This is the WindsorNot - the webOS slate smartphone that never was | webOS Nation
 
 

This is the WindsorNot - the webOS slate smartphone that never was 98

by Derek Kessler Wed, 24 Apr 2013 3:59 pm EDT

This is the WindsorNot - the webOS slate smartphone that never was

In the early months of 2011, after the HP Pre3, Veer, and TouchPad had been announced at HP's Think Beyond event in February, there were many debates raging inside the halls of the webOS campus in Sunnyvale. Decisions had to be made, projects were going to have to be cut or pushed onto the back burner. Those three devices weren't the only new webOS hardware coming from HP, it was just the first new webOS hardware that was to come from HP.

A smaller webOS tablet, the 7-inch TouchPad Go, was planned for release a few months after the 9.7-inch TouchPad. A Bluetooth audio-equipped Touchstone wireless charger was being tested. The next generation of TouchPads was under development, including models that were thinner, had better screens, and more powerful internals. There was even a model equipped with a full-size slide-out keyboard in the labs, though the likelihood of it ever seeing the light of day was questionable. But those were further away, projects planned for a time when webOS was flourishing in the marketplace.

It's still early 2011, and as enthusiastic as HP's leadership was formerly in the form of CEO Mark Hurd and still is in the form of Personal System Group (and former Palm CEO) Todd Bradley, the crew in Sunnyvale wasn't getting the financial and personnel support needed from HP HQ in Palo Alto to push everything out the door in the quality it needed to be in on the timeframe they wanted to hit. Hurd's replacement, former SAP chief executive Leo Apotheker and HP CFO Cathie Lesjak, aren't as enthusiastic about investing the billions of dollars needed to get webOS running at full steam.

With limited funding available to get the work done, tough decisions have to be made in the webOS Global Business Unit. Sitting after the all-but-done TouchPad Go but before the fancier next-generation TouchPads is a curious webOS smartphone. It shares much of its internals with the HP Pre3 and bears the hallmarks of the clean and simple webOS hardware design language, but it's an entirely different beast.

This is the WindsorNot, the webOS slate smartphone that never was.

WindsorNot

The debate comes down to a decision by webOS Senior Vice President Jon Rubinstein. He had joined Palm back in 2007 as Chairman, and while Ed Colligan remained on as CEO, it was very clearly Rubinstein's show. He came into Palm and found a dozen development projects running concurrently in a company that was spinning its wheels in the creation of its much-needed next generation operating system. Rubinstein promptly canned several devices, including the ill-conceived Palm Foleo smartphone companion. After launching the Pre, Pixi, Pre Plus, and Pixi Plus smartphones, Rubinstein became Palm's CEO and eventually guided the floundering company into the embrace of HP.

Rubinstein's been with Palm for four years at this point. He's been making decisions on where to best allocate limited resources for nearly that long. Joining HP was supposed to solve that problem, but when things went south when the machinations of corporate games began to surface, Rubinstein again had to exercise the axe. In early 2011, the TouchPad, Veer, and Pre3 were the only new webOS devices that had been launched. The Veer was close to launch, while the TouchPad was projected for late June or early July and the Pre3 for later in the summer. The WindsorNot (a development codename and inside joke all-in-one stemming from being a follow-up to a previously-cancelled webOS slate smartphone codenamed "Windsor") was to follow the Pre3 later in 2011.

HP Pre3 and Windsor Not

Faced with the limited resources at his disposal, Rubinstein has to chose which device has to be pushed to the back burner: the Pre3 or the WindsorNot. On the side of the Pre3 is that it runs webOS 2.x and won't require extensive software work to be a functioning phone. It's also already been announced, and is the bigger-screen portrait slider smartphone that webOS fans have been loudly clamoring over for years now. The WindsorNot, on the other hand, is intended to run webOS 3.x, which while retaining the built-for-phones core of webOS, was rebuilt for tablet use on the TouchPad. In essence, the smartphone OS was stretched and pulled to fit the big screen TouchPad, and now it has to been squeezed and stuff back onto the smaller WindsorNot.

