Whitman thinks webOS "has huge advantages" over iOS and Android
Meg Whitman is the fourth CEO of HP since the Silicon Valley giant acquired Palm less than two years ago. Each CEO has sought to leave their mark on the company, some more indelibly than others, and Whitman has been busy at work since taking over in September righting the HP ship and getting HP back to something resembling its roots.
For one, Whitman has brought the entire executive team down a notch (or seven), going so far as to move them out of the executive suite and into an 'open seating framework,' otherwise known as cubicles. Said Whitman in an interview with CRN, she "could sit in that executive suite all day and not see [HP CFO] Cathie Lesjack… the conversations over the cubicle wall are the conversations that really matter." She also eliminated the executive parking lot and its "commando fence with barbed wire". Whitman's taking a page out of the Bill Hewlett and David Packard playbook, bringing bits of The HP Way into the modern day.
Whitman also commented on webOS, acknowledging that it's been "a very rocky period" for the webOS team and that they’ve lost some good people due to the situation over the last several months. A good part of that rocky decision was that "there was no plan," thanks in large part to her predecessor's decision to pull the plug on webOS hardware and attempt to sell the software. But now, they have a plan and are executing on it.
But what we're really interested in is where she sees webOS going, and how HP's going to make that happen. Said Whitman:
"[webOS] has huge advantages, in my view, over iOS, which is a closed system, [and] Android, which is incredibly fragmented and may ultimately be more closed with [Google's] acquisition of Motorola Mobility."
Now, we're not ones to disagree with the premise of this assessment, but we're also not ones to call this openness a "huge advantage." It's possible Whitman was referring to other parts of webOS that she sees as having a leg up on the competition (we might say such things about Enyo, for example), but the fragmentation of Android has not scared off any manufacturers or carriers nor has the closed nature of iOS frightened away scores of customers. These are things that the manufacturers and carriers embrace and customers tend not to care about. In fact, the fragmentation of Android, while hampering to many devices over the long haul, gives customers greater choice.
"Open source yet not fragmented" is, in our view, not going sell a lot of devices. webOS has a great many talking points - smooth and efficient multitasking, the best notificatiosn in the business, Enyo, Just Type, and so forth, that Palm and HP have failed to market effectively for three years. IF you want to sell devices and convince partners to use Open webOS, emphasize those points.
Source: CRN; Thanks to fxspec06 for the tip!