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HP Confirms Slate To Run WebOS

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the avoiding-cognitive-dissonance dept.

HP 178

Kilrah_il writes "After HP bought Palm a few weeks ago, many rumors emerged regarding the new parent company's plans to further expand the scope of devices running WebOS. Now it appears that at least one of the rumors is true: The Slate will be running WebOS. 'Today an HP exec has confirmed that the company is developing a WebOS tablet which should be available by October.'"

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178 comments

in other words... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32315724)

doomed to failure.

Re:in other words... (2, Insightful)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315954)

Probably going to be more successful than one running Windows.

Re:in other words... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32317096)

Doomed to failure is right. Only the "everything-but-Apple" sheep will use crap like a device based on WebOS or Andriod. Apple just works while WebOS and Android simply doesn't work except for all of the malware from the exploits. Not to mention Apple has way many more apps as it is more developer friendly and you do not neet to root any fucking iPod, iPhone, or iPad.

Re:in other words... (3, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#32318384)

Probably, but if any product is going to be able to compete with the iPad, it will have to be something where the same company controls both the hardware and the software. Consumers don't care about freedom in the FSF sense, they care about what works best for them. So HP is starting out on the right track. I don't think they will succeed, but at least they are starting (well, restarting) with the correctly by doing it themselves (through acquisition, though).

For a WebOS tablet to reasonably take on the iPad, it will have to be top-notch hardware (no, that does not mean an SD card slot, or USB), and it will have to have top-notch software. I just don't see how HP will be able to get close enough to the iPad in either of those. If they market this as an iPad competitor and go after the average consumer, they will fail. If instead, they go after some other niche, they may certainly be able to gain some traction.

I would absolutely love it if HP were to make this into a sort of engineering device, but sadly that HP is dead. They are a consumer company now, and there isn't a consumer company on the planet that can out-design and out-engineer Apple.

Meh... (1, Flamebait)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315760)

If it was running Android... probably would get one
Windows, yeah I would get one.

WebOS? nah.
It would need to be mildly useful for more than browsing the internet at that price.

Re:Meh... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315888)

If people were so serious about buying Windows based slates, the sales of "Tablet PCs" wouldn't have been sucking for the last decade.

Also, "WebOS" implies that its UI layer is based on web technologies, not that it is browser-only. Support for local applications is pretty much exactly the same as Android. And, with native plugins, support for native code might even be said to be slightly better; but certainly no worse.

Re:Meh... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316042)

The past decade is only worth so much, there has not been a slim, finger-friendly tablet computer that runs Windows, at those at least seem like they might be decent differentiators for the form factor.

Re:Meh... (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316662)

In terms of hardware, HP has(within the limitations imposed by Intel and physics) pretty much been-there-done-that in terms of Wintel Tablets. Their TC1100, with ULV Pentium M, up to 2BG of RAM, 802.11b/g, bluetooth, and fully detachable keyboard was among the high-water marks of the genre. The only difference from what you mention is that the screen was stylus based, both because capacitive displays of that size weren't really available yet, and because XP really requires fairly fine pointing precision, unless you are running at an annoying low resolution, or have managed to get everything working with a nonstandard DPI setting.

They also have their line of "touchsmart" desktops, which run full Windows, have finger-touch screens(in the 20-inch range), and some vendor shovelware designed to give you some touch stuff to do. They aren't bad, per se, you don't pay much of a premium over standard wintel all-in-ones, and the touch can be a fun gimmick, but you don't exactly see them sprouting on every desk. As far as I can tell, the trouble is that, as long as the number of Windows boxes without touch vastly exceeds the number with, "touch support" is going to be an afterthought. MS has done about as well as can be expected in natively rendering touch events into mouse activity, so using applications that don't care is certainly possible; but it isn't terribly pleasant. There aren't many applications that explicitly go beyond that(aside from a few that support some gestures or something, or esoteric warehouse management stuff, and other bespoke specialty things).

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against people wanting Windows-based tablets. Given that building one will basically involve chopping the keyboard off a netbook and springing for a more expensive display, I'm sure that they'll get their wish. However, Windows-based tablets have been tried, off and on, for ages(Windows 3.1 had a Pen-computing add-on) and it has just never worked that well, outside of niche situations with a limited set of bespoke applications(at which point, unless your volume is tiny, you could probably get a ruggedized CE device with 4 times the battery life to do the job).

Re:Meh... (2, Interesting)

narrowhouse (1949) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317930)

Anyone looking at my posting history will see I am not a huge MS fan, but in this case I really think the biggest problem is that you can't have a touch based GUI and still be what most people think of as "Windows". A well executed touch based OS takes away almost all of Microsoft's market advantages, i.e. familiarity and application availability. Even if the OS GUI were completely converted to a nice touch interface, almost all existing windows apps would be clumsy to use. This is the closest thing to a level playing field MS has tried to get into in some time. Just look at the phone market, their current premium offering uses the HTC sense GUI bolted on top of WinCE 6.5. It's almost completely unlike "Windows" for the first several steps of any given operation, so why would the average user prefer windows over android/webos?

Re:Meh... (3, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317662)

If people were so serious about buying Windows based slates, the sales of "Tablet PCs" wouldn't have been sucking for the last decade.

Wrong. If tablet pc prices weren't so much higher (on average 3-4 times higher) than a comparably priced laptop, then tablet pc sales wouldn't have sucked for the last decade. I get it, it costs more to add a touch screen - but it does NOT cost $1,000 more (as evidenced by the fact that the iPad with the traditional Apple mark-up starts at $499). The reason sales have sucked is that companies don't want to charge more for newer, superior technology - they want to charge obscenely more for it and the result is that the overwhelming majority of people just decide not to buy the device instead.

I want a tablet running Windows (or even a full Linux distro with the ability for me to at least do hand written notes), but I'm NOT paying $1,000 or more for it. I'll pay in the $500-$600 price range for a tablet in the 10"-14" range, which is what I would pay for a laptop in the 15"-17" range.

Re:Meh... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32318008)

Given that the Wintel integrators have been cutting one another's throats on margins for years now(IBM fled the PC market entirely, HP makes most of its profit on consulting and overpriced ink, etc.) I find it hard to believe that the price of tablet PCs has been maintained merely by what the vendors want to charge. Unless there is something about tablets that makes them uniquely cartel friendly, they would have faced the same knife-fight-in-a-telephone-booth process that does the pricing elsewhere.

