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WebOS Chief: Don't Fret Over TouchPad Reviews

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the pay-no-attention-to-the-OS-behind-the-mirror dept.

HP 227

Fudge Factor 3000 writes "HP released their much trumpeted enterprise tablet, TouchPad, last week. This device was also the first to showcase WebOS in a tablet. The tablet received several harsh reviews, though some stated that the OS showed potential. Most of the criticism surrounded the sluggish software and the lack of apps. As reported by CNET, WebOS chief Jon Rubenstein rallies his troops by comparing the WebOS tablet's debut to that of Mac OS X, which also struggled early on. However, it is not entirely clear if the comparison is appropriate, since WebOS has existed since 2009, and OS X had the ability to run most classic OS 9 apps during the transition period. Nevertheless, one can certainly argue that the situation is similar in spirit." Another reader tips a related article which suggests that — for better or worse — Apple has succeeded in defining what a tablet should be, making it difficult for competitors to get a foothold in the market.

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Sad, but interesting (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36666928)

While it's pathetic and sad that so few vendors can come up with something whose usability matches the iPad, it is interesting to see Apple take such a huge slice of that pie.

Last I recall they had something like 90% of the market, which is easily monopoly territory. It'll be fascinating to see if they succumb to the temptation to abuse it, or if they can stay their hand.

Re:Sad, but interesting (4, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36666964)

What's even more ironic is that this is true despite the various ways that Apple has chosen to cripple the iPad. All they need to do is make something iPad-like that isn't crippled, and the people who want an iPad that isn't crippled will buy it. (I have an iPad and like it, but the fact that I can't do shortcuts on the keyboard and can't run an interpreter on it or fork subprocesses means that it is much less useful to me than it could be.)

Re:Sad, but interesting (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36666970)

Indeed, but they don't want you. At least, they don't want you as you are, but as they want you to be (getting kinda Nirvana here...)

Apple's hostility towards technical users should be well known at this point, which is a tragic turn from where they are with OS X.

Re:Sad, but interesting (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667058)

Tragic turn?
OSX will be dead as a consumer OS soon enough. It will be moved to only the Pro line.

Re:Sad, but interesting (2, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667084)

Yes, when they went from the power user friendly OS X on all of their devices to declaring that the mobile space was for Apple only, and if you wanted to play you had to pay money and be blessed by them.

And yeah, I expect them to become more hostile and move the restrictive platform up the stack, locking out more developers. Boy, I'd hate to have grown up with a locked down iMac as my family computer. I'd never have gotten into software development.

Re:Sad, but interesting (4, Insightful)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667348)

The problem is, it isn't a computer. It's a giant smartphone minus the phone.

I don't have a problem with iOS. It seems to do what it does well. What I have a problem with are people (possibly not even Apple) trying to proclaim that iOS is some super productive computer operating system. "See, you just install all these apps, buy a keyboard, subscribe to a cloud service and modify your expectations, and it's nearly as good as a netbook!"

Much better than a netbook (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668074)

"See, you just install all these apps, buy a keyboard, subscribe to a cloud service and modify your expectations, and it's nearly as good as a netbook!"

It's not nearly as good.

It's far better.

That's because a netbook tries to be a computer, but fails. The processor power is too low, the display too small, the battery life horrible.

By not pretending to be a computer the iPad fares much better. Most tasks don't need anything but an iPad.

If you really wanted to type a lot you might get a keyboard, but only to improve the productivity for a specific task and not because the system was unusable without it.

The iPad can do just fine without a keyboard, try the same thing with a Netbook...

Re:Much better than a netbook (1)

kirbysuperstar (1198939) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668284)

The processor power is too low, the display too small, the battery life horrible.

Funny, I have an ASUS Eee 1000HE, and while I might give you the processing power bit, the 10" display is fine for most things and the battery lasts for nine hours plus.

Re:Sad, but interesting (2)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667138)

Is that why they're releasing a new version this month?

Re:Sad, but interesting (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667152)

The one that is only coming out through the appstore?
Think about that for a while.

Re:Sad, but interesting (3, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667394)

The one that is only coming out through the appstore?
Think about that for a while.

OH MY GOD, THEY ARE USING THEIR STORE TO SELL THEIR OS!!!

Seriously, they are moving all their software to the Mac App Store. This is a sign to you that they are about to shitcan a product, or move it to a "Pro" line? Please, explain your logic.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667990)

Indeed, and breaking their own rules: No Kernel Extensions and No Installers.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668002)

I think he took it as a sign that Apple is trying to migrate OS X to the iOS model of distribution and control. Personally, I can't see that happening at this stage of the operating system's life. It'll be interesting to see what route Apple takes with OS X's successor, though.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667516)

What, since you are not capable of thinking you tell him to? Hypocrite.

Re:Sad, but interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667556)

The only thing I am thinking is how stupid you are.

What does it being distributed digitally have to do with Apple's support for OSX.

Does that mean that Microsoft is dropping Windows and Sony is getting out of the games business ?

