Setting webOS up as Plan B is the wrong attitude | webOS Nation
 
 

Setting webOS up as Plan B is the wrong attitude 75

by Derek Kessler Thu, 16 Feb 2012 2:20 pm EST

Hoping Android falters won't work

Yesterday HP CEO Meg Whitman spoke at the HP Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas, touching on HP's multi-year commitment to webOS. It's stuff we like to hear - that even though it will take a lot of time and investment, HP will stick with webOS over the long term.

And then Whitman went and said that webOS has an opportunity for adoption with Google's recently-approved purchase of Motorola. The idea is that the Google+Motorola hook-up could eventually lead to Android become closed source or a closed system as the two entities become more closely tied. While we have little doubt that Google will eventually play a strong hand in the planning, design, and execution of Motorola's portfolio, we also have little doubt that Android is going to go away any time soon, a point we discussed at length yesterday.

We don't need to go over again the points behind why Whitman's statement was off base. What we do feel the need to touch on is the attitude that could bring about such statements, the attitude that for webOS to succeed, Android must falter.

There's no denying that Android and iOS are the juggernauts in the mobile space. You know that the world has changed when Microsoft is the one struggling to gain even a sliver of marketshare. There's also no denying that Microsoft, BlackBerry, and webOS are facing an uphill battle on four separate fronts: customers, carriers, manufacturers, and developers. Apple and Google (and Google's hardware and carrier partners) have such momentum and talent pushing them forward that to hope they falter is like hoping Verizon falters so T-Mobile can take advantage.

It's not going to happen. Even if Apple or Google falters, they're not going to falter hard. How many missteps has the iPhone endured over the past few years? Lack of apps, lack of copy-paste, lack of multitasking, antennagate, locationgate, factory conditions, and so on and so forth. Android too has had its own share of issues and scandals. Yet every time they recover and come out stronger on the other side.

HP cannot position webOS as the open source fallback to Android. Sure, manufacturers are likely to give it a second look now that it's going to be free, and they're surely worried about Google's close relationship with Motorola. But they're going to keep making Android handsets for one simple reason: they sell, and they sell well.

Apple and Google were able to get into the position they're in because Microsoft had grown complacent. You can't count on that happening again soon enough for webOS to be a relevant player in the mobile market.

Customers, carriers, manufacturers, and developers need a reason to switch to or support webOS. "Android worries us" isn't going to work until it's accompanied by "We're making less money off of Android." Pitch the open development of webOS so that manufacturers can openly offer their input. Pitch the ease of Enyo app development and the ability to deploy those apps across multiple platforms to developers. Pitch the ease of multitasking, the power of synergy, and the straightforward simplicity of notifications to users.

Don't pitch that webOS should be Plan B.

75 Comments

I'm just glad there is a plan. don't get me wrong, i agree with you, but i remember when webOS was DOA and now we are talking about future plans.
I think Meg is on the right track with open webOS so far.
When i can load webOS on my wife's atrix, HP wont even have time for a plan B.

The reason for pitching webOS as Plan B is that it's much cheaper than pitching it as Plan A. At least Meg is realistic about what has happened over the past three years - webOS has been a company-selling, career-killing, customer-alienating, reputation-hurting, bridge-burning, train-wrecking money drain for everyone involved.

At least the current plan slows the webOS financial burn rate to a trickle and gives them 3-5 years to see what happens.

I am not saying you are wrong, but I wonder why people who believe what you've said as strongly as apparently you do waste time on a forum like this. I mean, what's in it for you. WebOS is a POS... understood.... so why do you waste your time talking about it on the internet?

It's not a matter of "believing" something or thinking webOS - THE PRODUCT - is a POS.

It's looking objectively at the numbers which are pretty easy-to-read metrics: How many apps, how many developers, how many units sold, marketshare year-over-year, how profitable it has been for the companies owning it, which carriers support it, etc.

And in every instance, these numbers make a case that webOS shouldn't be anyone's plan A. Or B, for that matter. Two separate companies have tried to make it plan A, and it failed miserably in both cases. Strictly talking market performance, not the OS.

That's the problem with people around here - they get mad and personally insulted when people call attention to the dismal market, developer, and adoption performance of the platform. Those are just the facts. However much you happen to love the product, you are in an extreme minority, and billions have been spent trying to change that to no avail.

.