The Pre3 has another bullet in the chamber: it has commitments from both AT&T and Verizon. The WindsorNot has AT&T's backing, but they're not as enthusiastic about it as they are the Pre3. AT&T already has a healthy stable of slate smartphones from the iPhone lineup to several Android-powered smartphones. Their physical QWERTY offerings are limited though, and the Pre3 promises to be a significantly better device than the aging BlackBerry smartphones on their shelves, not to mention it comes from a huge and stable Silicon Valley titan like HP and not the stumbling and bumbling Research in Motion of 2011. AT&T has another qualm with the WindsorNot: it doesn't have LTE, and they’ve set the cut-off date for new phones on their network without the real 4G at the end of 2011.

HP Pre3 and Windsor Not

Faced with these facts: the Pre3 is closer to launching, has the eye of the press and fans, and commitments from two major US carriers, while the WindsorNot is going to require even more investment and rushed development to be ready for release by the end of the year onto a carrier that's not as enthusiastic, Rubinstein's decision seems all but obvious. He chooses to dedicate funds to the development of the Pre3.

While the decision was framed as prioritizing the launch of the Pre3 before the WindsorNot, it had the effect of killing the slate smartphone. By pushing back the release timeframe for the WindsorNot, the phone was suddenly looking at availability starting in 2012, past AT&T's deadline. AT&T had been investing heavily in their LTE network and was eager to start moving customers onto it; launching a smartphone with LTE in 2012 was not going to happen.

That's where the WindsorNot ended. Hardware development on the WindsorNot was still ongoing, though software development had not proceeded very far. We recently got our hands onto one of the few WindsorNot prototypes in the wild and it's been a very potent burst of nostalgia.

HP Pre3 and Windsor Not

When we say that the WindsorNot shares a lot of its internals with the Pre3, we're not kidding in any sense. HP was testing multiple hardware configurations to determine the best suppliers for the smartphone, so the WindsorNot we have has a sticker on the inside of the battery compartment that checks off the components inside. Ours has the same 1.4GHz Qualcomm processor as in the Pre3, RAM manufactured by Micron, and 8GB of storage.

WindsorNot Battery

The battery is exactly the same as the Pre3's and by all appearances the two smartphones share front and rear camera assemblies. No doubt if we were to crack open both smartphones we'd find even more parts in common, but given the relative rarity of the Pre3 and the leprechaun-riding-a-unicorn rarity of the WindsorNot, that's not something we're keen on doing any time soon.

Like the Pre3, the WindsorNot also has an 800x480 LCD screen, though in this case it's a 4-inch screen instead of the 3.65-inch screen on the Pre3. While that means it technically has a lower pixel density (255ppi vs. 233ppi), we frankly couldn't tell much of a difference. They've both got decent screens, though in this day and age, anything under 300ppi isn't anything to write home about.

WindsorNot and TouchPad

When we say that the development of software for the WindsorNot had not progressed very far, we mean it. From all appearances, the unit we've been handling appears to run a nearly visually unaltered version of webOS 3.x as it would have been on a TouchPad tablet. As the WindsorNot's screen is much more pixel dense - 233ppi to the TouchPad's 132ppi - the unaltered user interface elements like text and the menu bar appear exceedingly small on the 4-inch screen.

Because the WindsorNot is a prototype device, activating it on HP's production servers is something that's simply not going to happen. With a device as rare as this one, with nary a webOS Doctor in sight to perform a restore should our tinkering go foul, we were apprehensive about making command line alterations with the goal of tricking HP's servers into activating the device.