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667320)

Riiiiight. If anything, with the dumbing down of Server, the Pro line will be dead before the consumer lines.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667404)

Protip: If you think Apple is about to end their highly popular Mac operating system, you just *might* be going insane.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667716)

Hostility is the wrong word, especially considering your phrasing. Functionality bloat can hamper usefulness. While we may debate the degree to which Apple takes it, you cannot say its a hostile act. Of course a gilded cage is still a prison. Perspective I suppose, and in case you were wondering what im smoking its some nice Jack Herer and no you cant have some.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667100)

They can get away with this because most people don't care about this stuff anyhow. There is a significant portion who do (two years ago, it was said that 10% of iPhone users were jailbreaking), but that still leaves 90% who don't, and I suspect a decent chunk of those 10% are jailbreaking to pirate stuff anyhow (not judging, just saying).

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667512)

Right. I.e., there's a market there. 10% of iPad sales is better than any of the Android tabs are doing right now, as far as I know. It's certainly better than the TouchPad is doing.

Re:Sad, but interesting (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667680)

HP has some uniquely interesting stuff here. They are integrating WebOS with their Windows build, and putting it on every pc they ship. They ship a lot of pcs. That's a quick ramp to an intresing numberof app buyers.

They are late to the party. Maybe they bring something interesting. Maybe not. But although I agree with you and the parent and the fine summary, I think it's too early to count this one out just yet.

Re:Sad, but interesting (2)

kwerle (39371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667134)

We're way off topic...

What's even more ironic is that this is true despite the various ways that Apple has chosen to cripple the iPad. All they need to do is make something iPad-like that isn't crippled, and the people who want an iPad that isn't crippled will buy it. (I have an iPad and like it, but the fact that I can't do shortcuts on the keyboard and can't run an interpreter on it or fork subprocesses means that it is much less useful to me than it could be.)

I agree with everything you said. But there's a bit of a caveat:
You and I represent a tiny tiny fraction of 1% of consumers: those with technical wants.

If Apple catered to us, then every stupid developer (99% of 'em - let's be honest) would fork stuff and use keyboard stuff and generally screw up the experience and battery life. It is entirely NOT in Apple's best interests (or the consumers that love iDevices) to allow those kinds of things.

Re:Sad, but interesting (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667170)

There's a difference between giving people technical options, and having a controlled App Store serve as the primary software source.

Apple gives no option at all. You are supposed to be a passive consumer. Unless you're an "artsy" type, then you can create all you want. But not if you're the technical type.

Re:Sad, but interesting (2)

LDAPMAN (930041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667278)

Apple gives you an option. If your truly a "technical" type then pony up $99 and join the iOS developer program. Then you can do anything you like on your iPad. If you really want the power...then pay for it.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667362)

If your truly a "technical" type then pony up $99 and join the iOS developer program. Then you can do anything you like on your iPad. If you really want the power...then pay for it.

And all you get for that $99 is access to the device you already paid for when you bought it.

I guess a lot of people just aren't smart enough to be insulted.

Re:Sad, but interesting (-1, Troll)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667402)

Then you can do anything you like on your iPad. If you really want the power...then pay for it.

And only on your iPad, and you can share what you create with a few close friends. You can't say 'hey look what I came up with' and post links on a blog, until you've kissed Steve's ring and Apple has reviewed and approved what you've created.

It strikes me a little like being a 2 year old. Mommy! I did a big potty! Come see!

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667414)

Agreed. Or jailbreak it.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667590)

If you jailbreak it, you are trusting a third party who has no fiduciary responsibility to you with full access to your device. This is not worth it to me, even though I am sure the jailbreakers are all really swell people.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667578)

No, that's not true. You may be able to access the keyboard through an undocumented low-level API (if I know, and I am not saying I do or don't, I would be prohibited by the developer agreement from saying). But you definitely can't fork subprocesses. You can install an interpreter. But I have to say that having paid the $99 two years in a row, I'm getting a little tired of it. It's pathetic that I have to pay for this access to a device that I paid for in full.

Keeping it from relocking itself annually (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667622)

If your truly a "technical" type then pony up $99 and join the iOS developer program.

Then what do I do once 365 days are up and the iPad relocks itself? By the time I've spent $499 on an iPad and $495 on keeping it from relocking itself annually, I could have spent that much money on a MacBook Air.

Re:Sad, but interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667660)

that's like a car dealership charging an extra $1000 for the 'right' to actually drive the car you just bought..

Re:Sad, but interesting (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667290)

There's a difference between giving people technical options, and having a controlled App Store serve as the primary software source./quote.

That difference mainly being that we don't have a weekly story on Slashdot about how 10's of apps were pulled for being malicious.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667336)

There's a difference between giving people technical options, and having a controlled App Store serve as the primary software source.

A huge difference.

The difference is so big, in fact, that they are completely incompatible.

Time to face facts: Apple doesn't want technical users, they want the far more lucrative consumer market.

Sony did something similar back in the 90's when they turned away from technical users of their high-end audio gear and focues on the more lucrative consumer market. Now, their consumer electronics division is sucking for everyone.

Apple started out by targeting a product to hobbyists and techies. Abandoning those people shows a distinct lack of corporate character. When fashions change as they inevitably do, the loyalists won't be there.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667770)

Apple started out by targeting a product to hobbyists and techies. Abandoning those people shows a distinct lack of corporate character. When fashions change as they inevitably do, the loyalists won't be there.

You don't often hear the argument that nichy fanboys are critical to the long-term success of a company -- the hobbyists and techies of the computer market aren't liable to maintain any real brand loyalty, the know too much and their needs aren't mass marketable. Techies want FOSS, but its not a useful selling point.