Best response I've seen to the "why are you here" posts. +1

Really? Actually it was the worst response to a "why are you here" posts because his question was never answered. Still have no idea why the poster(and the like) Dan-o was referring to is here. I don't like the iPhone.So what right...But guess what? No on one on any iPhone forum would know that because I'm not posting my thoughts/feeling/opinions on those forums. That would not make any sense.

f you could comprehend, he never said he didn't like webOS. He pointed to objective data that supported his claims. You should read here with the intent to understand, not with the intent to argue.

It doesn't matter any way, he has every right to be here, so STFU. Why do you feel entitled to question people about why they are here? His post was cogent" and to the point.

*cogent |ˈkōjənt| adjective
Of an argument (or case) clear, logical, and convincing.

Alternatives from the thesaurus:
convincing, compelling, strong, forceful, powerful, potent, weighty, effective; valid, sound, plausible, telling; impressive, persuasive, eloquent, credible, influential; conclusive, authoritative; logical, reasoned, rational, reasonable, lucid, coherent, clear.

This is actually a great example that helps me make my point.

People around here dog the iPhone and iOS all day long. They say the UI is ancient and primitive. The multitasking is a joke. No synergy. Etc., etc.

YET, only the most zealous among them would even think of denying that it has amazing market performance, brand recognition, and has changed mobile AND desktop OSes and development forever. So you can say that it sucks (for your usage), while acknowledging that it's kicking tail in every objective metric.

So why aren't we allowed to do the converse for webOS? Why can't we openly discuss how it has helped ruin companies, garners poor sales across the board, has little-to-no respect from retailers, developers, and carriers and has failed in every objective metric? You can say all of that WHILE still liking or loving the OS personally.

If the talk around here seems out-of-balance focusing on the market failure and foibles of HP instead of how great webOS is, well...that's because this platform has been effectively in stasis on phones since early 2011 and the tablet arm barely lasted a month or two in Q3 of last year. Also, history shows us that when authority figures (in this case, pathetic mods) attempt to suppress talk of a subject, they usually end up achieving the reverse effect and spur it onward while also making the criticisms more relevant with their censorship.

yes, iOS obviously has more userbase & support than webOS, but honestly, do you even visit this site? We don't sit here all day & complain about how iPhone & iOS lack good things webOS has, we are concerned with NEWS ABOUT WEBOS!! So you try to come here & brag about iOS, when honestly, no one really cares, we are concerned with webOS, not iOS's advantages over webOS... So make sure you no what this site is for before you go around accusing us of constantly complaining... Smh

...but honestly, do you even visit this site? We don't sit here all day & complain about how iPhone & iOS lack good things webOS has...

Are you kidding me? I've been a member of this site in it's various versions since it was treocentral.com and I can assure you that since it became precentral.net back in '09 there has been a sizable and consistent stream of anti-iOS (and anti-Android) rhetoric found in the articles, comments and forum posts. There has been plenty

iOS has a stale UI

faux multitasking

high app count not real because it is loaded with fart apps

it is a tiny walled garden

it must be jailbroken rather than just placed in developer mode

it can be bricked

it didn't have cut and paste (until it got it)

it doesn't really launch apps fast it really tricks the user into believe that by showing a picture of the app while it loads

and on and on...

I've read more negative things (both true and FUD) about iOS (and Android) on this site than I've read on sites dedicated to those platforms.

You either don't visit this site much, have just started visiting this site or have a very selective memory of what has been posted here.

@taharka well obviously we are going to say things like that because we much prefer our webOS, but my point is that we are mainly here for information on webOS, we don't only come here to rant... Check what I posted and read it VERY CAREFULLY : )

Hopefully, PrePixiLove, smacking your head will jostle the part of your brain that handles reading comprehension. At no point did I "try to come here & brag about iOS". I don't even have an iOS device! So this part of your rant is pure gibberish. However, people here do savage iOS and Android all the day long. If you try to say anything complimentary about those OSes, mods quickly direct you to their enthusiast sites, so the only talk of them tolerated around here IS criticism and complaints. If you want to read iOS boosterism, why not read Derek's article at iMore on how awesome the iPhone 4S is and why it's the best phone on Sprint.

Ooops.....didn't mean to expose the hypocrisy. Lord knows, if I said as much in the forums here.....BAN.

