webOS Weekly August 21st, 2011 | webOS Nation

webOS Weekly August 21st, 2011 39

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Sun, 21 Aug 2011 9:34 pm EDT

It's time for another session of webOS Weekly news from your friends here at PreCentral. This week we talk about the sad story of HP discontinuing webOS devices like the TouchPad and Pre 3, celebrate Preware's 2nd birthday with a fundraiser for WebOS Internals, and watch some fun videos from our readers around the world. Hit the break below to see all of the stories and links from around the web, and don't forget to send an email to tim@precentral.net if you have your own stories to share for next week.

Latest News

Around the Web

  • Before we share anymore news about what's happening with HP's decision to liquidate their webOS devices, we wanted to say Happy Birthday to Preware, the amazing homebrew app catalog that lets you install and manage all of your apps, patches, themes and kernels right on your device. Don't forget to donate to WebOS Internals to support their work, too - they don't seem to be going anywhere any time soon, even if webOS devices aren't in circulation any longer.
  • HP might be dropping webOS hardware like it's some cheap toy, but Microsoft's Brandon Watson can see the pain that webOS developers are feeling and has extended a hand to help them move over to thei growing WP7 platform that has plans to be around for a long time to come. With over 500 webOS developers already contacting the Windows Phone 7 team, it looks like there's more than a little bit of interest for our app developers to start expanding their apps into other mobile OS app catalogs.
  • If you've already moved passed the stages of anger, sadness and bitterness about HP's decision and are already trying to find a way to work with the community to try and save the platform, you should join HethFilms as they try to #savewebOS and spread the word about the development team and community through an outstanding tribute video (below). 

  • In a comic-strip from Nitrozac & Snaggy, the TouchPad has found itself at the Pearly Gates waiting for that final judgement of its life. Unfortunately, the TouchPad hardly had a chance to live, so there isn't much to say; and that makes the whole situation much more interesting.
  • If you're like us and trying to wrap your mind around why HP might have made the decision to cut webOS hardware like they did, this blog post by Gruber on his blog Daring Fireball (sent in to us from James Harris) might have some answers for you. It's called, "A Simple Explanation for Why HP Abandoned Palm and Is Getting Out of the PC Business", and is, in fact, simply good to read.
  • Of course, maybe HP had planned this whole "liquidation" thing from the very beginning? As was shared by Bryan Leasot on Twitter, the HP TouchPad is now sitting at the #1 and #2 spots on Amazon and nearly every store in the US is already sold out of the tablet device. With hundreds of thousands of more TouchPad owners out there in the wild overnight, now might be the perfect time to get in on the webOS action.
  • It should be pretty clear by now that the webOS community is not completely evaporating just because of this news, and Christian Moe re-iterated that on his blog where he is getting ready to take his whole life onto the TouchPad for 60 days. HP might say this is the end for hardware, but for some of us, this is only the beginning.
  • We're still giving away two TouchPad protective skins to our readers! Head over to the official giveaway blog post to read more and enter to win.


1st. Please send me a Bodyguardz skin. I just got a TouchPad yesterday!

kinda still cant believe this is happening

Next time disable exhibition mode on your TouchPad during the video shoot. Watching the time jump around distracts from the content of the video.

I just ordered my new touchpad today!! I've been wanting one since release, but couldn't afford it before. Now all I need is a Bodyguardz skin!!!

I recently got a TouchPad and appreciate your thoughts on the continued support from the Homebrew community. They have kept my Pre Classic going for a while now. I would enjoy a Bodyguards skin for my TouchPad too.

In the tech world, technology is just 30% of it, the other 70% is marketing, execution, communication. With HP's recent announcement to hive off their consumer product range - the main reason was a. low margins @7%, but it's 1/3 of their total turnover. As a result HP was not willing to continue producing webos devices; but said would keep the OS. Either the board or Mr Apothekar does not understand the market or they think that because HP is a 'big brand' consumers and corporations would continue buying from them? The Announcement was like using a hatchet to cut a limb off and as a result broke so many marketing, human resource and corporate norms. A. With uncertainty corporations WILL not buy HP Hardware products including servers, and printers. What is to say HP will not tomorrow say We do not want to sell HP hardware because margins are low? B. Customer relationship. HP board/ CEO was only interested in shareholder interest. They forgot that its the consumer and corporations that are investing in their products. There are other choices and the announcement just made it easier for the competitors to pitch their products. C. HP in one swipe - scre*** their channels/developers. These companies have been investing people, resources, time to indirectly sell for HP and suddenly after 1 short announcement all the customer good will is gone. D. In one announcement HP has shafted 90% of their employees. It's not just the 1/3 that would be effected, the whole supply chain would be effected, and I will not be surprised if the more prized developers/designers/engineers leave HP and move to the googles, microsofts, ibms, amazons. E. Buying a software company / cloud for 10billion dollars? thinking that in the long term it would make higher margins? Without the differentiation / knowledge / culture, the investment would be a dud. HP's started with innovation, but unfortunately now they can only product dull hardware/software. They're not a google and not even a microsoft, who can produce innovative software. THey're not an Apple that can produce exciting and good looking hardware. They're are not an IBM that continues to invest in R&D. So what is HP? Strong legacy (which is now missing). Mediocre marketing, Mediocre hardware, and really poor customer, employee and channel relationships.