Sony makes great audio gear; the "hobbyists and techies" of that market are the ones paying $200 for copper wires. Nobody outside of their circle can tell the difference, but they swear that it's a big deal. A lot like platform openness.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667562)

That's as may be (I don't entirely disagree, but I don't agree either). But what I can say with some confidence is that there are people who would buy a tablet like the iPad only with some more features that are easily provided. But so far nobody's delivering that: they're delivering things that are less useable than the iPad, not more.

I'm looking forward to seeing Honeycomb on a tablet, but it's going to have to have a *lot* of usability work done if it's going to approach the iPad's usability, based on my experience with Gingerbread thus far. Gingerbread works fine, but the UI flow is very jumpy. In theory you could get a pad that doesn't have to be jailbroken, but when I look around for pads like that, nobody's saying whether or not a jailbreak is required, which tells me that it is, or they'd be bragging about it.

Actually I'd be interested to see if the Touchpad does a better job of this. But the TouchPad doesn't offer me anything the iPad doesn't (e.g., it's still locked down, as far as I've been able to determine), so I have no real incentive to try it out.

Re:Sad, but interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36668044)

Actually WebOS is very open and documented. Check out Preware or WebOS internals. They treat the community pretty well. You can totally feel free to experiment with your device, however they may not be able to help you if you brick. Though they have a good java sw designed specifically for "Doctoring" your phone or factory reset. (WebOSDoctor) Check some out if you are a power user, you may be a bit happy.. I used a terminal app to ftp and upload a file from my phone in command line hah

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

Hello Kitty (62674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668060)

Actually, it's not; check out WebOS Internals [webos-internals.org] for a good introduction to how the homebrew community works for WebOS.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667176)

What's even more ironic to me is that you don't seem to understand that Apple is succeeding BECAUSE it has a product that is "crippled," from your point of view. Your needs and wants are NOT the needs and wants of the majority. If Apple tried to cater to what you wanted, the company wouldn't have the huge hit that it has. Apple is focusing on what a much wider audience wants, NOT the desires of the geek crowd.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667422)

That's a weird point of view.

I've never, ever, had a friend say "I would like a cool new game to play. And it has to be one that I can only download from one site. I would never want to download it if there were dozens of people, not all approved by the hardware vendor, creating competing games."

But you apparently live in the Magical Walled Garden, which can only exist because the Steve is watching.

Re:Sad, but interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667474)

You honestly don't understand that not everyone thinks like you and your buddies do, huh?

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667606)

That's not why Apple's security model is a win. Apple's security model is a win because the fact that an Application is running on your iPad does not mean that it can plunder all your personal information. And it's a win because there's a reasonably high bar to jump over before someone can sell you an app, and there's at least some chance (pretty minimal, though) that Apple could track down an app developer who behaved badly.

There's nothing wrong with Apple's business model here. But if HP wants to take some market share from Apple, there are opportunities.

Re:Sad, but interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667664)

And you apparently live in your mom and dad's basement which can only exist because your mom and dad can't get rid of you.

Such as console gamers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667676)

I've never, ever, had a friend say "I would like a cool new game to play. And it has to be one that I can only download from one site. I would never want to download it if there were dozens of people, not all approved by the hardware vendor, creating competing games."

Such people are the kinds of people who prefer console gaming over PC gaming. One rationalization that I've read in comments posted by console fans on Slashdot is the difficulty of finding a worthy PC game amongst all the shovelware. Another is various methods of digital restrictions management, such as install limits, online activation requirements, and the battery power consumed by an optical disc drive, which interfere with legitimate use of PC games and even of the computer on which they're installed.

Misperception (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667692)

I've never, ever, had a friend say "I would like a cool new game to play. And it has to be one that I can only download from one site...

That's odd because I've heard a lot of people say that very thing about Live or PSN, that they like having a place to go find stuff.

They don't define it as a single source, approved by a hardware vendor. But they end up using it more EXACTLY because of those conditions which lead to products they want being in that store.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667598)

What makes you think I don't understand Apple's produce positioning? I'm just saying that their product positioning creates an opportunity for competition.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667640)

If you think that one company can produce the iPad AND the anti-iPad, you don't understand brands and positioning. That's for some other company to do. The same brand can't stand for both things.

The opportunity to fail (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667668)

I'm just saying that their product positioning creates an opportunity for competition.

Then you are saying that you don't understand Apple's product positioning at all, because the "openings" you see are the craters left from previous attempts in the market.

Apple has figure out the way to build tablets people actually want to use. The "openings" you and many other Slashdot readers perceive are not really there, are not really viable.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668056)

sigh.. quit apologizing for them.. their desire to not cater to the geek crowd has nothing to do with it. they could release the exact products they do now minus the draconian lockdown and since most people never touch the innards, nothing would change for them. this lockdown isn't for the consumer, it's for apple.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668102)

I couldn't care less about "apologizing" for anyone. Apple is producing products that millions of people want. The fact that the geeky minority don't approve of what those people want doesn't make them wrong. You're letting your bias for the model that works for you get in the way of understanding why many other people want something different from your preference.

Re:Sad, but interesting (2)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667250)

For me its only crippled in two ways:

1) Lack of support for bluetooth mouse AT ALL. I could (grudgingly) accept not supporting it in native apps, but with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, it could pretty much stand in (via RDP) for a PC.