I'm also concerned with webOS, but you're only allowed to cite things wrong with webOS so much as you blame them on HP, Palm, Leo Apotheker, carriers, and pretty much everything else except for the devices and software. It's always someone else's fault. It's a pretty sad situation. Of course, Taharka and myself have been around here far longer than these Johnny Come Lately's like Derek and the forum mods who censor anyone who dares to call out their hypocrisy and double standards. Dieter Bohn unfortunately left and took the integrity of the site with him.

prepixilove is 13. It's not his fault he hasn't
been here very long :)

@elfcat4 thx ^_^ ... Also, us webOS lovers are here to support webOS & obviously we are going to lose sight of some things (ex. Who caused webOS to fail)... iOS is so ubiquitious I'm very tired of it & we all know of Apple's greed & stories of Apple employees being overworked, but the people @ Palm created webOS & we love it... So we aren't necessarily close minded about other OSes, we just much prefer webOS because we (well I think all of us) have fallen in love with it & it was damned because of the lack of polish, VERY late releases, hardware which was never really great, & a number of other things.. But that's what sites like this are for, so people can come & support it & rant about how other OSes fail to compare to it in some areas

@jessictapley "Hopefully PrePixiLove smacking your head will jostle the part of your brain that handles comprehension..." my brain is perfectly fine & if you come on here & brag about iOS (by the waym you didn't have to say you came to brag cause you did), you're obivously going to piss off the whole site, if you didn't know.. So if you are banned, don't be surprised cause that just means you've pissed everyone off... Oops, sorry you didn't realize we all (well most of us) support webOS & will be pissed if someone brags about another OS

...will be pissed if someone brags about another OS

That can't be healthy.

nah shit obviously smfh

Relax, relate, release. Or, puff puff give. Anything. That anger will do you in. In the end, people will still come here and say what they want. I hope your ulcer is worth it.

I would like to believe that quality isn't related to popularity.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

What I would like to know is, what phone is Whitman carrying? Is she carrying, or at least extensively used a WebOS device? only when even the CEO is forced to (and eventually wants to) use the platform/device/OS as their primary device, will she understand the benefits WebOS provides and what it's missing.
As a CEO, I think Whitman should be focusing on three things (for WebOS), ramping up development, talking to hardware manufactureres (or at least one solid one) and getting third party developers on board. Until these three things happen, I find it difficult to be hopeful for WebOS.... as much as I want to and have been for the last 3 years!

I think it's safe to say that Whitman is probably carrying an iPhone. Everything we've seen from HP even under Whitman suggests that they are more interested in webOS as a tablet OS and for sprinkling it across the HP ecosystem. It's disappointing but at least she's shown more competence in her few months in office than the other three CEOs that HP has had since they purchased Palm.

i agree.
hopefully the demand for webOS significantly increases, then HP might rethink their stance on the mobile phone market.

Damn. I believe this post popped up from a Palm-era thread from two years ago. Keep hoping.

I think it's safe to say that Whitman is probably carrying an iPhone. Everything we've seen from HP even under Whitman suggests that they are more interested in webOS as a tablet OS and for sprinkling it across the HP ecosystem. It's disappointing but at least she's shown more competence in her few months in office than the other three CEOs that HP has had since they purchased Palm.

are you commenting from a webOS device? Lol I can tell cause when you refresh, it reposts your comment : )

Meg won't be carrying a WebOS phone, no support, and bugs (Pre3: accelerometer, alarm features requiring pin unliock etc etc). She probably never had a WebOS phone!

I'm more interested in finding out what interest there is among hardware manufacturers! I mean, OpenSource the OS, but it will be backroom boy stuff only, unless someone picks WebOS up as an option for new hardware, and can market it!

So in other words webOS should not be lumped in with unplanned pregnecy jargon! Plan B is a horrible way of putting it to possible buyers.

Yeah. WebOS is Plan A. Tagline "Totally Oral."

We don't need a manufacture who looks at webos as plan B. We need someone who is going to use webos as Plan A. Plan B is just a distraction to Plan A.

You've had two companies try webOS as Plan A, and it failed miserably. First Palm, which was "Palm" only by name, not by leadership. And then one of the largest tech companies.

My prediction is that Apple sues Giggle Phone back to where is belongs (an evil idea in the "Do No Evil" mind of Giigle's CEO) and HTC (et al) will have Windows Phone '07 for a licensing fee or webOS for free.

I think webOS' outlook, considering Apple's got iPhone patented to the hilt, looks pretty good right now.

Yeah, because calling it a "Giggle" phone doesn't make you sound like a 6 year-old or anything.

