Kerris and McKinney talk webOS with Fast Company | webOS Nation

Kerris and McKinney talk webOS with Fast Company

by Riz Parvez Wed, 29 Jun 2011 5:44 am EDT

As we wind down to the final hours before the HP TouchPad’s official launch, HP’s webOS tablet debut is drawing significant attention from plenty of mainstream media outlets. Adding to that growing list is an interview of Richard Kerris and Phil McKinney by Fast Company’s Austin Carr. The article’s narrative style is refreshingly spare and lays out in perhaps the clearest tone yet both the challenges HP faces in making webOS an effective contender in the mobile space, and their tremendous potential for success.

The article does a great job of establishing HP’s formidable position by comparing it directly to Apple: The world’s largest technology company by revenue against the world’s largest technology company by market cap. Just how new is the tablet race, though? Well, Personal Systems Group CTO Phil McKinney gave us a clear look at the potential of the market, comparing Apple’s 14 million iPad sales to the 500-600 million PCs that will ship next year. Certainly sounds to us like a lot room for HP to stake their claim.

McKinney and Kerris define webOS as the “happy medium” between the strictly controlled iOS ecosystem and the “Wild Wild West” of Android with all it’s requisite fragmentation and “strange” attempts by manufacturers at differentiation.

Kerris, no doubt, alluded to the ease of development for webOS and the inevitability of making a major impact given HP’s size and staying power as major reasons iPad developers will want to make their apps available on webOS: “We're an easy investment. Most of the developers that are on the iOS platform can have their apps up and running here in a matter of days."

This is a particularly interesting point, as Kerris' message to developers is clear. HP will make an impact in this space by sheer might, the barrier to entry for iOS devs looking to write for webOS is extremely low, and the vertically controlled ecosystem provides a lot more assurance than Android can that their app will work across devices. All that was missing was a shout-out to the rest of the Developer Relations team, another aspect of the Palm GBU that has certainly earned high praise from developers themselves.

Finally, Kerris makes the interesting point of noting that his own career history included work at Apple during the transition from OS 9 to OS X, and how Apple was told failure there was the foregone conclusion: “All the naysayers said, 'There's no way--it's over, Apple.' And it's certainly not."

We couldn't agree more.

PreCentral’s regular readers will find little new in this article, aside from perhaps seeing just how close to parity webOS is with Android in the tablet-optimized app space (just over 300 at launch, according to Kerris). On the other hand, Fast Company is a business publication whose readers are likely much less familiar with the TouchPad and webOS’s journey to the big screen. These are exactly the kinds of people whom HP will have to court if webOS is to succeed, and the interview does an excellent job of building excitement for it on the eve of what could be webOS's most important debut ever.

Source: Fast Company