2) Lack of reasonable support for external storage. I understand there are workarounds with the camera connection kit, but still, why not just a SD slot? It'd also be nice to support some kind of "commons" storage area that wasn't object type specific, and maybe this is what's being avoided.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667612)

Actually, you know what really fried my chicken? There's no support for a bluetooth headset! The lack of a mouse doesn't bother me, because Apple is trying to encourage a different use model. But the lack of a bluetooth headset is a deliberate crippling of the device, since iOS very definitely has support for bluetooth headsets.

Re:Sad, but interesting (2)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667816)

You do know that it does support a bluetooth headset right?

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4111 [apple.com]

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667372)

What's even more ironic is that this is true despite the various ways that Apple has chosen to cripple the iPad. All they need to do is make something iPad-like that isn't crippled, and the people who want an iPad that isn't crippled will buy it.

Isn't that what Android is supposed to be?

Newsflash: the iPad isn't crippled.

Crippled implies missed functionality. The only functionality that even remotely fits this bill is the lack of Flash, and that's more of a thing that people talk about, but end up not really missing all that much (and there are apps in the App Store that make almost all Flash sites work on the iPad). Hardly sufficient to call it "crippled" in the eyes of most people.

(I have an iPad and like it, but the fact that I can't do shortcuts on the keyboard and can't run an interpreter on it or fork subprocesses means that it is much less useful to me than it could be.)

And while that's true for you, it's not really true for most people in any practical sense.

That's why the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch have enjoyed such great success, in spite of the cries from the slashdot crowd. Those things that matter so much to you? For most everyone else, they quite simply could care less.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667620)

Seriously? Flash? Who cares? No bluetooth headset. No keyboard navigation. Completely locked down, requires $99 subscription to develop. *These* are the things it's missing. If it had Flash, you'd be complaining about battery life.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667922)

Seriously? Flash? Who cares?

My sentiments exactly. That's why I said, "the only functionality that even remotely fits this bill is the lack of Flash". In other words, not a big deal, but if anything, that's something people talk about.

No bluetooth headset.

What?

No keyboard navigation. Completely locked down, requires $99 subscription to develop. *These* are the things it's missing.

Not to 99% of the people out there. This is the exact point I'm trying to make. The things slashdot nerds care about aren't nearly as relevant as they seem to think.

If it had Flash, you'd be complaining about battery life.

Yes, I would. I don't have Flash installed on my Macs, except via Chrome. I've noted a marked improvement by not installing Flash. I'd shudder to think of the impact Flash would have on a handheld device or tablet!

Re:Sad, but interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667388)

What's even more ironic is that this is true despite the various ways that Apple has chosen to cripple the iPad. All they need to do is make something iPad-like that isn't crippled, and the people who want an iPad that isn't crippled will buy it. (I have an iPad and like it, but the fact that I can't do shortcuts on the keyboard and can't run an interpreter on it or fork subprocesses means that it is much less useful to me than it could be.)

You used the word crippled three times when in fact you bought the wrong device. Anyone can come up with a list of pet wants and say any device is much less useful than it could be. But... This is Slashdot and your ramblings got you a +4 Insightful. Enjoy your iPad while the other tablet makers starve.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668186)

As has been said many many many times before...

A. The percentage of people that think it is "crippled" is very very very VERY small.

B. The percentage of people who find it the handiest thing to have is very very very VERY large.

Apple has produced a device that appeals to B.

Companies love them as well. They can write and install apps for them that the idiot "Road Warriors" can't fuck up.

Kaiser Permanente is currently testing them to replace desktops and laptops in their hospitals and exam rooms.

The "Walled Garden" that you despise, they love. They can put quality apps on them and get work done.

Re:Sad, but interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667004)

When has Apple not abused their position as the 800-pound gorilla on the block?

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667192)

When until the last 1.5 years has apple been the 800-pound gorilla on the block? Your revisionist history of apple is quite interesting; id love to hear more.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667330)

Apple has always been the 800 pound gorilla on the block. And we've always been at war with Eastasia!

Re:Sad, but interesting (3, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667306)

When has Apple not abused their position as the 800-pound gorilla on the block?

When did that happen? According the the commenters here on Slashdot, Apple's marketshare is only 3%!

Re:Sad, but interesting (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667074)

Having the largest marketshare isn't really the legal definition of a monopoly. Apple's marketshare must be so dominant and controlling that (1) they can set whatever prices they wanted and (2) customers have no suitable alternatives as the barrier to entry is too high. Well given that many of their competitors can release products (some of them cheaper/some more expensive) is really enough to fend off any monopoly charges. The fact that the competing products have mostly sucked so far isn't really on Apple but on their competitors' inadequacies. After that Apple must be shown to somehow curtail competition through the use of their monopoly. Having 90+% marketshare wasn't the problem with MS and Windows. It was their dealings with OEMs and partners to harm Netscape and Sun that was why MS was convicted.

Re:Sad, but interesting (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667106)

given that many of their competitors can release products (some of them cheaper/some more expensive) is really enough to fend off any monopoly charges

When Microsoft was tried for abusing their monopoly, other vendors were releasing OSes and browsers. Nonetheless, they were found to have a monopoly. The direction for abuse would be threats against App Developers directed towards other mobile platforms.

The fact that the competing products have mostly sucked so far isn't really on Apple but on their competitors' inadequacies.

No argument there.

After that Apple must be shown to somehow curtail competition through the use of their monopoly. Having 90+% marketshare wasn't the problem with MS and Windows. It was their dealings with OEMs and partners to harm Netscape and Sun that was why MS was convicted.