Even though the WindsorNot shares a good deal of its internals with the Pre3, a it was a device intended to run webOS 3.x and not webOS 2.x, there are notable differences between the two smartphones. Where the Pre3 has a physical keyboard in the form of a portrait slider and a gesture area, the WindsorNot is a pure slate device and eschews the traditional webOS smartphone gesture area in favor of a TouchPad-style rounded-rectangle home button with embedded light bar.

iPhone 4S and WindsorNot

Without the physical keyboard weighing it down, the WindsorNot is quite literally not as weighed down as its portly sibling. The trade-off of a portrait slider like the Pre3 comes as thickness and weight. Indeed, the Pre3 is several millimeters thicker than the WindsorNot, as well as a noticeable few ounces heavier.

iPhone 4S, Windsor Not, and Pre3

In comparison to the device the WindsorNot was designed to target - Apple's iPhone 4 - the webOS slate smartphone is lighter, marginally thicker, and has a larger footprint thanks to its 4-inch display.

While from the front the WindsorNot looks like the lovechild of a Pre3 and a TouchPad, when you flip it over things start to get different. The soft-touch sides gently slope back from a narrow chamfer around the screen, coming about a centimeter in from the edge before transitioning to a flat and glossy black back panel. A camera sits high and center on the back with a single LED flash below (or to the side, if you're taking pictures in the ever-popular landscape orientation). Just above the center of the back is HP's logo, though it's in a sort of dark chrome and under the plastic so as to avoid the terrible scratching that the round-backed Pre3's appliqué logo endured.

WindsorNot Camera

And yes, you read that right, it's a plastic panel. There's a notch on the bottom in which you stick a fingernail to pry off the back. It's held in by a handful of tabs around the frame. While we're not huge fans of tabs like this when it comes to removal, they're one of the tradeoffs that have to be made for a clean design like this. Additionally, the plastic back is one of the most insane fingerprint magnets we've dealt with in our time covering webOS, and that's including the insanely glossy original Palm Pre back.

WindsorNot Back

The front glass is also a fingerprint magnet and seriously difficult to keep clean, though given this device's prototype status we wouldn't at all be surprised to find that it hasn't been treated with the usual cocktail of chemicals to make our prints and facial grease stick with less vigor. So you'll have to forgive and smudges, streaks, fine hairs, or dust that show up in these photos. We tried.

WindsorNot Front

The bottom of the WindsorNot features two speaker grilles flanking a solitary Micro USB port. It's likely that only one of the grilles houses an actual speaker. Judging by the lack of a dedicated microphone hole on the front or elsewhere on the bottom of the device, the phone microphone is likely located under the other part of the perforated plastic. The left side is home to a dark chrome volume rocker and the right side is barren of any inputs or controls.

WindsorNot Bottom

The top of the WindsorNot is just about the busiest portion of the device. Starting at the top left corner you'll find a pinhole for the secondary microphone, and in the center is a headphone jack, and though the hole is slanted, just as with the Pre3's angled opening it's not recessed like the ill-considered headphone jack on the original iPhone. It's hard to say if there's any Beats magic at work here, but considering the similarities to the Pre3 we'd wager it's not.

WindsorNot Top

Sitting between the headphone jack and the top right corner is the classic Palm ringer switch. On this prototype WindsorNot the ringer switch moves with a highly satisfying click. Interestingly, the finish of the indicator surfaces inside the switch are a brighter metallic gray with an orange dot for off instead of the black finish and orange dot of older webOS devices. Rounding out the tour of the top is the power button. Like every other webOS device, you're supposed to push it to turn it on and turn it off.

Except that on this specimen of the WindsorNot the power button was unresponsive for waking the device. That could only be accomplished by pressing the home button. In fact, half the time the power button was pressed while the device was on, it would crash. Again, we never got past the account set-up screen, and if it's crashing there, you know there's work to be done on the software.