I assume that being relatively low-volume items hasn't helped, nor has the fact that(until quite recently) low-power x86s either sucked pretty painfully (sorry, Transmeta and VIA...) or cost a king's ransom (remember what Pentium Ms used to cost, back when Intel was still pretending that the "Pentium 4m" was a mobile processor?). Engineering around a high-TDP processor is cake in a 15-17inch diagonal, 1.5-2inch thick laptop. It isn't in something you'd want to hold like a slate, so you need to shell out for one of the pricey ULVs, or suffer through a seriously gimped processor.

With the rise of netbooks, getting x86 tablets in the 10-14inch range for the kind of money you want seems rather more plausible. Just not, apparently, from HP.

Re:Meh... (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32318090)

Actually, the only tablet pc's I've found for sale are all listed under the "business computer" section of the websites - and as MS has shown, businesses are not nearly as concerned with what a product costs as an individual buying for personal use is. The fact that most businesses have deals with only one vendor (Dell, HP, etc)and the fact that only a few companies even make tablet pc's also dramatically cuts down on the competition.

With the rise of netbooks, getting x86 tablets in the 10-14inch range for the kind of money you want seems rather more plausible. Just not, apparently, from HP

I sure hope so - and soon. I've applied for grad school and I'd love to use a tablet to take notes on as well as reading any pdf's or other documents I need for school.

Re:Meh... (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316100)

Windows tablets require Atom, and have a pitiful battery life, due to both Atom and WIndows being battery hogs. Indeed, Windows tablets have been available forever, and nobody much bought them.

Right now the choice is AppleOS or WinCE. Upcoming are Android, MeeGoo, and Palm.

I'm not sure Palm can be successful, sandwiched between Apple and the open-sourcers. It will be very interesting to see if HP goes Open, and if, starting from a good technical base, they manage to build devices, an OS, and an ecosystem as enticing for non-techies as Apple's.

Re:Meh... (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316260)

I was under the impression that WebOS was open, or at least as open as, say OS X. In that it was built on Linux, but probably has some proprietary UI layer on top.

Re:Meh... (3, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316370)

We need to work out words for different degrees of Open, from Public Domain to Apple Playpen, with BSD, GPL, and "regular OS" stages (and certainly others).

PalmOS is certainly neither Public Domain nor Open Source, I'm not sure if it goes for Regular OS (you may develop any Apps, but not really hack the OS), or Apple Playpen (You may do only what we like)

Re:Meh... (3, Informative)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316590)

WebOS is very open: you can develop apps, like in all ecosystems, but also you can hack the OS, an act that is not frowned upon by Palm and is even encouraged ( http://www.precentral.net/palm-hearts-homebrew-community [precentral.net] ), although I agree they have not gone so far as to call it Open-Sourced.

Re:Meh... (2, Informative)

Lobachevsky (465666) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317498)

Palm ditched PalmOS a long time ago. Their new OS is WebOS, which is Linux based, with a UI layer called Luna.

Re:Meh... (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316512)

It is stylistically pretty similar to OSX(mostly FOSS guts, more or less proprietary UI and core applications), though it arguably leans slightly closer to "open" than OSX does. If only for lack of time and manpower, Palm didn't do very much to the stock linux layer(whereas, while it is a certified UNIX and all that, OSX is a bit of a culture shock coming from Linux or one of the classic BSDs) and the WebOS UI layer is largely rendered in HTML+CSS+javascript in a webkit-based system.

It isn't like android, where there is, in fact, an OSS release that you can actually download and build and go(except for proprietary Google components); but architecturally it is basically near-stock Linux(arguably more "stock" than Android's Linux layer) along with Webkit, with a few platform-specific javascript extensions to support program access to specific hardware features.

It isn't exactly the successor to OpenMoko; but it is basically a conglomeration of OSS components, and its "SDK" is extremely close to web development, with a few nonstandard bits and pieces for local application and hardware access stuff.

Re:Meh... (1)

InfoJunkie777 (1435969) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316564)

I was under the impression that WebOS was open, or at least as open as, say OS X. In that it was built on Linux, but probably has some proprietary UI layer on top.

Wikipedia says it is. Linux core with proprietary shell by Palm. Based on WebKit and developed to be used on touch screen interface. As it uses HTML 5, JS and CSS, developers can easily create apps.

Re:Meh... (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316586)

Windows tablets have been available forever, and nobody much bought them.

Yeah, but to be fair, Europe's repeat sales didn't meet expectations while their distribution channel utilized Vikings for delivery.

Re:Meh... (1)

Macka (9388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316170)

It was running Windows, they demo'd it running Windows, then they scrapped the Windows version. What does that say about running Windows on a Slate / Tablet device? Clearly the experience is very below par.

Re:Meh... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32316676)

It pretty much says that these devices are not meant as a general purpose computer and are really something better named a "content consumption device". Neither a general purpose computer (although it has the core of one and you can come close by adding keyboards and all), nor a phone they have a small niche market today. Putting a full OS like Windows, OSX, or even Linux on them is really not a great idea. All three of those are full fledged operating systems designed to do general purpose computing and are really mouse / keyboard centric. That's just not the space that a slate plays in today. They can do less, so they need less - and that "less" gives them more battery life and a more "designed for touch" interface.

Re:Meh... (2, Interesting)

mantis2009 (1557343) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316806)

I think worrying about webOS not working on a slate PC is exactly the wrong thing to worry about.

The much bigger question is whether moving webOS off of the smartphone will dilute and fragment the operating system too much.

I think webOS is the best designed OS for a phone because it's designed to work with both touch and a fully qwerty keyboard. Looking up contacts, searching for apps, sending a message -- webOS is optimized to do that in the shortest number of "clicks." Better than iPhone OS, better than Android, better than Blackberry. I like that. I want webOS to stay that way.

If webOS is moved to a slate PC -- with no keyboard and no phone -- I fear that webOS will lose its advantages as the smartest smartphone OS. And webOS developers would start writing more for slate apps, not smartphone apps. That would suck, especially for those of us who took the plunge and signed up for a 2 year contract with a Palm Pre.

Re:Meh... (3, Interesting)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317688)

WebOS has such a small installed base, and so few apps, fragmentation is not at all their chief concern. HP needs to outsell all previous WebOS devices by far in the first few months just to keep making HP Slate. They need to get more apps made for Slate than have ever been made so far for WebOS or the project is a failure.

When Pre first shipped, iPhone 3G was $399. Then just a few days after Pre shipped at $299, Apple introduced iPhone 3GS for $199 and iPhone 3G for $99. That was Apple killing Palm for the second time.