Right, and it's much easier to do so when you control a huge percentage of the mobile space. Again, my post was wondering if Apple would be able to resist that temptation.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

willy_me (212994) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667488)

When Microsoft was tried for abusing their monopoly, other vendors were releasing OSes and browsers.

But none of them would run the required software - software for Windows. You will recall the GP listing the requirements as follows: (1) they can set whatever prices they wanted and (2) customers have no suitable alternatives as the barrier to entry is too high.

When Microsoft was convicted they could basically set whatever price they wanted. The cost of producing Windows had nothing to do with the pricing. The only thing that limited the price was piracy and the fact that people would avoid new purchases if the price were too high. Apple is not in this situation. Should they choose to price their iPads at $2000 then people would still purchase tablets - just not from Apple.

The second item talks about suitable alternatives and at that time, there were none. Linux existed but could not run all the specialized software that people required. Windows was simply required for 90%+ of the population. Now with things like the internet, wine, remote desktop, and virtual machines - this Windows monopoly has been seriously weakened. But at the time, the vast majority of the population _had_ to run Windows. Now Apple does have a bit of a monopoly when it comes to playing DRMed media purchased from iTunes. But so long as versions of the media are available elsewhere, people are not locked into Apple.

iPad-exclusive applications (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667698)

Should they choose to price their iPads at $2000 then people would still purchase tablets - just not from Apple.

Unless they have to run iPad-exclusive applications. Your argument appears to be based on the existence of critical Windows-exclusive applications and the nonexistence of critical iPad-exclusive applications.

Re:Sad, but interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667908)

The way I read your opposing statements actually supports the parent...

When Microsoft was tried for abusing their monopoly, other vendors were releasing OSes and browsers.

But none of them would run the required software - software for Windows.

And none of the other tablets will run anything from the apple App store. In fact, Apples App Store is even more restrictive than the software distributed for Windows.

When Microsoft was convicted they could basically set whatever price they wanted. The cost of producing Windows had nothing to do with the pricing. The only thing that limited the price was piracy and the fact that people would avoid new purchases if the price were too high. Apple is not in this situation. Should they choose to price their iPads at $2000 then people would still purchase tablets - just not from Apple.

Remove the phrase "Apple is not in this situation" and replace it with "This is the same situation Apple is in" and I agree. You're saying if $company greatly overpriced their offering (instead of undercutting the competition and abusing their monopoly status) then people would buy stuff elsewhere. Piracy may not be involved in the Apple situation, but the rest holds true for both situations (and then some).

The second item talks about suitable alternatives and at that time, there were none.

I disagree. Nearly anyone could get by with using a Mac or a Linux box (or others) at that time, and still can. Even situations where one "had" to have Windows (ex. business environment that "needs" word), that business could standardize on something else - there were even more office systems back then that came darn close to competing with MS Office than there are now, and most had at least a few features that MS Office lacked. One may have had to use some software that didn't have exactly what the thing on Windows had, but they'd gain a bunch of stuff for free that wasn't on Windows. IMO, it was more about the abuse of the monopoly - for example, tying IE into the OS.

Linux existed but could not run all the specialized software that people required.

No different than today, and it's very similar on Mac, and there's even fewer ports of "specialized software" that only runs on Windows available for iPad. Games - still a Windows dominated world; MS Office - replacements have always been around and were and are arguably better at supporting old versions of docs; Adobe Photoshop - Mac and Windows only (and Solaris and maybe Irix a long long time ago), and there's competing software (Corel, Gimp, etc) unless your one of the 1% that really needs 100% of Photoshop and CMYK and etc; Macromedia Flash (IDE) - Mac and Windows, and again a 1% target; CAD stuff - small market again, and you could get by with alternatives if it wasn't your primary task; etc.

Windows was simply required for 90%+ of the population.

"required" is an awfully strong word. I think it's more like "Windows was simply the only OS that shipped on an affordable PC, and it was difficult to even find one that shipped without an OS". That's how "90%+ of the population" ended up with it - not because they required Windows.

Now with things like the internet, wine, remote desktop, and virtual machines - this Windows monopoly has been seriously weakened.

Internet - ok, that's fair.
Wine - it's nowhere near a common replacement. It helps when someone has already dedicated themselves to making the move, and needs a crutch to run some specific app. It had and has the potential to be a game changer, but it's never proven to do so.
Remove desktop - into what? Still got that other Windows license running somewhere.
Virtual Machine - useful, yes; more licenses needed than remote desktop and, if anything, strengthens the Windows market.

But at the time, the vast majority of the population _had_ to run Windows.

No they didn't. But the vast majority of the tablet community HAS to run iOS! 90% of the tablet market is iPad... and you can't put anything else on there (it's far more difficult than putting Linux on an old Windows box back then, and putting Linux on a Windows box never violated the warranty or a ToS etc). If anything, Apple has a stronger hold on the market.

Now Apple does have a bit of a monopoly when it comes to playing DRMed media purchased from iTunes. But so long as versions of the media are available elsewhere, people are not locked into Apple.

Nice strawman. Especially since that's the one area where Apple has opened up, and little if any of the music has DRM now. Apple doesn't care about the music - they don't own that. They care about the Apps, the data, iTunes itself, the hardware, etc... anything they can control. People will always be able to buy music elsewhere (I hope), so they freed that bird while locking down everything else as much as possible.