This all misses the point - in terms of the real costs of a platform, the actual OS is now the cheapest aspect - it's all the other stuff that costs billions and billions of dollars to create the ecosystem and the infrastructure to support it - who is going to pony up those billions of dollars?

Who is going to provide the hundreds of millions of dollars needs for marketing spend, to build carrier relations, to provides incentives for reps to push webOS hardware?

Horace Dediu (of Asymco.com fame) when asked about the changes of WebOS being successful sums up the problem perfectly:

"Symbian was open sourced as was MeeGo and LiMo. What are the chances that they will thrive? The answer does not depend on the ability to maintain the source code. The answer depends on their abilities to create viable ecosystems, meaning that they also create economic value for those that participate. The evidence so far points to ecosystems being successful only under integrated management."

Forget Android and iOS, WebOS will need billions of dollars to catch the failing WP7 platform yet alone get in sight of Android and iOS.

"Pitch the ease of multitasking, the power of synergy, and the straightforward simplicity of notifications to users."

Because that worked so well the first time around? Consumers didn't care before, they will not care this time around. All of that stuff is irrelevant compared to decent carrier relationships and the like.

Thank you!

To stand even a small chance in today's Android/iOS market, you have to spend billions upon billions with no hope of seeing a return on investment anytime soon. Microsoft is one of the few companies capable of that, so they are sticking with Windows Phone as long as it takes. Microsoft is motivated because they are building an ECOSYSTEM with consoles, possible set-top TV boxes, movies, music, PCs, phones, games, and the cloud.

HP is not capable of this, even if they had the will.There's no logical reason for them to sacrifice every penny of profit from printers and servers to have a CHANCE at making some smartphones and tablets. They have no interest in building an ecosystem. They dropped lots of BS hints about "music synergy" and putting webOS on netbooks and PCs, but it was all lies/smoke/mirrors. Now, they couldn't even afford to do that if they wanted.

"Pitch the ease of multitasking" and whatever else all you like. Isolated smartphones and tablets stand little to no chance in today's market. Even with Zune, Xbox Live games on Windows Phone, and 60K+ apps, Microsoft's ecosystem is considered to be lacking by many Apple and iOS users. webOS would need billions and a lot of luck to get even close to where Microsoft is!

Yeah... the ease of multi-tasking on a tablet with no gesture bar areas. It could have been a button press on the side of the unit along with a swipe anywhere within a perimeter of the tablet (to argue against "well, what about orientation?) ... anything.... but they delivered only swipe up using the first 1-2 pixels lines.

Or how about making the back of the tablet multi-touch for the full experience... and then some? Not much creativity went into the released version ... kind of like they expected it to fail.

Or how about making the back of the tablet multi-touch for the full experience... and then some? Not much creativity went into the released version ... kind of like they expected it to fail.

Way to miss the point of the previous two posts dude. You didn't even address them, instead ranting about a gesture area nobody gives a damn about anymore.

its pure deliberate PR strategy , shocking the mobile world thro such statements,
in a way its a good thing ,it'll increase the awareness about webOS,doesn't matter evenif people laugh at it.

webOS missed the "PR Boat" with the pasty faced pixie girl ads. That's when people started turning their heads when they saw the orange circle logo or heard webOS.

this might sound pretty far-fetched, but it is a better "what if" than android becoming closed sourced. since windows mobile is strugling, what if windows decided to only go after the tablet market pushing HP tablets and the new windows 8 offers a special sync/share option with webos phones much like the pre3 and palm tablet do. that would help micosoft focus on a market they can better handle than the phone market and possibly help hp promote webos. but wouldn't there have to be a way for webos to be on the tablets too, right? again, very doubtful and not not very thought out on my part, but the idea came to mind, so i typed it out... lol

Not far fetched at all .. But if something as cool and gimmicky as the TouchStone doesn't cause buzz, cross-platform syncing will do less. We've had that since the "real" Palm days.

I think the point that Whitman is trying to make is that Android is heading in the direction of Open Source Proprietary. I know that sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, but Google working directly with Motorola, as opposed to just letting their OS float around the ecosystem, will lead to a few aces up their sleeves that HTC, LG, Samsung, and the like won't be privy to off the bat. Even though something may be open source, these companies still have to compete in the global market. Having the Motorolla and Google under one roof is going to keep them more than one step ahead of their licensees. This could create a situation where Motorolla would always be coming out with better phones than the competition. Imagine, for instance, if Apple started licensing off iOS. Would anyone ever make an iOS product better than the iPhone or iPad? Unlikely.