So if you are a Palm user, this is another rebirth for Palm, as part of HP. Things not only will change dramatically, they have to change dramatically.

The killer app on phones is calls. On tablets, it's apps. If they don't expose a full C API, they will ultimately be toast. Developers need to be able to port their big screen Windows, Mac, iPhone, and PlayStation apps to HP Slate. All of those are written in C.

Maemo (1)

ElusiveJoe (1716808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317488)

Both Android and WebOS are not 'Linux' in its full meaning. They have many proprietary components, access to the kernel is locked, and the applications must be written in some really exotic languages (Java dialect, that no one supports and ... HTML?!) because device manufacturers don't want anyone messing up with their hardware. This means: no porting of existing software and no multi-platform apps.

I'd prefer Maemo.

Re:Maemo (1)

chrylis (262281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317724)

The full Optware distribution, native SDL apps, and a click-the-launcher Terminal application, all looked on with favor by Palm [elinux.org] tend to disagree with your claims, and that's not even mentioning that you can run custom kernels under WebOS if you like.

It's also funny you should mention writing apps in HTML+JS; I'm using GWT to do that right now for a desktop application exactly because it's an easy way to write multi-platform apps, including mobile versions.

Re:Maemo (2, Insightful)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317804)

Yeah, but without C you can't port iPhone apps to WebOS. You can't port Windows apps, Mac apps, PlayStation apps, Wii apps, and so on. This is a full-size screen. There are many developers with full-size C apps.

Also, on the tiny CPU's in mobile, the devices really benefit from highly-optimized, compiled C code. And if I want to run Web apps, I can do that with HTML5 and client-side storage on iPhone and Android already. We are long past the time when you can pretend that HTML+JS+CSS is a "native" app.

The wall that all mobile systems are going to run right into as they go to 10-inch form factor is the lack of a desktop class API. Once your screen can support desktop class apps your API needs to be able to. The baby Java apps on most phones and fake Web apps on Palm are just not going to cut it on 10-inch screens. iPad has real PC and console apps on it and it runs at incredible speeds.

Re:Meh... (1)

pookemon (909195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32318056)

Don't you love the way that someone mentions that they would buy one with Windoze and they get modded "Flamebait". Presumably by an Apple (I don't need features) fanboy or whoever the person is that is using Web OS.

I agree with your choices Mark19960. IMO Android and Windows are much more "Open" than the competition - be it iCrap or Web OS.

another one bites the dust (-1, Flamebait)

anarking (34854) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315780)

is it too much to ask for a tablet to run a real operating system?!?! the slate had a chance to rise up, now it's just going to be another oversized under-capable phone a la worthless iPad. fire the CTO that made this decision.

Re:another one bites the dust (4, Insightful)

uprise78 (1256084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315840)

Tablets have been running full OS versions for years and they failed. Two thumbs up for HP figuring this out and moving forward with a proper touch based OS on their tablet.

Re:another one bites the dust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32315960)

Yes, cheers to HP for letting apple figure out that a full OS wasn't working on tablets and applying a limited, truly touch oriented interface to the device...

HP hasn't even made the device, they didn't even write the OS they plan on using, they bought it. From a once innovative company that died playing catchup and copying the innovations of others...

OK.. I retract that. The more I think about it, the more it sounds like every other tech company out there, at one point or another...

Re:another one bites the dust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32315990)

HP figured it out? Don't you mean HP waited around to see if the iPad is successful and for Apple to figure it out, and then follow suit?

Re:another one bites the dust (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316036)

That. I recently broke down and bought an Axiotron Modbook [axiotron.com] . This is a standard MacBook that has a Wacom tablet stapled on the top of the machine. Runs real-live OS X (cue snarky comment about 'real' OS. Just note, it does run EMACS).

A very mixed bag. Using a stylus is hampered by the poor decision to run a low end Wacom product with a terrible pen and software that is unable to change the very limited button repertoire based on application. Hardware / Software integration is poor. Support is pretty weak (the company rarely shows up in the forums). Nice idea, but it just "Doesn't work". At best it will be a very niche product - it's fun to work Photoshop in your lap - but actually frustrating because PS really needs a keyboard to be productive.

So, in short, it's just like every other full OS tablet that litters the landscape. Neither fish nor fowl, never really tuned up, never really achieve any market success. This is why the future of tablets is a limited OS with finger touch as the main input.

Now, there isn't anything (at least to my knowledge) that prevents His Jobness to release an iPad pro (aka 'the MaxiPad') that lets you get out on a real USB ports, runs CUPS, runs Terminal, comes with a Pony, etc.

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316106)

How does running keyboard centric applications on a bodged-together low resolution stylus-based display indict using a full OS on a finger based tablet with touch-aware applications?

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316228)

How does running keyboard centric applications on a bodged-together low resolution stylus-based display indict using a full OS on a finger based tablet with touch-aware applications?

It doesn't. My point being that current 'normal' operating systems DON'T include significant touch based functionality and certainly the applications aren't there yet. Thus, my contention that a 'specialty' OS and application suite, one engineered to deal with the advantages and limitations of the tablet form factor, are going to be the best solution.

My last paragraph was simply a dig at Apple to make the iPad unnecessarily crippled.

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316320)

I was responding to

This is why the future of tablets is a limited OS with finger touch as the main input.

Limited and specialized have pretty different implications.

Re:another one bites the dust (4, Insightful)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316330)

The entire argument for running Windows 7 (a "real OS", for whatever that means) on a slate tablet is that you can run all your existing Windows programs, like Photoshop, on it. This guy has a tablet device, and is running Photoshop, and says it doesn't really work, due to lack of keyboard. Take away the stylus, and it'd get even worse, because Photoshop is in no way optimized for finger input. That's why I never get everyone being all excited about running existing Windows apps on a touchscreen slate. Almost none of those apps have any kind of support for touch, and have UIs optimized for keyboard/mouse input. There's an app running where I work on a touchscreen display. Its painfully obvious there was no thought of touchscreens when it was designed. Its so bad that someone hooked a mouse into the computer running it, so there could be some kind of control.

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317696)

You do realize that there are these things called "bluetooth keyboards and mice" that let you add a keyboard and mouse to a tablet in a case where you'd really need it, right?

It's not hard to even just have a simply combo keyboard / collapsable stand for the tablet that you can toss in your bag. The biggest reason people want something like a Windows tablet is so that you can write notes by hand, potentially convert it to text (I've only seen limited demos of the software, so I don't know how well it really works), and link it out to something like OneNote to organize, search, and share your notes - this would be a godsend for people in college / grad school.