I can make an Andriod app, or a Windows app, or a Mac OSX app from just about any other OS, and distribute any of those through any channel I like. I can't even make an iPad app without a Mac OSX box and their toolchain and the $99 developer fee.

I doubt Apple wants to own any higher percentage of the tablet market, else they may just have to come to terms with their practices.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667840)

Much easier to do with a large or majority market share, but the fact that Apple is releasing it's hardware at the same cost, or even less than the opening products from the competition definitely does not say 'monopoly'. It basically indicates a healthy, competitive market, although the other vendors have yet to step up to the plate with a good front runner.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668064)

I think Apple's problem will come with iTunes.

iTunes currently controls around 70% of the market for downloading music. That's definitely monopoly territory. So the argument could be made that because you can only download music on iOS devices via iTunes, that Apple is using it's music monopoly to expand into phone sales.

Re:Sad, but interesting (0)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667128)

I'm pretty sure that having a dominant market share *is* the legal definition of a monopoly. Having a monopoly isn't illegal in and of itself, but it places additional restrictions on your behaviour under various countries' competition laws.

Re:Sad, but interesting (2)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667110)

It'll be fascinating to see if they succumb to the temptation to abuse it

Ha. Haha. Want to sell something through a link on a webpage that somebody viewed in Safari on their iPad? Not allowed! Apple must have their 30% cut!

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667434)

That's not true.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667480)

Not allowed! Apple must have their 30% cut!

Now, you're exaggerating. It is only strictly prohibited if it relates to the iPod/Pad/Phone itself. They have the platform as locked down as an IBM 360, which is ironic, given they did that whole "1984 Superbowl Ad" thing.

But it's not surprising. One of the things Jobs specifically did to 'save the company' when he returned was close up things that had gradually become more open at Apple. His sanctimonious comment that the Macintosh was 'hacker' proof * at the press conference where the Mac was announced still holds.

(* which got a loud FUCK YOU from The Rest Of Us, some of us still refuse to own any Apple hardware because of that)

Amazon disagrees (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667710)

Want to sell something through a link on a webpage that somebody viewed in Safari on their iPad? Not allowed!

Amazon and Egghead, to name just two companies, both disagree with you given I loaded Safari in my iPad and bought something from them...

Won't work: Apple aims for the luxury category (2)

DrYak (748999) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667126)

Currently they have the only product managing an interresting enough balance between quality and price.
But in the long run ? Once the hype dies ?

They'll probably remain as a luxury type of product as usual. The masses will probably slowly start to get more attracted to cheaper solution produced by noname asian companies and running free Android.
(The cheapest iPad 2 starts at more than 450€. There are *full blown* netbooks and laptops costing less than that. The post office at the corner of my street is having a sale on an Android tablet for less than 100€)

---

Back to TFA's subject :

the lack of apps

Come on ! What do you expect ?! The TouchPad has just been released now. Of course there aren't much applications available yet. Specially if you compare with the iPads which have been around for quite some time, and to the android devices (where unofficial tablets have been around for quite some time before the official launch of Tablet-oriented android versions, giving some head start to application developers)

The speed might be slightly more problematic: Lots of stuff which was done in Java in the webOS 1.x serie has been now replaced with Javascript in the webOS 2.x-3.x Until the Javascript engine is brought to some serious level of optimisation (I don't even now if it is JIT-ed or not), this is bound to be slower than the highly optimized and JITed engine of Java. I hope future versions of the OS will address these shortcomings.

Re:Sad, but interesting (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667246)

Apple is definitely looking like Microsoft in the 1990s era. Their strengths and fortunes are exactly the same: they're one of many large technology companies with competent management and a healthy engineering culture, and they're uniquely blessed with the most head-slappingly retarded competitors in the history of human commerce.

So yes... if history repeats itselfl, Apple is most likely going to cross paths with antitrust authorities in the USA, EU, or both. It's not a good-versus-evil thing, it's just what happens when a company gets that lucky.

Re:Sad, but interesting (3, Informative)

AndrewStephens (815287) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667872)

The Microsoft-of-the-90s comparisons are overblown. Microsoft didn't get slapped by the antitrust police for being successful. They got punished (weakly) for a series of dick moves against their competitors and even their own OEM "partners". They used their products' power with consumers to drive deeply unfair deals with the OEMs to prevent other products from even being offered.

The only way that Apple could so something similar would be to prevent retail outlets selling Apple gear from selling any competitor's product. There are pretty strict rules about that sort of thing, and (so far) Apple hasn't broken them.

HP CAN BITE MY DIRTY HAIRY ASS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36666930)

Hard !!

What does it do that Android doesn't do better? (2)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667032)

If the answer is "nothing" or "something they could have just implemented on Android" then why didn't they just make an Android tablet?

Re:What does it do that Android doesn't do better? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667086)

Multitasking (the whole card metaphor). Most intuitive and easy to use solution out there.

The Touchstone is nice... no need for wires to recharge your tablet/phone.

There's a lot more... try it out, you may like it.

Re:What does it do that Android doesn't do better? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667092)

If the answer is "nothing" or "something they could have just implemented on Android" then why didn't they just make an Android tablet?

how about real multi-tasking without the clunkiness of the android interface.