Man, well put. Couldnt have said it better myself. HP is pretty much full of themselves, now coming off of the facts that they are the #TWO computer seller in the world while stocks plummet with no innovative products on the horizon now that the most unique OS on the market doesn't have committed hardware to run off of. I thought Apple lacked innovation but now, my once-favorite PC company is looking like the RIM of the electronics world now: Behind the times and without a clue.

yeah gonna need one of those skinz for my wife who just got her discount TP:)

Is this true?...
Zapote21 Wow... «@Korey_Nicholson HP is shutting down the WebOS market tomorrow...

Looks like he is backtracking, check his feed

Its been a f***ing awful week

What a roller-coaster weeks with Google buying Motorola Mobility to HP getting pretty out of the hardware business. Glad I was able to snatch up a TouchPad though.

Yes I see that he is now being questioned about it.
Yes it has been a brutal last week.

Hopefully the developers will stick with this OS platform when it lands on a hardware platform that can let it grow.

I received the first Palm Pilot in 1994 from US Robotics to "try out" for them & it was free. I loved it of course and since I was an intense and extremely busy professional it was a lifesaver. I still have that first Palm. Now my TouchPad is my 19th Palm inspired device since I went through Handspring etc.I love my TouchPad and just upgraded today to the Pre2 since there won't be a Pre3. Please keep developing it is so essential and maybe we will see a next generation device. I am an old woman of 72 and will use WebOS as long as possible. Keep the faith--we have been dead before.

I just put a $150 bet on the webOS/developer community and I'm not even sweating it. Do your thing devs!

Still crazy that webOS is having such a ride though, considering it's such a great OS.

Hmmm, I need to pay my bills every month. And Mr. Watson sounds sooooo nice... :|

I was able to get my TP on Amazon today and would love to win a Bodyguardz skin.

HP is more confused than their customers.
God I wish they would just sell WebOS to a company that can put it on kick **** hardware.
Who the heck at HP said, "Lets make a tiny/cute phone! people will love it!?" That person needs to be dropkicked through glass from a 40 story building.
Who the heck decided, "we need to focus on the touchpad, not the pre 3. We also need to release the touchpad at a high cost!" That person should be kicked in the balls so they don't replicate stupidity.

Funny! Its crazy how quickly a company can hang itself with stupid promises and **** marketing nowadays. Its actually fun to see (even if it is at the expense of my favorite OS). I like to see innovation and brains coming from corporations. HP's board has neither.

I'm hoping with all the sales this weekend I'll get a boost in app sales over the next few months. I also hope that HP holds back a few devices for us developers to acquire for compatibility testing. I only had the emulator and after several hours of web surfing and driving about 100 miles from store to store came up empty getting my hands on a touchpad.

LOL @ begging and spinning.

My new Touchpad is on the way and I'm MORE than excited. Sad not to have a Pre 3...but life will go on and am praying the webOS community will too!!

I would love to protection for my brand spanking new Touchpad! :D

OMG is that a MACINTONSH in your room behind you? You traitor!!! :-D

With all those SICK F*cks @ HP. Im gonna need some protection for my new Touchpad. So can I have 1 of those beautiful Carbon protectors!


P.S. Will the Verizon Pre3 ever be sold anywhere??

Just wondering

You know Tim, I always thought your pieces were unrealistically optimistic but I have to give credit where credit is due: you are one sharp dresser with a fantastic sense of style.

So what do you do if you are the HP board and you wake up this nice Monday morning with the news you now have the #2 sold through tablet on the market - the following:

1. You were just given the blueprint for the business model of the future. Continue selling the Touchpad-1 at these ridiculous prices and build a solid user base.

2. Rework your financial plan so that you do not plan on making money on the hardware sales, but instead, add a small margin to all PAID for app sales. If the App is being sold for 1.99, and .25 for HP. DO NOT PLACE ADs ON FREE APPS ala android, people hate that.