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316118)

It even runs 2 real OSes then, Mac OS *AND* EMACS ?

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

zsimic (548446) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316716)

Absolutely. It's dumb to run Windows or a desktop OS on these things. Finally companies are starting to get it.

Re:another one bites the dust (3, Informative)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317540)

I had worked on a register with a touchscreen, and WinXP. THe register part worked and you could enter data fast because things like scrollbars and buttons were huge. But when you had to switch to something in Control Panel for instance, since the widgets were normal size instead of touchscreen size, it would always be a struggle to move or close a window using any of the GUI buttons.

I agree, forget about using standard desktop OSes. And that's what the iPad is demonstrating.

Re:another one bites the dust (5, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315972)

Which OS in particularly do you want them to use?

I believe you can already get Linux and Windows 7-based tablets, and they haven't exactly been flying off the shelves.

Are you saying you are in the market for a tablet, but you are just waiting for one with the right OS? Or are you waiting for Linux or Windows to be updated with a better touch interface? Or apps to be created/updated for these OS's to be better touch enabled?

And are there enough copies of you that will buy this device to make it worthwhile?

On another note, what specific problems do you have with PalmOS?

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316146)

Are you saying you are in the market for a tablet, but you are just waiting for one with the right OS? Or are you waiting for Linux or Windows to be updated with a better touch interface? Or apps to be created/updated for these OS's to be better touch enabled?

And are there enough copies of you that will buy this device to make it worthwhile?

Yes, yes, yes and yes.

Re:another one bites the dust (2, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316262)

1) So, basically you're waiting for somebody to come out with 'something' better, but you have no idea what features and/or capabilities it may have [other than it's not the iPad and doesn't use PalmOS].

2) Given (1), you can't really say there are enough copies of you to make it worthwhile, unless you happen to be personally wealthy enough to create this magical device yourself. And fund the development of the OS. And fund the development of the apps you want.

Re:another one bites the dust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32316526)

And are there enough copies of you that will buy this device to make it worthwhile?

Come now, this is slashdot. You should already know it's unlikely he has replicated.

Re:another one bites the dust (2, Informative)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315976)

If that's what you want, there are a bunch of those available for you already. None of them have been very successful, and the only ones that sell in decent numbers are the convertible ones. Otherwise they're all like netbooks with the keyboard removed.

Re:another one bites the dust (2, Insightful)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316002)

History and reality beg to differ. If anything, history has shown us that a "full" laptop or desktop OS is NOT what people want on a tablet. The UI for a tablet needs to be different than a desktop. Simply sticking windows or OS X onto a slate and substituting your finger or a stylus for a mouse and displaying an on screen keyboard is not, according to historic sales of tablets, and current sales of the iPad, what people want. I had a Windows tablet and the only thing it better at was browsing the web. For everything else it was worse and I ended up using my Thinkpad and lugging two machines home at the end of the day. I gave the Tablet back to IS after 3 weeks...

Re:another one bites the dust (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32316516)

Maybe a Thinkpad convertible like x61 tablet or x200t would have been good for you? I've been thinking about getting one but would like to know how well linux works with those.

I have enough stuff to tinker with my n900 at the moment though so will probably wait until I can get x60/x61 tablet for 200€ or so from ebay :D

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32318320)

Possibly, but IS/Engineering was testing out some tablets. Needless to say we didn't end up keeping any, and I could do without the touch screen on my laptop.

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

anarking (34854) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316052)

because those were tablet laptops, not the new hardware design that people actually now seem to want. and the OS needs to be real, whether windows, linux, or mac os. now the GUI on the other hand, which HP has been doing a good job on with their touchscreen stand computers, with a windows back-end so it can run REAL programs. but now you get yet another worthless app-based OS that can't do jack shite. wonderful.

Re:another one bites the dust (2, Insightful)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316352)

The problem with that touchscreen UI layer that HP adds on is that, as soon as you go away from the few specialty apps they came up with for use with that layer, you see how painful it is to run regular desktop apps with a finger based interface. At least on Android, iPhoneOS, and WebOS, the apps are designed from the beginning to be used with a finger.

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316648)

Bingo! I purchased (and returned) a Windows 7 based netbook. Touch screen & finger does not equal mouse. The problem is the OS is built from the ground up to *not* be touchscreen friendly. Using a finger to poke at a narrow scrollbar on a 7" screen is a deal breaker for me.

Is that what you want? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316094)

Here you go. [ebay.com] We already have that.

Re:Is that what you want? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316338)

Windows CE? Real operating system?

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316108)

define real os... If you want a PC in tablet, you can get it right now... obviously you didn't, ask yourself why ?

Re:another one bites the dust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32316252)

Define a "real" operating system... AN OS is only required to.. well... operate the system it is controlling... The OS on a "dumb" flip phone is no less "real" or "complete" for it's lack of printing, or ability to install random apps, or run flash. So long as it does what the manufacturer and designers intended it to do.

A tablet is a different device with different capabilities and a different purpose than a laptop or desktop, so a different OS is in order. There is a lot of room to debate whether a phone OS is the right way to go. For what it is worth, I think Apple will have an easier route to turning the iPhoneOS into something truly suitable for a tablet. It is essentially OSX under the hood, and I think they will have a better chance of adding the needed pieces as they become available in the right adaptations. WebOS on the other hand started specifically designed for phones, and I think HP will have more work to do to convert it to a more capable system...

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

dcherryholmes (1322535) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317142)

I have debian running chrooted on my pre already, and I've read that tapping into a gui (probably a very stripped down gui with an ancient feather-light window manager) via VNC is doable. Regardless of the fact that WebOS is a fantastic GUI that I'm drooling to use on a tablet, being able to pop a window and run any X11 app that's got an arm .deb sounds pretty enticing. I'm sure far better programmers than me could do some pretty slick stuff with that foundation alone. Also, as far as being "real," I'm running ondemand frequency scaling, powertop, echo'ing to /proc to set stuff etc, while ssh'd into it. I know "real operating system" is a wildly subjective term, but it *feels* a lot like working on a standard linux box.

Re:another one bites the dust (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32318116)

is it too much to ask for a tablet to run a real operating system?!?! the slate had a chance to rise up, now it's just going to be another oversized under-capable phone a la worthless iPad. fire the CTO that made this decision.