Re:What does it do that Android doesn't do better? (4, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667166)

WebOS, when implemented properly, is a better system than Android - Just Type and card-based multitasking are my favorite features. The problem is that hardware so far has been either plain bad (Pre, Pre2), unreleased until some far-future date (Pre3), or weird and niche (Veer.) I haven't had a chance to use a TouchPad yet, so I can't comment, but the problem is not the software.

Also, the amount that Slashdot users seem to love the idea of an Android monoculture is vaguely disturbing.

Re:What does it do that Android doesn't do better? (3, Informative)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667232)

Actually, from the reviews of the TouchPad, it sounds like the problem is the software. Random slowdowns and gradual slowdown without reboots, even on their top-of-the-line TouchPad, all promised to be fixed with a future update.

What the problem is not is the user interface. Their conception of mobile multitasking is truly a thing of beauty, and I dearly wish Google and Apple would rip them off like RIM did.

Re:What does it do that Android doesn't do better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36668022)

Non-bastardized libc?
Real, user-controllable multitasking?

(Seriously, WebOS's cards and Maemo's dashboard are the only two mobile multitasking implementations worth 5 cents. It's entirely coincidental, I'm sure, but they're also the only ones that keep most of the typical desktop X11/GNU/Linux stack...)

Some credit... (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667082)

I don't think WebOS is going to end up succeeding, but I am going to give HP some credit for at least trying to do more than just ship whatever Microsoft hands them.

-jcr

This Pathetic Apple Troll Still Exists??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667136)

Go away loser. Everyone hates you.

Re:This Pathetic Apple Troll Still Exists??? (0)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667462)

How's your therapy going? Do the doctors have any hope to offer, or do they think you'll be like this for the rest of your life?

-jcr

Not Very Bright Either... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667688)

Do you cry yourself to sleep every night in your black turtleneck jammies about how badly Android is destroying your piece of shit iPhone in the market hipster douchebag?

Re:Not Very Bright Either... (0)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667786)

Do you cry yourself to sleep every night

No, I check the value of my AAPL shares before I go to bed, and it tends to put me in a good mood.

Android is destroying your piece of shit iPhone in the market

You seem to have a lot of ego investment in the matter of which product sells more. Why is that?

-jcr

Re:Some credit... (0)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667492)

Have you seen what Microsoft is trying to hand them? They don't really deserve much credit for turning that down. Besides, I think they are selling a Windows tablet already.

It's a shame that nobody other than Apple seems to give a damn about build quality or battery life.

Re:Some credit... (0)

oztiks (921504) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668114)

I found the TouchPad’s battery life was only 60% of that of the iPad 2. In my standard tablet battery test, where I set the screen brightness to 75%, keep the Wi-Fi connection active and play local videos back to back, the TouchPad lasted just 6 hours and 5 minutes, compared with 10 hours and 9 minutes for the iPad 2. H-P claims 9 hours of continuous video playback, but that’s with Wi-Fi turned off. In mixed use, battery life was decent.

You know testing the battery life is a good idea, but honestly my iPad 3G+Wifi (when 3G is disabled) you're lucky to get 5 hours of active use, I highly doubt this guys benchmark was at all accurate, rather, I'm guessing he read the 10hour battery life off the back of the iPad box pitted it against the TouchPad to draw his conclusion.

Mac OS X is a bad comparison, but misses the point (3, Interesting)

mveloso (325617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667140)

When Mac OS X was released, Mac OS 9 still worked. It took until 10.3 or 10.4 before Mac OS X was used extensively, if I remember correctly.

It takes around 4 years for an OS to develop, and another 2 to fully bake. The iPad got an early start, since it's mostly the same as the iPhone. WebOS lost a year due to the acquisition.

They need to keep iterating. The embedded market is huge, and can afford to wait. Apple will never embed iOS, and Android has licensing issues vis-a-vis Microsoft. That leaves the embedded market to...HP?

Re:Mac OS X is a bad comparison, but misses the po (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667722)

Or possibly meego.

I like mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667168)

I just picked up my TouchPad this morning, and I think I'm really going to like it. I find it snappy, nicely built, and has a nice display. I'm looking for a platform to hack on, and WebOS looks so much more friendly to me than Apple's iOS.

Re:I like mine (1)

Hello Kitty (62674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668078)

I'm enjoying the hell out of mine (right now, in fact), but I'm mystified by the lack of appropriate cases, of all things. Hope you got a chance to pick one up wherever you are. Seattle's fresh out.

Hostely, I like the whole WebOS interface (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667230)

It looks a lot more like what I'd want if I were to purchase a tablet. It's unfortunate HP's approach to the OS won't get it into everybody-and-their-brothers tablets like free-for-all Android, and HP doesn't have the fanbase of Apple... and it's just another platform to port to with a limited number of users so developers will probably not even bother and the lack of apps will kill it.

Sorry HP, you did a good job but this fight was over before it started.

Re:Hostely, I like the whole WebOS interface (2)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667318)

I'm a big fan, too, and was pretty saddened by the poor reviews of the TouchPad to see I'd been let down.

It's a little hard for me to understand what HP was thinking. From where I'm standing it doesn't look to me like they did a good job in a that fight over before it started. It looked to me like they under invested and screwed the platform.

You get to pick up to 2 of: fast, good, or cheap. They managed to be none of fast, good, or cheap.