HP staying out of the hardware game at this point puts them where Google was a few years ago. Yes they have the ability to make their own hardware, but they want to get the Open webOS ecosystem formed first. If it's true that Enyo framework has been downloaded over 50,000 times already, that's really not going to be a problem and Open webOS will be the first mobile OS released without the "where are the apps?" argument. I think over the course of the year we could see a lot of small shifts in the open source, HTML5, and mobile worlds. At this point, we can't ask for Open webOS to be Plan A, but it can damn sure be a Plan B that everyone knows about. If manufacturers really start feeling like they're falling behind Motorolla, they have somewhere to turn.

But you've just answered your own question - if OEMS get burnt because of the google/motorola relationship, why on earth would they want to jump onto WebOS where (and it's a big if) if it became successful, HP could simply leap straight back in?

I don't think HP wants to get back into webOS hardware development any time soon. Everyone knows how bad they got burnt on the last hardware generation. No one wanted to carry the Pre 3, and had they given the TouchPad a better chance and at a slightly lower price to begin with, maybe it would not have been as bad a situation as it ended up being. The only device close to being loved from the last webOS gen was the Veer, and, I mean, cmon. It's the Veer.

HP's known for computers, not for phones. Motorolla is known for phones. That's where the difference comes in. Until HP goes ahead and merges with a phone manufacturer, I don't think OEMs will feel threatened by the possibility of their re-entering the mobile hardware market.

That very well be the case. However HP can stay away from consumer market and use it for their printers. Or they can do a 180. Anything is possible. At present the situation is not looking good for LG,Samsung and HTC. Samsung will be the big loser here. Samsung is what made Android compete with iOS. Samsung is responsible for building the market share of Android.

Now, think for a second as the CEO of Samsung. They are attacked by Nokia everywhere but North America on feature phones. They keep fighting Apple in the court across continents Germany,Netherlands,Denmark,Australia.... the list goes on. With the Nortel patents transferring to Apple/Microsoft/RIM poor Samsung cannot make enough money to dole out to the patent trolls. From what I heard, Samsung gives $ 20.00 of the $150.00 profit on a $500.00 phone to Microsoft. And mind you Google does not share any search revenue with anyone. CEO of Samsung needs a plan B. And Meg is pitching it already.

Just as Leo quoted about "The iPad effect is real", "Low profit margins on Android phones is real".

An OS that doesn't sell is not a plan B - it is a plan to become the next Nokia. In that situation, as Samsung outsell other android OEMs hand over fist, the far more likely outcome is simply for them to do an amazon and fork Android - Samdroid if you will.

In a nutshell, Samsung don't have much time to perfect and continue to invest on Samdroid along with Android, Bada, Winmo, Yoda, Tinzen or whatever......

Besides don't assume that Samdroid will escape the wrath of Apple. Apple will hunt Sammy. Steve Jobs saved enough for next two generations of school children who wants to become lawyers.

So why would webOS be a plan B to this? The Galaxy S sales would literally be decimated if they switched to webOS' no-apps/middling performance ecosystem in lieu of Android. They'd still have to pay various patent royalties like Microsoft's ActiveSync.

They'd be slitting the throat of their golden goose. Meanwhile, you think Google WANTS to go against their number one manufacturer of Android just because they own Motorola? Is that why Samsung has gotten two successive "Nexus" standard-bearing phones to represent Google, while Motorola hasn't had one yet?

Giigle will develop a totally different look and stable OS for their Moto Mobility phones, and stick their now-loyal manufacturers with sub-par stock Android that gets updated and pushed by the carriers way too late. Apple is going to sue Giigle till it hurts. They will have to pay so much out in royalties that Android will have to charge a licensing fee to pay Apple for future phones -- if Apple decides to play and let them use their patents.

All of the big players are going the Apple way (once again). MS requires particular hardware and a select few manufacturers, with Nokia being number one. Giigle will control software and hardware at Moto Mobility .... once again ... JUST LIKE APPLE.

Derek, your point was well taken except that your solution is bad. The main issue with webOS was its not ready to fight iOS/Android. It is a slow buggy software that is elegant to use. Except the members on this forum nobody will appreciate the speed of the device. Fix the software first. Then talk about using it on awesome hardware. Once they fix the software and port it on existing Android hardware we can expect HTC,LGs of the world to talk with HP.