Why? Why do you want a "real" operating system? Why do you need something so full featured? The Apple and the iPad faithful would have you believe that the iPad is taking over general purpose computing. That the "PC" world is fearful of the shift. This is wishful thinking and marketing smoke-and-mirrors.

The reality is that the iPad (and up-and-coming similar products) are streamlined information ("content" if you will) delivery platforms. It's the right interface for specific tasks. It isn't the right interface for all tasks. A full feature OS is not required in this environment and, in fact, likely a complete mis-match for what this interface is good at (not that I wouldn't mind the ability to extend said OS as desired).

Android please (1)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315794)

Waiting for someone to make a good quality, aesthetically-pleasing and ergonomic tablet with Android as its OS. No tablet for me until then.

Re:Android please (-1, Flamebait)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315904)

Waiting for someone to make a good quality, aesthetically-pleasing and ergonomic tablet [...] No tablet for me until then.

Good quality, aesthetically-pleasing and ergonomic? That pretty much precludes anything coming out of HP these days. Bill and Dave must be rolling over in their graves thinking about what their once-great company has become since the Carly Fiorina era.

Re:Android please (4, Insightful)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315920)

Did you ever see the WebOS? If you want aesthetically-pleasing, you don't want Android, you want WebOS. I know you were talking about the tablet itself, but if you have a beautiful tablet, you want it running the most aesthetic mobile OS possible, and right now it is the WebOS, IMHO. The fact that it not a success (yet) in smartphones is more a testament to Palm's horrible marketing skills than to WebOS's faults. Hope HP does better.

Re:Android please (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317406)

I had a Pre for about a week.

Best mobile OS I've ever used.

Worst smartphone hardware I've ever used.

It wasn't just the marketing, it was the crap excuse for hardware that Palm spewed out.

I just checked on ebay (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316180)

Apparently somebody went out and shipped a Brazilian Android tablets with a 7 inch screen. They're all over the place out there. Getting the 10 inch screen is going to be pretty tricky - I understand Apple bought them all. Maybe we'll see some Android tablets in the 12 inch display.

WebOS gets a bad rap (5, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316184)

To 'root' my pre on the first day involved only downloading the official development platform from Palm for Linux. I didn't have to go to Windows or OSX or wait for someone in the community to 'jailbreak'. Meanwhile, Android phones from most manufacturers take a few weeks for the community to jailbreak before the fun begins. I'd rather go with a platform where the manufacturer blatantly allows the users the power Palm does. I find it ironic as the base platform is more closed in theory, but in practice is a bit more amenable to hacking.

Though I'm personally not enthused about their HTML5/Javascript 'premiere' approach to applications, I do like the simplicity of SDL/GL/C code to develop other apps.

As a user, I find WebOS' current interface a bit slicker on the multitasking front.

Of course, all this said I don't think I'll ever be interested in a tablet. It's in a useless spot for me of not being as useful as a laptop yet not as convenient as my 'phone'.

Re:WebOS gets a bad rap (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316368)

I heard how easy it was to root a Pre, and thought it was kinda cool. You think HP is going to continue that, though?

Re:WebOS gets a bad rap (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316764)

They might be control freaks just for the hell of it; but it would arguably be a quite irrational act on their part.

If you are Apple, and have a potent mix of good marketshare and unbeatable mindshare, you can get away with pissing people off, if you think that it is in your interest.

If you are a carrier, trying to whip every last nickel out of your "2 year contract and stiff ETF" serfs, you don't have to care, you're the phone company.

If, on the other hand, you've just spent 1.2billion on a nice, but rather getting hammered in the marketplace, OS, it probably isn't a good time to upset that OS's most enthusiastic fanboys and developers.

If they decide that prospective commercial developers want a War On Piracy(tm), or if they ink some sort of ghastly "Premium Content" deal, any amount of evil is possible; but so long as they are focused on "not losing", they should remain fairly cooperative.

Re:WebOS gets a bad rap (4, Insightful)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317726)

> you can get away with pissing people off

The number of iPhone users who are unhappy they can't root their phone is so small as to not be measurable. On the other hand, the number of iPhone administrators who are happy that users can't root their phones and neither can malicious interlopers is fairly high.

So an un-rootable phone is indeed a feature.

Re:WebOS gets a bad rap (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32318064)

Given that the quoted percentage of iDevices that are actually jailbroken tends to float between 5 and 10 percent(depending on how recently there has been a not-yet-jailbroken update, and how desirable that update is) "so small as to not be measurable" seems implausible.

More to the point, though, there has definitely been some high-profile bitching from various developers, some of them fairly notable. That is exactly the sort of thing that you can get away with if you are well positioned(What're you going to do about it, huh? Go write for Windows mobile?) but have to pay attention to if you aren't.

Re:Android please (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317872)

Waiting for someone to make a good quality, aesthetically-pleasing and ergonomic tablet with Android as its OS. No tablet for me until then.

Here you go http://wetab.mobi/en [wetab.mobi]

After buying? (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315802)

Apparently nobody bothered to read the first sentence of the article.

"Ever since HP announced plans to acquire Palm a few weeks ago[...]"

Re:After buying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32315868)

Posted on Friday, May 21st, 2010, 10:01 am by Brad Linder

Re:After buying? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315896)

by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 23, @02:44PM

Best of both worlds (3, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315926)

Will be interesting to see what kind of approach HP takes with WebOS. They're in a unique position where they might have the best of both the iPad and Android tablet worlds in that they can provide a much more open experience akin to Android, but still be able to achieve the advantages Apple has from designing both the software and the hardware. Will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

Re:Best of both worlds (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317050)

Will be interesting to see what kind of approach HP takes with WebOS. They're in a unique position where they might have the best of both the iPad and Android tablet worlds in that they can provide a much more open experience akin to Android, but still be able to achieve the advantages Apple has from designing both the software and the hardware.

Sure, but that requires them to not fuck it up. And they're HP (a great company 30 years ago, but a pathetic shadow today).

Apple has a bazillion times more UI (and design) chops, and Google has a bazillion times more technical chops (and more freedom to be open because of their somewhat unique position in the market), so betting on what HP "could do" seems a wee bit risky.

Re:Best of both worlds (1)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32318068)

No, you're missing something really important.

C API:
- Android: closed
- WebOS: closed
- iPhone OS: managed (250,000 apps with only 0.03% of apps rejected, which is a smaller percentage than the Windows blacklist or Google's Web blacklist)

So it's great that you can replace the kernel on WebOS or Android if you want to. But if I'm the developer of a Mac/PC app or console game, iPhone OS is by far the most open mobile system because it speaks my C language, it can accommodate my existing C app 90% unchanged, and the tools are free and very sophisticated. Which is why iPhone OS has so many apps and the other systems don't. C apps are even more important as the screen gets bigger because almost all of the world's big screen apps are written in C.