Fast: They were late to market, with HP doing seemingly nothing for about a year. They're enormous, why didn't they hire more (or more likely, better) people if they couldn't iterate as fast as the competition.
Good: They had more time than the competition, and are an enormous company, yet managed to still ship a half-baked product with major bugs like random slowdowns promised to be fixed in a future update.
Cheap: Worst of all, they have decided to price the TouchPad as a premium tablet, about the same as the iPad2, or Samsung Galaxy Tab. They couldn't stand taking a few video-game-console-style quarters of losses to build market share for their nascent ecosystem?

If this was their plan, I don't know why they bothered to buy Palm at all. Palm under HP didn't seem any better funded or to execute any better than when Palm didn't have the backing of the world's #1 computer maker.

Is anyone surprised? (2)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667252)

I'm not really surprised. Yes, WebOS and the remnants of Palm are still alive and kicking but Palm didn't do themselves any favors. There was a time that Palm made the best products out there and had the operating system that everyone loved. The along came RIM and the Blackberry and at first, the old Blackberry devices did well but they sucked to use. Anybody remember the 857 and 957 from a long time ago? Then along comes Apple, then comes Android.. It's cyclic in nature and Palm didn't keep up with the industry. The first release of WebOS was interesting but again it was trapped in the Palm Pre. Mine locked up so many times that after one month I returned it.

Do I give WebOS some credit? Well, yes, there are some nice UI elements but again, what's it compatible with and what developers will build apps for it?
RIM is now seen as a fading player so what does that leave for everybody else? Will the tablet and phone world start to look like the Windows World in the 90s where MSFT just built an O/S and there were multiple players who built the hardware? Who knows, but I will tell you that Apple doesn't like to share and marginalize their profits. The challenge will be making the next device because the cell phone market is already slipping from them.

HP's problem is their Brass (5, Interesting)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667288)

HP has the same problem as Nokia and RIM. Company execs aren't putting enough resources into their new OS's to get things moving.

Nokia had a good thing started with Maemo/Meego. Just look at the recent N950, N9 reviews by Engadget and others (
http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/21/nokia-n9-first-hands-on/ [engadget.com] ; http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/30/nokias-n950-demos-meego-harmattan-in-marathon-video/ [engadget.com] ). A great start/ideas, but they didn't put enough of their not insubstantial resources behind it to get it developed quickly. They gave developers a mixed message, which had a lot of them sitting back waiting to see if there was going to be full commitment by the company before joining in.
Result, the new OS floundered from lack of backing, and they ended up turning to Microsoft.

RIM had been giving the developers the same mixed message about where they are headed. QNX could be an awesome phone OS. Frankly, I'm not sure why someone wasn't putting it on phones years ago. Will it succeed? If it does, it will be despite the big brass's ambivalent attitude.

And now we have HP, which bought a great little OS in WebOS from Palm, that just didn't have the money to dig themselves out of the hole they let themselves get into.

HP's administration said they were going to "double down on WebOS." [techcrunch.com] Their new CEO says they are going to "be cooler than apple" [engadget.com] . He's also said they were going to avoid the same mistakes made in the past and that they would now "ship products within weeks of announcement"" [precentral.net] .

HP keeps claiming they have 'incredible scale' and vast resources to make WebOS a success. But since the purchase of Palm, they haven't put their money where their mouth is.

What have they done with those vast resources?

They let the bulk of the creative talent from Palm, the folks who had all the great ideas that make WebOS the induitive OS that it is, leave to go to Apple, Google, or anywhere but HP.

They've put out the Veer, which is basically a smaller version of the original pre, with slightly upgraded hardware.

They have essentially converted a tablet that they were originally going to have run a MS OS. Their Touchpad is bulkier, heavier, and has slower hardware than the competition. And the OS is laggy.

The 'Cool thing' about the Touchpad was that it is supposed to synch with their(new) phones, (Veer, and Pre3). The veer is selling terribly because it's too tiny for a smartphone.

And the Pre3? The Pre3 was announced in February. It's going to ship (in the U.S.) in the Fall. With specs that are way outclassed by phones already released with Android, and facing a likely new iPhone in the fall, as well as some insanely better hardware in the Galaxy S2.

Not much to show for HPs vaunted vast resources.

And then there's customer service...

Original Pre owners were strung along for many months by HP, who told them their Pre phones would be upgraded to WebOS version 2.x and finally get FLASH, that was promised to them 2 years ago when the phone first went on sale. Then at the last minute, folks found out (via twitter, not even a real press release) that that wasn't going to happen.

Then they said they'd do something to 'make things right' to the WebOS users. What did they do finally? Their marketing guys attempted to upsell those folks by giving them a $50 coupon for the touchpad. But only if they got the high end 32MB version. And only if they did it within 30 days of the notice.

Not timely, not cool HP.

I'm afraid WebOS is fated to go the way of BeOS. One of my favorites, but too many other factors, including management in this case, going against it.

Re:HP's problem is their Brass (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667498)

Their Touchpad is bulkier, heavier, and has slower hardware than the competition. And the OS is laggy.

That is surprising. Rubinstein certainly knows how to make good hardware (he did it for NeXT and Apple for many years). I don't know of any reason why HP wouldn't be able to match if not exceed what Apple's able to do in that area.

-jcr

Re:HP's problem is their Brass (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667776)

As a Palm Pre Plus owner Im glad to see the WebOs tablet sink and burn. If HP hadnt left me out in the cold I might have at least tried it. And I KNOW the only reason Pre Plus didnt get 2.0 was because of the vanilla Pres.
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