WindsorNot Booting

Boot times were about in line with what we would expect for a single core webOS device. And by that, we mean it is slow, taking over three minutes to get us back to the account set-up screen. More than once the WindsorNot crashed hard, rebooting into a mode we've frankly never encountered in years of tinkering: "entering main console loop" with the image of a glowing 5-1/4-inch floppy disc on the screen. When you get a 5-1/4" floppy disc from Tron you know you've done something wrong. The knowing minds that would know what this sort of thing means were likewise stumped, though eventually through a combination of battery pulls and restarts we were able to get back to the account set-up screens instead.

WindsorNot Crashed

So yes, the WindsorNot as it stood at the time of cancellation was not a paragon of stability. But it was already a lower-priority project and still several months from its planned release. Even so, a lot of webOS 3.x did transfer effectively to the smaller screen.

WindsorNot Virtual Keyboard

As was demonstrated with the webOS emulator shortly before the TouchPad's release, webOS 3.x already had some considerations for smaller screens built-in. The virtual keyboard that's available on the WindsorNot is actually pretty decent so long as you consider that it, the touchscreen driver, and everything else going on with the WindsorNot's software was nowhere near optimized.

WindsorNot Virtual Keyboard

Even so, the keyboard has been reconfigured nicely for the 4-inch screen. It drops the dedicated button row of the tablet to a more traditional numbers and symbols page. Keys where special characters would be available can be triggered by a long press, just as on the TouchPad. And the keyboard even stretches comfortably when the phone is rotated into landscape mode. It occasionally would miss taps or interpret a tap as a hold, but again, this is preproduction software and hardware at work. As revealed in the code spelunking of the WebOS Ports crew, there were grander plans for the phone-sized webOS virtual keyboard.

WindsorNot Virtual Keyboard

It's easy to look at the WindsorNot and imagine what could have been. It also too easy to have a knee-jerk reaction and blame its cancellation on Leo Apotheker. After all, it was his decision making that put webOS into a death spiral that resulted in it being saved by a migration to open source and a purchase by LG for televisions.

It's also easy to blame the corporate workings of a massive company like HP for failing Palm and forcing the WindsorNot into an early cancellation. But HP's a company that had priorities other than just getting into mobile, and they were already committed for two smartphones and a tablet in the next few months, with other devices coming down the pike for impending releases. With deadlines and funding peaking over one shoulder and an ambivalent carrier looking over the other, the WindsorNot's fate was decided before it had a chance to get proper software or a name.

WindsorNot

The WindsorNot is an object of gadget lust, for an operating system led and forced down the wrong paths by a confluence of events and persons so preposterous it still flabbergasts. It's a symbol of a lack of corporate oversight and warped vision.

Most of all, the WindsorNot, more than any other unreleased piece of webOS hardware we've laid our hands on, is a stark display of what could have been. The TouchPad Go was merely a miniature TouchPad. The WindsorNot was something more ambitious. It was uncharted territory for webOS - the last Palm handheld without a physical keyboard was 2005's Lifedrive PDA. It was the next step in the evolution of webOS 3.x, and a gambit to move webOS smartphones into the same space of consideration as Android and iPhone.

But in the end, it was none of those things. The WindsorNot never stood a chance of making outside the doors of the webOS campus in Sunnyvale. Too many factors conspired to keep this device out of the hands of customers new and old. The WindsorNot isn't just the webOS slate smartphone that never was. It's the webOS slate smartphone that was never meant to be.

WindsorNot on a Touchstone 2

Category:

98 Comments

OH MY ******* GOD

SERIOUSLY

I would have punched someone's grandma in the face in front them to get this phone.

OK maybe not. Well, maybe so. Either way. WOW.

Yet another sad sad tale.

Long life Palm. We miss you. HP, there is an office in hell rented for you...

- Diego Nei, CrackBerry Ambassador.

Drool @ WindsorNot on Touchstone2

Who owns this?

I do.

Have you been successful porting the most recent open webOS built to it? I would think the hardware should be better suited/optimized for the os than the nexus (but I am not a developer/program so I don't know).

I haven't even attempted so. Considering that no progress (or attempt, as far as I'm aware) porting Open webOS to the hardware-identical-Pre3, it's unlikely that it would work well "out-of-the-box" on the WindsorNot either.