Also, in the eyes of a consumer who has great iPod skills and only fair to none Mac/PC skills, iPhone OS is also the most open. You can walk into an Apple Store and there is lots of help to buy and use an iPhone OS device, and plenty of free in-person support later. iTunes installs OS updates without killing your data, it backs up the device automatically when you plug it in, it's easy to get your existing music and movies and books on there, or buy new ones. The interface is optimized to be painlessly easy to use in every single way. People are buying iPads for their grandmothers and little kids who have never owned a PC, that's how open iPhone OS is to consumers.

So to both developers and consumers, iPhone OS is the most open. That is why it has the most apps and sells the best out of Android, WebOS, iPhone OS.

Yes, it's a slightly different open than you're used to, and what is talked about on Slashdot. It's a different kind of device and market, though. And even so, iPhone OS has an open source HTML5 browser, uses all open, vendor-neutral formats, and the core OS is open source, too.

So it's actually iPhone OS devices that are the best of both worlds already. They are very much both computers and consumer devices. Both Android and WebOS have a lot more opening up to do for developers with C apps consumers with ease of use, app selection, music movies books, and comprehensive in-person support.

But people should feel free to keep using a 20th century definition of "open" if it makes your Apple-bashing any easier.

Have you used webOS? (4, Interesting)

AFresh1 (1585149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315948)

I for one welcome this new class of device. I have a Palm Pre running webOS and I can do probably 40% of my computer activities on it, but the larger screen would really improve that experience while sitting on the couch reading /.

It isn't a computer replacement, the formfactor already limits the uses and so I like the limited software.

However, the Palm homebrew comunity has X running on webOS so if you want, you can have "real" apps.

I think you naysayers really need to try it, even if it isn't for everyone, it is going to be a great class of device for lots of people.

What are the advantages of WebOS? (2, Interesting)

Qubit (100461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32315986)

For now I'd either go with Android, bank on Google and Java and that environment, or wait for MeeGo to grow up a bit and then develop what amounts to a standard Linux system (linux, GNU coreutils, etc...).

Either way you'll need to write some code for touchscreen UIs, but at least both platforms are pretty darn open.

WebOS has some open stuff in the base layer, but their entire GUI layer is pretty much closed, right? So why would anyone choose to develop for it? I mean, if you want a closed-source environment, why wouldn't you just go with Apple's offerings?

Re:What are the advantages of WebOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32316168)

webOS is built on open source technologies: linux, google's v8 javascript engine, html5, css3, SQLite - all webkit stuff. Also, you can port over most C/C++ code and use openGL, sdl; pretty much whatever. You also don't have to "jailbreak" or "provision" a device. The developer unlock is well documented, and just a matter of typing in the "konami code" (cute touch). My webOS apps will easily port to any platform with webkit because I didn't choose to use Palm's "Mojo" framework; I used my own libs and unlike Apple, Palm is enthusiastic about people using any web technology to build apps. Look for adoption of webGL this year too, I bet.

Re:What are the advantages of WebOS? (5, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316220)

So why would anyone choose to develop for it?

If HP sells a few million of these devices in the first year of sales (Which really isn't a terribly large prediction considering that the iPad has probably sold close to two million units already.) that's several million people who might be interested in paying for apps. Since developers are people and people need to eat, sometimes it's better to go where the money is rather than basing development off of reasons such as openness of the platform or ease of development. If Android and iPhone marketplaces get crowded, WebOS might be an attractive platform for new developers who don't want to compete against several established developers.

Re:What are the advantages of WebOS? (0, Flamebait)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316278)

Presumably for the same reason they would develop for anything else: because they or somebody else wants the software on it. WebOS has a lot of closed source, but it is an open system in the sense that anyone can develop for it and release their product without artificial restriction. HP would have to be idiots to lock down the environment like Apple does, partly because it's just not such a great idea for anyone, and partly because unlike Apple they don't have a userbase willing to accept that sort of thing.

Now that Carly is gone, I think HP could rebound, and if they do the Slate right, that could be a huge part of it. Frankly, the iPad doesn't do what I would want a device in that size and at that price to do, I would love to see if the Slate does, and if so I very well might get one. Basically, I need some way of using a physical keyboard with it (preferably USB, although slide-out would be acceptable, and both would be the best), HDMI out, wireless LAN, and some way of connecting to a cell network for data - preferably one that allows me to just plug my phone or a dongle into it via USB.

And assuming that independent reviewers don't tear it apart on build quality or usability of WebOS. I really hope this isn't how it turns out, but one can never be sure until it hits the street.

Re:What are the advantages of WebOS? (1)

NekSnappa (803141) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316466)

So what you're saying is that if iPad had HDMI out you'd buy one?

Re:What are the advantages of WebOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32316712)

There is an adapter for that. [amazing-ipad.com]

Re:What are the advantages of WebOS? (1)

isThisNameAvailable (1496341) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316306)

There's nothing closed about WebOS on any level. They even encourage you to take their native apps, rewrite, and redistribute them. Half the Homebrew efforts involve patches to everything from the mail app and system settings to the kernel itself. Palm has openly acknowledged, thanked, and encouraged the Homebrew developers on a number of very public stages. "Jailbreaking" the device involves typing in the publicly available developer code, which does little more than open some firewall ports. For users who can't be bothered with that, Palm established an official app distribution channel that bypasses their store, but still allows users to install apps by simply clicking on a web link.

Re:What are the advantages of WebOS? (5, Interesting)

MobyTurbo (537363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316518)

For now I'd either go with Android, bank on Google and Java and that environment, or wait for MeeGo to grow up a bit and then develop what amounts to a standard Linux system (linux, GNU coreutils, etc...).

Either way you'll need to write some code for touchscreen UIs, but at least both platforms are pretty darn open.

WebOS has some open stuff in the base layer, but their entire GUI layer is pretty much closed, right? So why would anyone choose to develop for it? I mean, if you want a closed-source environment, why wouldn't you just go with Apple's offerings?

If you haven't used it, grab the free SDK (works on Linux, Mac, and Windows) and take a look at the emulator or take a look at a Palm Pre/Pre Plus. Palm's WebOS has a very smooth interface, something Android is missing to some extent. Also, programming for WebOS is quite open and they allow and even *encourage* modifications and unofficial applications outside the "app catalog", which makes it a lot more open than the iPad.