3. Announce that you have listened to the public and will continue to develop CUTTING EDGE WebOS devices. The next stage of devices, sell AT COST or under while continuing to recap the difference through App catalog margin. Since the next version will have better specs, the SLIGHT bump in price will be palatable.

4. Fire Leo A55Thumper and back out of your $10 billion deal to make HP become SAP squared.

5. You will quickly become the #1 mobile platform and will force other companies to either follow your model or die a death of a thousand cuts.

HP was just handed the golden keys, an accidental blueprint on how to unseat Apple. Most people want devices, but are not fanatics that will buy at ridiculous prices.

FYI, the video game console makers have ALWAY lost money on hardware to recoup through software, it works...try it HP.

I like it.

First thing's first.... way to sport your Sunday best vest, Tim.

I'd sure love me some skinz for my Tpad I ordered Friday nite, please.

Long live webOS.

I'm wondering whether HP hasn't also, in the process, dealt a real blow to the whole concept of cloud-based computing. Having your data and applications in the cloud and able to be synced with different devices is tremendously useful, but it all depends on the company providing the cloud
continuing to spend money running the servers that the cloud consists of. (It's not just water vapor.) I thought of trying to get a TouchPad now-
honestly I have never really been all that interested in a tablet, but at these fire sale prices I figured I could hardly go wrong. If I didn't use it much I certainly wouldn't have lost much. It would presumably last for maybe three or four years, and who knows what devices or platforms would be
available by then. But it happened to occur to me: if HP isn't bringing in any money from mobile devices after shuttering the unit in Q4, what motivation do they have to indefinitely keep the servers that are running
Palm profiles up? And if data and information doesn't sync between the device and anything else, basically all I would have is a fancy, couch-optimized web browser. It makes the old concept of a smartphone or
device that tethers to your PC and syncs with it seem much more attractive- at least even if the companies making the phone or the PC close up shop the devices continue to work, including syncing, and you have time to decide what to migrate to next.

Or consider someone who's been using Google Docs for all of their documents for the past couple of years. Suppose, for competitive reasons, in a year
or so Google announces that they're shutting down Google Docs and all documents in it are gone. Sounds impossible- Google is very profitable and of course they would never ever do anything that would be evil- but if the largest PC manufacturer can drop mobile products like they have, and announce their intention to abandon consumer products entirely, who knows
what could happen? You're basically not safe relying indefinitely on the success of any company for your data. It makes the older paradigm of
storing all your documents, data, and programs on your own PC, using local office software, seem much more attractive than the cloud. Even if the software or PC maker throws in the towel your information would still be
accessible indefinitely, as long as the machine worked, giving you time to migrate to something new. Cloud computing seems great, and I can't say how much I love my Pre and everything about the way that it works, but if you realize that your device and data are held hostage to the goodwill of companies that can pull the plug at any time, is that really the safest alternative?

I would be interested in others' perspectives on this. And yes, I realize that HP could potentially even announce licensing deals, or a sale of WebOS soon, that would mean that it wouldn't be dead after all, and maybe, maybe, Palm profiles would even be kept alive as part of that. But I'm not sure any of that changes the issue in the cloud computing model that's been highlighted by this whole situation.

Carbon fiber skin sounds interesting!

I want a clear skin!

I must say, I am really digging the positive attitude from Tim, that is really good to see. I am new to webOS and am awaiting my new 32GB TouchPad. I can't wait to be honest! It sounds as though the dev community is a tight nit one and I will certainly look into seeing what it takes to develop for webOS. By the way a new skin guard would look great on my yet to arrive TouchPad!



webOS fan from China.

From a business perspective, maybe it's the right call for hp, though i never think so. To users and geeks, it's undoubtfully a heavy blow-out.

In China, webOS has a considerable amount of users and fans, and HP China has been promoting webOS and its devices on Chinese Twitter--Weibo enthusiastically. And this anouncement really hurts.

Chinese users did a lot of things that were supposed to be done by HP, like localization, Chinese character support on webOS devices, and our channel to get webOS is so limited, and we are trying every possible way to get our webOS devices.

Shortly after the heart-breaking announcement, Chinese webOS community has launched a campaign to raise money to establish a found so that the development of apps and localization can be better driven.

Personally speaking, i think no one knows if this annoucement is going to be a brand-new start for webOS, if Samsung or HTC take over, we'll be able to get more apps since companies like these have good reputation for apps and devices.

Good luck to webOS.

B.T.W I'm still waiting for my touchpad i ordered from Barnes&Noble :-)

I'd love to win a Bodyguardz skin! (Carbon fiber look please)

skin please! Spent my last coin on my toychpad

I need carbon fibery(?) goodness!lol

Simply won't give up. From the original Palm to Touchpad....skin me if you can.