And I'm not developery enough to know where to start anyway. ;)

Derek, I ENVY you!!!!

+1

How did you get this!? I'd sell entire rooms of stuff to get one of these and a Touchstone 2 if they ever popped up on eBay.

I almost cried... that last photo is a statement that cannot be expressed in words.

No words for that one indeed, someone should have taken a picture when I first looked at it....

Such a shame that both of these (WindsorNot and the Touchstone 2) never got a release (even a Pre3-type release). Gladly would have thrown money HP's way for both, Such a shame.

Edit: and that last picture...If any company ever produces webOS devices again, let that picture serve as inspiration.

I'd just like to see that virtual keyboard on my Pre3!

So happy to finally see that one of these had been built. Damn beautiful phone.

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'it might have been'.”

Wow from Ron Whitny's original post which showed me the device to the vimeo post to the Windsornot post to this......we finally get the full story.

I wonder if one of the early prototypes of the WindsorNot is one of the devices Phil McKinney was holding in the famous redacted photo.

We still don't know much about what was wrapped around his wrist.

For each word that I read, I want to kick the Apoetheker's ass... >:-(

Best Regards... B-)

x1000

I'll hold him. Worst CEO HP ever had, never gave WebOS a chance. 47 days...

HTC must be thanking its lucky stars that HP decided not to give it even more competition.

:'( :'( :'(

LG, please, just for us, build one?!

Yes LG, please make a WebOS phone. The WindsorNot is hardware to start with. I'm a keyboard person, but I would have bought a WebOS Slab phone.

Good Lord How You Frustrate Me Hewlett Packard!!!!

Wow, the photo that shows it's thickness next to an iPhone is impressive - it looks like it was quite a slender device!

And Derek - any chance of higher res for these?

Every photo was embedded at 1200px wide, they're displayed at 550px, but they're big ones!

Cool, thanks - didn't see that on my Pre 3 :)

I hope we can eventually see a video of this thing in action. That way we can all at least live vicariously through it. :)

After all these years of me trying to just get over the pain stories like this brings it all back. I hope LG will make webOS phones :'( Long Live webOS

Daaayum Gurl! I want one

As an IT manager, I VETO any purchasing of ANY HP product because of the Palm saga...that will never change.

+1 / agreed

Boy that keyboard takes up a lot of screen. And no gesture area? It's an iphone from palm

The keyboard wasn't finished yet so of course it would be smaller in the end.

OMFG WANT

WANT WANT WANT WANT

CANT

Long Live webOS

Interesting that there is no source.... Do you think he interviewed Jon Rubinstein?

Do you think Jon still uses a webOS device?

I wonder more if Jon is planning to revive Palm. I mean, look at Palm's history of getting aquired and then going alone again. They did it so many times it would be no surprise for me if they did it again...

wow this could have been the Samsung galaxy series equivalent

they goofed bad

Sho nuff goofed!

There goes the phone I was waiting for.....I am a sad panda.....

Quick question.. Did you try the activation bypass tool?

I did not. As far as I'm aware, the Activation Bypass Tool isn't designed to work on webOS 2.x and 3.x.

Try to use NovaInstaller to flash the device and jump up activation. But need to get the rom (Tar files) from this phone.

Hmmm....my LTE TP Go was activation bypassed so I could log in using Impostah and it runs 3.0.4. I will have to look at the 'tool' again and see if its different/adjusted than the standard ABT. You should give TTB a shout out to see if its possible.

OR...I will trade you my LTE Go for the WindsorNot straight up and pay for both devices shipping.

Actually. a few of WindsorNot hold in webos fans in china. Watched some pictures of WindsorNot in chinese threads in last year. Keep in mind it made in china........

so sad.

Dear Leo,

What pray tell were you thinking?

No wonder they poop-canned you.....sad, sad, sad.