Unless you want to modify the GUI engine itself (which is basically just a way to throw pixels for a WebKit/V8-based Javascript engine, and for PDK apps, a way to manage slightly SDL, and OpenGLES, and the SDL is part of the GUI that is open source....) WebOS is just as open from a practical standpoint as Android if not slightly more open since no rooting is needed whatsoever. Also, one can modify apps and make themes easily since everything is just Javascript text files basically. (You get a root prompt to do what you want with with the SDK!) When's the last time you could modify Google Maps on Android, for just one example? You can do that with WebOS, closed source or no closed source, the source is there. :-) Homebrewers have added features to it, such as Google Latitude, that Google disabled on WebOS because they have a bit of preferential treatment to Android and their former board member Apple rather than little rival Palm. ;-) Also, many other included apps have all sorts of modifications available for them called "patches". It's very much in the spirit of open source. You can even grab alternative kernels, and enhance the performance of your Pre or Pre Plus (I don't know if they bothered making alternative kernels for the Pixi yet, though that could be interesting...)

It also resembles a standard Linux distro more under the hood than Android really, which is a very good thing, almost all the frameworks you'd find on a Linux desktop, like gstreamer, are there, and the file system hierarchy should be familiar as well. Only the N900 really has it beat as far as that goes, and the N900 is a little *too* Unixy in the interface department unlike WebOS. (Though if you insist, the Homebrew folks have developed Qt and X11 for WebOS too, which makes a wealth of ugly apps such as even OpenOffice, if you want to really torture yourself trying to run it ;-), available for WebOS. ;-) Maybe OpenOffice will run better on the HP Slate though...)

Re:What are the advantages of WebOS? (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317208)

WebOS has some open stuff in the base layer, but their entire GUI layer is pretty much closed, right?

No. Their UI layer is Mojo -- an HTML + JavaScript engine. Their window manager is the only part of the GUI that you can call "closed", but it's hackable as all hell.

And on top of that, Palm realises that they will live or die by their developer community. To homebrew on an iPhone, you need to void your warranty. (Yes, they might not call you on it -- but they CAN). To homebrew with the Pre, you just put the phone in developer mode, and you can do pretty much whatever you want.

I'd wager that WebOS is in some ways more open than Android -- but I haven't peeked at Google's Android machine too closely. WebOS is FAR, FAR closer to a "standard Linux system" than Apple ever would be, though. (YES, the darn thing runs Linux -- and there are homebrew apps by the dozen to get you a commnand line.)

Might there be confusion? (1)

baomike (143457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316004)

http://www.slate.com/ [slate.com] is running the thing.
HP contracted the thing out to Slate?
Is there a lawsuit in the future?

They all have it wrong... (1)

jjoelc (1589361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316078)

At least on the OS front, all of the companies (including Apple) have taken the easy way out...

Looking at the usability, and yes, sales, of Windows Tablet PCs, it wasn't rocket science to figure out that existing OS's just weren't going to work. They just weren't designed for touch, and add-on hack to try and accommodate it were clunky at best.

Given the expense and size limitations of decent touch sensitive screens, and the increasing muscle available to smart phones, they were a natural place to build a touch based OS. Because of the limitations of the phne platform (again, processor, memory, etc. but also the appliance aspect of the devices, not to mention vendor locks...) The OS for a phone could also be much more limited in its' capabilities while still being well ahead of the curve.

Apple, taking the easy way out, used their phone OS on the iPad. The iPhone OS is polished, capable and elegent enough that they can get away with it for a while... But in doing so they are more or less ignoring the fact that the iPad is not the same type of device as a phone or iPod.

Of course, since Apple is getting all of the attention, all of the praise, and all of the sales and profits (the important parts)... everyone else is thinking that they should use a phone OS for their competing tablets also.

It is a stopgap, at best. Someone needs to take the time, do the research, and do the work to write an OS for these devices instead of trying to patchwork add and remove bits and pieces of systems clearly designed for other purposes.

Re:They all have it wrong... (5, Interesting)

marmoset (3738) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316244)

It’s become pretty clear at this point that scaling a smartphone OS up, rather than scaling a desktop OS down, is the better approach. Someone had to stick their necks out and try it. Microsoft tried and failed to scale Windows down, but Apple has apparently succeeded going the other way. Let’s not forget that the outcomes were far from obvious even as recently as a few months ago. HP getting on stage with Microsoft in January was their throwing in their lot with the desktop approach. I think they’ll ultimately come out happier having reconsidered. It actually took corporate chutzpah for them to cancel the Windows 7 Slate after showing it.

It is a stopgap, at best. Someone needs to take the time, do the research, and do the work to write an OS for these devices instead of trying to patchwork add and remove bits and pieces of systems clearly designed for other purposes.

You may be right, but remember: shipping is a feature, and, IMO, the most important one.
(disclaimer: happy iPad owner here...)

Re:They all have it wrong... (2, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316316)

What is it you'd like to see in a tablet OS? iPhone OS is a pretty full featured version of OS X underneath and Android is a pretty full featured version of Linux underneath. Do you want more GUI elements? A task manager?

Re:They all have it wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32316874)

in theory, thats what Chromium is supposed to be. hopefully it will be practical to use soon.

no such word on the HP Slate running WebOS (3, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316148)

they said it would run on HP tablets but did not say it would be on the HP Slate they showed earlier this year. But the silence regarding that product means something too. They are probably having problems getting Windows 7 to run well enough on it to be competitive or you know they'd be taking the marketing $$ from Microsoft to be spreading the love for Windows 7.

What is also interesting is how they are staying off of netbooks with WebOS. As you all know, Microsoft now owns and controls the netbook segment and they are doing a good job at killing it off. More specifically, they dictate what screen size a "netbook" has, what the maxium processor size can be and other specifics which pin the device down. And because Microsoft controls OEMs regarding netbooks, HP and others are not going to go up against Microsoft now that MS has stuck their flag into that segment. Only Google and a few independents have the balls to oppose MS there. Remember, the Thai manufacturing association said they fear Microsoft so they are staying away from putting Linux on anything which looks like a PC/notebook.