Until then its status quo.

i agree. And and as i stated below you need more bullets in your gun then the old multitasking and notifications. That wasn't enough before.

Meg Whitman might be carrying a Blackberry

Actually, positioning as plan B may not be a bad way to go.

Right now, there are a plethora of patent suits between Apple and Android device makers.

There are also several patent suits that have been threatened by Microsoft to gain revenue from Android sales.

The Palm patent portfolio is quite extensive. With years of development and filings, WebOS may be positioned to withstand such suit better then Android.

As such, if the patent cases go against Android, some companies may seek and alternative that provides a reasonable "patent shield" as plan B.

i always thought that, but you would think samsung or htc would have jumped all over webOS to hedge against the lawsuits.

I don't get this at all. Why would the OEMs who are afraid of the patent wars decide to choose the twice failed product that is webOS over the less failed and much better funded and managed WP7?

These OEMs already have a Plan B. What is webOS to them? Plan C?

WP7 is not open source. Royalties must be paid to Microsoft.

WebOS would not cost in royalties.

Also, keep in mind that OS choice for apps in the mobile market place is changing.

HTML5 "apps" are starting to arrive and the age of compatible browser being all that is needed for an app is approaching.

You have to pay royalties to Microsoft anyway if you use a phone with email/ActiveSync/exchange. That's true of every mobile OS including webOS. What good is having a lesser royalty payment anyway if you can't sell the phones?

No carrier support. No ecosystem. Reps steering customers away. Stores barely bothering to display webOS devices. We've been through this before.

WP7 is not open source. Royalties must be paid to Microsoft. WebOS would not cost in royalties.

As jesicatapely stated, there are still royalties to be paid. Also, I would argue that what could be saved if "some" of the royalties are removed would be spent a few folds over on the additional work that would need to be done in order to adopt webOS. Let's face it, there is a lot of work to be done in any version of webOS before it becomes competitive.

HTML5 "apps" are starting to arrive and the age of compatible browser being all that is needed for an app is approaching.

The thing about HTML5 "apps" is that they are already available for the major platforms. They've been available since '08 or '09. There are already lots of tools out there that help developers build these apps once and run it across multiple platforms (Sencha Touch, jqTouch and PhoneGap are all examples). Where is the advantage for webOS if what it brings to the table already exist? The last comScore numbers I looked at still show users are trending "towards" native apps, not away from them. Perhaps that will change at some point, but for now going "web app only" is not the trend.

Derek,

I agree with almost all of this except this line:

"Pitch the ease of multitasking, the power of synergy, and the straightforward simplicity of notifications to users."

They did that already from day one of the Pre minus. These things, "multitasking, synergy & notifications" are old news and not nearly enough. They've always had those three. Consumers already knows. They need to bring something new to the table. And its not enough to just be new it has to a "killer app", something more then a novelty. i don't think they can find success touting what they touted in 2009. For example, in 2009 apple introduced push notifications & copy and paste. Notice that we don't see them constantly repeating that they have copy and paste.

I think a betters strategy is to fill all the holes in the os, tackle every single one of the "wish list" things people have and you've written about and tout those as improvements and added features rather then the constant 3 year old drone that everyone's already heard, "Hey we got great multiasking." "Yeah webos. We know already. But have you got anything new" says the consumer?

Agree what webOS needs is a game changer. Some innovative gadget, anything new, while keeping the old everyone knows old features. Siri, AI capability, cloud integration, seamless social media integration are just obvious starters.
And for god sake HP, think outside the US market. The Asian markets (China, India) are open and have huge potential. Apple finally gets that message. HP?

There probably isn't a Plan A for WebOS. And this is probably the correct approach. As stated by other forum members, Plan B is much better than DOA. WebOS is not a competitor against iOS or Android.

Sure, iOS has faltered but their followers really don't care enough to make a change. They'll always have that strong following and the cool factor that overcomes their shortcomings. Steve created an idea of a device that people need, not just want. It worked.

Android has flooded the market so much that even they can withstand their shortcomings and there fragmentation has become a plus, ironically (ex: oh it's because you don't have the latest ICS to fix that issue, you should upgrade... etc etc).

I'll always be a WebOS fan and I wish it would have become the next best thing but reality says otherwise. The current direction is not the best but it's the best right now that can afforded by HP and WebOS. As soon as my Sprint Pre minus (s/w modded like no other) dies, I'll move onto iOS. It's the next logical move.