Still waiting for some keylimepie and nexus5 action

Re: the LifeDrive: Didn't the T|X come out after that horrific kludge of a wrong idea, and also lack a keyboard?

The LifeDrive was one of the worst pieces of technology ever. The T|X was elegance and function at its best. So might this WindsorNot have been. And yes, it does remind me of my Galaxy S3, although at least the Galaxy S3 offers official Graffiti as a text entry alternative.

*sigh* Thanks, Derek. {Jonathan}

Both T|X and T5 are fine devices. I always wonder why Palm didn't come up with a phone that doesn't include a keyboard. I like the keyboard myself, but seems like I am in minority.

Correct - the LifeDrive came out in May of 2005 and the TX came out in October of 2005.

well thats just the icing on the cake wow how stupid HP had the winning software and the winning device and just like that they let it go just another reason as to why not trust the corporate world they are all big head rich ideots that love to get all handed on a silver platter meaning they want to bend the market to be like their poor little brains think that the world is and finally they are weak people who when their stalks fall they simply go to the nearest atrium style hotel rent a room and throw them selves from the window jajajajajaja I know I have seen all of this happen this is a fact! jajajajaja

That last pic is a work of art!! It should be saved in the archives! Send a copy to LG! Great Article! :-)

I just made it my desktop background.

Like a leprechaun riding a unicorn while eating a dodo bird sandwich!

On February 30th....

is the unicorn rainbow colored?

Wow. That's just beautiful. If only Apotheker had not been a moron and cancelled webOS. If I had 3 wishes they would be that webOS had succeeded, Android was not carrier-crapwared, and iOS was open to a bit more tinkering, if you wanted to do so via an Xcode switch. This phone is freaking brilliant. It would've made many people consider webOS as a viable alternative. And maybe instead of it being iOS, Android, and Windows, it'd have been iOS, webOS, and Android. But you can't change the past. Sigh...

I'm really glad this information is coming out. It's kind of depressing, but really amazing to get such great info and pictures at this stage. Great work!

Hey Derek, by chance was there a gesture area like the webos phones had or was it like the TP and moving away from the gestures?

if its webOS 3.x id imagine not given that the touchpad didnt either?

a home button and no gestures just like the touchpad. I probly would have passed

This was quite an interesting read, thanks for the article Derek :-) I regretfully never had the chance to use a Web OS mobile very extensively, as I was a bit of a late arrival considering how much of a mobile tech junkie I am today, lol! It was during this era that the WindsorNot was making appearences in the wild, and the word "Smart Phone" was just becoming a term most Americans were finally familiar with, that I dismissed these devices as unnecessary and over hyped toys that were just too underpowered to be of any real use(Boy was I wrong or what!). Today Mobile Technology is one of my biggest points of interest, and I spend most of my spare time reading about it or tinkering with, and I spend enough of my spare cash on it that it could probably rival a moderate drug habit, or at least that's how my Wife puts it! Much like anything that I form a strong interest in I've done a bit of research and reading on the history of some of these earlier smart phones and OS's, and WebOS seems like it really had quite a bit of underutilized potential. It appears to be a combination of over shadowing from iOS and perhaps Android, but also that it was maybe mishandled a bit by HP? When I first became interested in the Mobile area WebOS looked like it may be an option, but I ultimately turned to Android. I do really hope to see LG do some more interesting things in the future with the platform, and I'm happy to have stumbled across the link to this article so that I'm able to bookmark and browse the site in order to get up to date on what WebOS's future will be. Thank you again for the article!

Derek, thank you. Anyone wanna question Derek's passion for webOS now? Thank you for still being with us. Very cool stuff.

So what I have to do to win this phone?

The decision was the right decision. Pre3 was far closer to being released than the Windsor. However it still sad to see a nice device being canned. I would have upgraded to this from my Pre3 to have webOS 3. I like parity between devices and it would have made sense.

HP we ALL hate you !!!