HP has to dance lightly around what they do with WebOS for fear of upsetting Microsoft so don't expect too much from them. IMO

LoB

Already canceled Windows Slate (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317176)

They don't need to worry about Microsoft much since HP already cancelled [techcrunch.com] the WIndows version of the Slate.

why don't you have a tablet PC? (2, Informative)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316182)

I hear lots of bla bla tablets sucked before the iPad bla. But I had a Compaq TC1000 (2003 vintage) for a while and I fail to see what I was mising by not having an iPad. Stylus meant I could actually write, click on and move stuff around properly with it; lazy susan keyboard attachment meant I could treat it as a laptop. I had no need to fat-finger gestures when I had the precision of a pen-point - not that I'd have said no to gestures as an addition, but it's hardly a deal-breaker as far as being able to work and browse with a useful tablet device.

FWIW, I'll admit that the stylus was heavy - but this was fixed with the TC1100, which also featured a faster non-Transmeta CPU.

Re:why don't you have a tablet PC? (1)

marmoset (3738) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316474)

Honestly curious (not trying to be snarky), but how many truly tablet-centric applications did you regularly use? What proportion of the time we're you using applications that were really optimized for the form factor?

My (admittedly biased) experience has been that requiring developers to really think about the platform results in ultimately more satisfying applications.

Re:why don't you have a tablet PC? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316632)

It's a fair question. With the exception of handwriting anywhere converted to text and occasional mathematical notating (a proper effort supporting which has since been made in Windows 7), I didn't really use any apps which were designed for a tablet interface.

But I didn't really yearn for much further either. I can see how gestures could have made browsing easier, but nothing about a pen made an interface designed for a mouse any harder. Pressure difference and/or buttons on the pen could be used to between pointer movement and clicks.

If I wanted to do things involving switching frequently between sides of the screen, I could just use the spare stylus in the other hand. But that was rare: the common operation of scrolling was supported with a dedicated scroll jig on the side of the tablet. Stylus for one hand + gestures made by other would have been a more versatile option, of course, but I'd definitely want to keep the stylus.

So I had something as good as a regular keyboard/mouse PC interface for most things, and I always had the option to attach a mouse/keyboard otherwise.

Re:why don't you have a tablet PC? (1)

kwark (512736) | more than 4 years ago | (#32316816)

Before I got my android phone I thought the same, but now I really miss things like fling and swipe on my tablet. Using a stylus to scroll is so much more cumbersome. My wish is a hybrid pen/finger display with a full OS.

It's all about the software. (1)

jasenj1 (575309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317110)

The iPad is successful, in part, due to the App Store and the large set of touch based applications already proven on other iPhone OS devices. I'm not familiar with the Palm Pre to know what kind of app selection it has and how well-done the UI is on them. Windows based touch devices have never taken off because it is Windows (a desktop, full PC based OS) with a thin touch veneer on top rather than a touch-based, thin client OS.

I wish HP well expanding Web OS and developing it into a viable competitor to iPhone OS and Android.

- Jasen.

P.S. I also think they could end up ignoring the consumer space and develop Web OS devices for their "vertical enterprise markets" like hospitals, etc.

Un*x, Un*x and more Un*xes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32317138)

Or Un*xens or whatever. As much as in the late 90s things looked pretty bad as much as now there's hope out there: Apple (Macs and iPhones/iPads), all the Android phones... It's all Un*x craze now. It's really good see that.

WebOS? Linux kernel of course. Thanks HP. Thanks to all these big companies who aren't drinking the MS kool-aid!

HP Announces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32317312)

Clip and save:

HP announces new android and windows versions of it's tablet. "The developer pool is already annoyed with having to support *3* platforms, the idea that a 4th tablet platform was wanted, let alone needed was completely ludicrous" said HPs new Vice President of Trying to Make the Dumb-Ass Purchase of Palm not Seem Effing Stupid. "The fact that the market collectively yawned and even desperate-for-traffic tech bloggers were ignoring the move should have clued us in". "When not a single pundit; even the one's you're paying says anything nice about the move, if they take notice of it at all, well... It's a message. And it may have taken a few years but HP listens. We've even just released Windows 95 drivers for some of our computers. None of the ones anyone buys, of course. But some of them."

It will meet iPad running OS v4.1 and 300,000 apps (4, Insightful)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32317604)

So when this ships, iPad will be running iPhone OS v4.1 with multitasking of 300,000 C apps, including about 100,000 games, a game network, encryption with remote wipe, remote find, thousands of accessories, the whole iPod music and movies experience, about 25 bookstores, the fastest and most responsive mobile experience, and between 10 and 20 million installed base. Plus a line of iPhones and iPods that can run many of the same apps, and a line of Macs with the same core OS and free iPhone developer tools.

So many questions:

- how are they going to compete without apps?
- are they going to expose a comprehensive C API so developers can port iPhone apps? (weird how the Android C API is locked down but people call it "open", huh?)
- will they get 10 hours of battery life?
- will they have Flash, will it work, will anybody care?
- will the onscreen keyboard suck? (so far, all WebOS devices had hardware keyboards)
- will there be a single feature that iPad doesn't have? (iPad already has cheap USB and SD card accessories and will likely have a video cam accessory by October)
- will they have no contract unlimited data for $30/month?
- will they have a 16GB Wi-Fi only model for less than $499? (an unsubsidized Pre is $599, the original HP Slate was $549, and Nexus One with 4GB costs $529)
- why wouldn't this just be iPod versus Zune all over again?
- will all the PC enthusiasts who are still at this time ranting about how "useless" iPad is and how much better the original HP Slate was going to be now rally behind this because it's from HP, even though it has many fewer uses (apps) than iPad and no longer runs Windows?

I definitely think HP are going in the right direction dropping Windows for Unix and dropping 3rd party software for 1st party. But they are so far behind. Apple worked on iPad for 7 years before releasing it, and HP will have had less than 7 months. WebOS has been shipping for a year, but when Apple started iPad 7 years ago, OS X had been shipping for 3 years. Along the way, Apple started making their own batteries and CPU's to get to where they could make iPad.

The key thing with iPad is the apps morph it into about 100,000 niche devices. So people buy them for very different reasons. It's like for any particular user, the killer app is completely different, but iPad has it. The killer app on iPad is apps. Not the Web, not email. All that stuff is a free extra. I know people who bought iPad just for WebEx, others who bought it just for the art tools, others purely as a camera accessory, and others who bought it only for Netflix and iTunes.

Even though I have an iPad and am really happy with it, I can't help but sort of root for HP because at least they stopped, turned around, and starting going in the right direction. And it's kind of fun to see Microsoft jilted and Ballmer shown up as a stooge again. But they have a long way to go from generic DOS boxes to competing with iPad.

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