.

cool story, bro.

glad someone mentioned the watch, that's what i'm really hoping for ;]

apps is an important component for webos to grow, and I hope hp improves on that. But I also feel that webos has to offer content as well. Apple does a great job offering movies, tv shows, and music and alot of people forget how regular iphone users also use those part of their phones. Hp need to establish some sort of contracts with the film and music industries to offer their contents on webos devices. Hopefully that's what amazon integration will bring. On another not, I hope that the new webos smart phone comes with a set of beats earbuds.

Did any of you see this:

"HP to ship 45 - 48 MILLION notebooks in 2011.

Almost 50 million notebooks. And I'm betting they'll ALL come with WebOS as the 'instant-on' OS, with the ability to check e-mails, surf, run PDA apps, play your music, watch videos.. - all without even booting Windows (which you'll still be able to do, of course, if you're prepared to wait...). Add QuickOffice to that and I start to woder just how often I really would boot Windows...

Add to that the forecast of 6 - 7 million WebOS tablets. And how many smartphones? Maybe 5 million?

By the end of the year, there could be well over 60 million WebOS devices out there. That's a big enough ecosystem to attract ANY developer.

When I think beyond, I would love to see a webOS based Media Center complete with a webos based touchscreen remote control.

Here's hoping that the predicted inter-connectivity of devices means that the Tasks and Memos apps will be updated and synergized somehow!

Instant On (Ö), are you serious? We had that on the Vx and now have one of the longest booting phones on the market. Let's adjourn the optimist club and just hope HPalm can maybe come up with a decent marketing plan!

My hope is for a Motorola Atrix type setup. Having a device that has a desktop and notebook dock is genius. How cool would it be NEVER to have to sync your laptop, desktop, and mobile device? Cloud? We don't need no stinkin cloud!

My ultimate device would be a Palm Pre sized phone (running webOS of course) that docks into an, I mean a Topaz tablet, a notebook, or desktop dock.

Now I know the processing power in small devices isn't quite there yet, but what if there were a way to combine the processing power of the docks and the phone? I think you could have a true alternative to the traditional computing paradigm.