"...we also have little doubt that Android is going to go away any time soon."
Not it's not! Grammar?

I may be wrong but what I got out of that whole series of statements from Whitman was there seemed to be indicators that, in the near future, Google will begin to heavily leverage their mobile intellectual properties so much in their own favor that it would be crippling to other manufacturers in a relative sense. Essentially if you wanted the "real" Android experience then you would have to buy a Motorola device. That is a closed system when you buy, for example, an HTC Android device that, for all appearances, is an evaluation version compared to the full-featured, bells and whistles, Google-supported Motorola offering.

Her delivery had much to be desired and a sort of doom and gloom theme about it. She really should expand more on her own comments. Someone needs to do a one-on-one interview to get more detail out of her.

Right now, if you want a "real android device" you get a product from the Nexus program. How is this different from the future you've just described?

There has almost always been "the pure android experience" vs "the skinned android experience". The existence of the one does not seem to have much effect on the other.

Plan B? It'll be more likely Microsoft that makes it for Android's challenger. Most Developers are so fanatical about iOS and Android that they consider WebOS to be the next candidate for the Apache Attic rather than an underdog story.

Meg is right about one thing: if WebOS is to have ANY kind of a future at all, it needs to be more open than Google's progeny.

no plan = pretty damning concrete desert we dont wish to see.

any plan = something that can change over time from bad to good but at least theres a plan in motion.

What is Plan A? "Hey guys, we have cards!" That's not going to fly. Plan B is all they have right now.

I'd be pitching webOS at Huawei, who sell plenty of unlocked phones to the masses. Gets around the carrier rubbish, and if they make a decently priced unlocked phone that has facebook, twitter, and whatapp, then you would have a potential neat little seller. Then target Africa and India, where none of the smartphones have really taken a hold yet (well, Blackberry has to some extent in India). Build up a developer and user base outside of the usual markets of Europe and the US :) *If* critical mass is achieved in those markets, then Open webOS may have a chance in the more traditional areas. Why do you think Apple have made key changes to OS X to suit only China?

Nice to read that here, someone can actually think OOTB _and_ be reasonable. Thanks!

Huawei already does all of this with their dozen lowcost Android devices.

Why would they break their current momentum, have to spend money on R&D for new webOS form factors, and reboot all of their efforts for a product that won't sell nearly as well? All in the name of trying to compete in the razor thin margin market?

Because Android won't be free much longer. Giigle will have to pay so much in royalties that they will have to charge for Android.

Now's a good time to be an unencumbered webOS, that is free of charge and not under attack.

I am dissappointed to read this article on WebOSNation (of all the places). I dont read WebOSNation regularly. But this article prooves me right and webosnation has lost creditbility (if there was anything to start with).

It clearly shows that Derek Kessler is just a geek who does not have business acumen. You are not being constructive either. You just being a rogue who will throw dirt at anything HP does on WebOS. You are a shame. When WebOS was made opensource, it was natural conclusion that it was going to be an option for phone manufacturers (whether they use Android or Windows or proprietary). how else will you sell webos and increase adoption.

This is pathetic.

I use WebOS and have a palmpre and a touchpad. I kind of like it although the ecosystem is not complete and has lots of room for improvement. Yes, I work for HP but not in anyway related to the webos (so dont start throwing dirt at passionate HP employees now) :-)

The true goal of any of these sites is to get you to click the link for the article to get served ads. I'm sure Derek thanks you for doing so.

phone+touchpad ≠ pez dispenser ... nuff said !!

I think Derek has it half-right when he emphasizes features like synergy as sufficient for Plan A. The missing part is what's on the other end of those synergy connections? Currently it's services HP doesn't own like Gmail and Facebook. But HP is making huge investments in cloud services. Where is the equivalent of iCloud among HP's portfolio? They bought music synching services that have not been heard from since. There is no HP Snapfish auto-sync option for webOS photos that I know of. None of the big players in file sync (Dropbox, Box.net, MS Skydrive) have good upload options for most smartphones.

Here's the rest of a Plan A: Adopt WebAPI from Mozilla into Open webOS for resource syncing, create a resource-sync service like Dropbox, and provide shell extensions for desktop OSs to enable autosync across one's set of devices. Only Apple is offering something comparable with iCloud, and they are dilettantes in web services. HP could provide the APIs and services that all of the coming wave of HTML/Linux mobile OSs could link into, as well as all desktop OSs. Be the indispensible middle man to all.