Why,why,why did this story have to come out. Now all the hate and malice towards HP that i have had therapy to resolve has returned(lol). Still, Apothaker(whatever ur bitch name is) thanks for preventing the world from embracing what could have been a stunning piece of hardware running the best mobile software. Also, thanks for giving Copysung the go ahead to steal such an exquisite design. Also that last picture, heart wrenching tear jerker.
Long live webOS, still king of the mobile spaces. You will live on as others will copy what you have done from the beginning.

Interesting read for sure. Still though, I'm glad they decided to release the Pre3 instead of this. I like the form factor more, it has a physical keyboard and most importantly: it has gestures! Seriously if there was anything important which made webOS stand out of the competition it was the gesture area. Seeing the windsornot without it (same with the touchpad) just makes me think they didn't get this was an important part of webOS...

Oh well. Anyways... wouldn't have hurt if they managed to get more phones out of the door. I for myself am proud owner of a GSM Pre3 (recently found one single person who also uses one and it was really great fun to see how ALL users just LOVE webOS) and I learned one thing out of this story: I will never ever buy HP products in my life. And everyone asking me will get the same advice. I recently needed a new Scanner and bought an all in one product.... aside of the the fact that Canon supports Windows, Macos AND Linux, this story was the reason I bought the Canon MX715 and no HP thingy...

Anyways... those were wonderful times thinking back to 2008 when the Pre was first demoed at CES and I will always keep it at my place just to remember how a superior product failed to succeed just because of stupid business decisions...

OMFG!!!!
This makes me feel so depressed.

One more reason for hating HP.

"When you get a 5-1/4" floppy disc from Tron you know you've done something wrong."

That is the funniest line I've heard in MONTHS! Derek, you get a cookie for that one! I even tried pasting an ASCII cookie here, but this font breaks your cookie. Sorry.

So, judging from the article, it is safe to assume that the Galaxy port of openwebOS is actually further along in its "development cycle" than webOS on the windsornot. I have been lusting after a webOS slab for 2 years. While lost in the ocean of smartphones, I have taken refuge on Lumia island but, I still long for my webOS home. And now, I have just now realized that, rather than selling a kidney to actually acquire one of these windsornot mythical beasts, I can just get a galaxy and enjoy a better webOS experience in roughly the same form factor.
I may be stuck on Lumia island until a daily use version of openwebOS becomes available, but I now have a glimpse of home.
I did not expect this, but this article has helped me move beyond the past and gives me hope that, somehow, someway, I will one day return to my webOS home.

WOW....just WOW. I think I cried, screamed, and had a heart attack as the same time. That last photo is just heart breaking....the best smartphone combination a Winsor and Pre3 on the audio doc...for us keyboard guys ;-)

RIP Palm. Heres to all your innovative ideas that were crushed by the not-so-innnovative...bastards!

Never wanted a slab phone until today, so bummed out now...

But thank you Derek. Thank you SO much for sticking with us!

Sad puppy face. :(

This looks so much like a Nexus device - lots of similarities to the Galaxy Nexus. Who was it that produced the Nexus 4, again? Oh, that's right, it was LG! It wouldn't be that far a leap to build a webOS version...

not that i like non-keyboard phones, but this last picture is epic. Now the Touchstone two makes sense. They were so ahead innovationwise.

Thx Derek for this great article...

Now what's next? Check out General News Discusion Forum * Big webOS news this weekend

Thanks for posting this, Derek.

I'm sure we're all grateful for you sharing the story of this device.

WindsorNot will be The One Who Got Away... and we'll never be able to admire her curves, hands-on, thanks to her cranky Old Man, Apotheker, never letting her outta the house! :p

Curse Him!!!! :p

Gentlemen. No WindsorNot, no cry!

Long live webOS

So does anyone know how many of these prototypes were produced and if any of them actually were working phones?

OMG you better watch your back Derek Mandrake lives near you :) It can just disappear.

That would have been THE webos phone. As we can see with geeksphone.com and firefoxos it probably would need 50 million dollars and clear intention to build and sell an openwebos phone successfully.

I now understand the pain of our friends that did work for HP/Palm and knowing all the things that were being prototyped. So sad, thanks for the article Derek!

Nexus 4's back kind of resembles this one. Overall, WindsorNot is not that attractive to look at (esp those speaker grills on the bottom) but then it was a prototype so maybe the final product would've been pretty different. I would've sure bought one had they released it.

It seems that HP was planning to go further away from the webOS that I loved, the rounded corners, gesture area, the overal beautifull UI..

But seriously, if they planned this device without a gesture area then they truly didnt know the greatness of WebOS!

Im so sad, I think I need to go hug my Pre Plus now :)

Agreed, no gesture area no go for me. How you gonna have new device that's not as good as the old. Really don't get all this excitement for this device . I would have just kept my pre2 and walk away from the store shaking my head

I don't need gesture area. Back button is fine. As long as the the up-swipe is retained (as they did in Touchpad), that's what I'd want.

I don't know. I see only one button meaning the back button is on the screen inside the app, which I cannot stand having to look for it not to mention having to aim for it way up at the top. If they also had a physical home button ok, but I find the touchpad maddening to use. Back in the browser is in one place, preware another etc Who has time for that

Start the bidding at $1,000 dollars......

I broke up with my Girlfriend named Palm. I lost her to Hp. I found her again in Elegance. I just want her back. Anything to get her back. I could only wish. Hope.

I can't put the rage inside me into words right now, and if I do, my comment would be flagged. But Apotheker, wherever you are out there I hope u *$#+-/&?*¥

I am posting this on facebook

Sigh. Damnit. :(

Back when the Palm Pre Plus came to Verizon, I convinced my then girlfriend to get one and lived vicariously through her. I was eagerly anticipating just such a virtual keyboard device. Almost two years ago, I bought the TouchPad and Pre3, but wished I could combine the two. This looks like the device I dreamed of.

I sold my webOS tech earlier this year. I miss it, but it wasn't complete enough for my needs. The Nokia Lumia 920 is my baby now. I wish Microsoft bought webOS, if only for the far superior multitasking. I can't believe that nothing touches it STILL.

Thanks for sharing a unicorn, Derek. I hear you may be coming over to the WP camp: You'd be more than welcome and hopefully this time, you don't invest in another promising, but lacking proper backing, mobile OS. If only webOS had had a company like Nokia to champion it.

Well now, you're just showing off with that last photo, Derek. Thanks for taking the time to share your unicorns with us just the same. ;-)

Seeing this pisses me off, after og pre I switched to ios and android both, ios good for music creation-bands, rappers, wRAPPERS, ios has pro-tools like apps, multitrack DAW, fruity loops..
But andrioid I like as a phone and ipad1/4 I have.

I still got my 2 touchpads running android4.1.2 I flip over to webOS every so often, but it just makes me mad.

I believe apple will steal the gesture area once they get rid of their home button.
The pre when it came out was awesome OS, but having to buy the battery back that worked with the touchstone separate for $20 on top of the touchstone.

I would like a touchstone for my touchpad and want a pre3 once I leave my Verizon contract I'm going GSM , so I can hop between phones... I don't use my galaxy nexus(rooted) as I use my ipad4(gaming deadzone, vendetta online, modern combat4, minecraft )...

WebOS was on equal footing with iPhoneOS there for awhile when it came to 3d environment games, example
Assassins creed on webOS and iPhoneOS (mid to late 2009) was 3d environment game and on android....it was a 2d side scroller.... Palm and sprint mismanaged the pre and advertising was horrid. The naked lady commercial. Lol. Then Verizon's mom commercial.

It always has and always will confound me that HP didn't launch the WebOS line with this phone and instead went with the Veer of all things...

This is the most beautiful looking phone I've ever seen. Damn you HP...damn you to hell!