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HP Hires Ex-Nokia Exec, Spins Off WebOS, Reportedly Returning To Tablets

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the on-second-thought dept.

HP 128

judgecorp writes "Hewlett-Packard is returning to tablets with a new unit that aims to make consumer devices under the leadership of former Nokia executive Alberto Torres." This particular Ex-Nokia exec was part of the Meego division. The newly founded HP Mobility will focus on consumer tablets; 'business' tablets (presumably running Windows 8) will remain in their current division. With the recent spinning off of the webOS team into Gram this might mean new webOS hardware.

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128 comments

FIrst tablet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41061451)

FROsty tablet runs cool on arm processor

Re:FIrst tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41064379)

With HP's track record as of late with crappy laptops and bailing suddenly on their last tablet, there is no way in hell our departments will touch anything they make.

Re:FIrst tablet (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41064419)

Precisely. And why would any business prefer a Windows 8 tablet to an Android or even iPad?

Re:FIrst tablet (2)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about 2 years ago | (#41064495)

Active Directory, MS Office to name a couple. Perhaps you meant Windows RT instead? Well, it's still got Office... but I don't see it being popular with businesses.

Re:FIrst tablet (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#41065677)

Office on a tablet? Everyone talks about how tablets are great consuming data devices, not content creation ones, so Office on your tablet is a silly idea - an office reader is fine, but there are loads of them that read office documents already. The familiarity factor n olonger applies anyway as Office will look and feel different to normal PC version.

MS has shown that it thinks tablets are the only way now, hence no desktop in the Windows 8 RT version. I agree, I can't see it being popular with businesses either.

Active Directory and Exchange... hasn't stopped Apple from being really popular with businesses, why would they bother with Windows 8 tablets if they already have a load of iPads.

history lesson? (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 2 years ago | (#41065923)

Office on a tablet? Everyone talks about how tablets are great consuming data devices, not content creation ones, so Office on your tablet is a silly idea.

There is used to be a time, not long ago where the following (listed in reverse chronological order) were considered "silly ideas"

1. tablets,
2. phones with cameras,
3. e-commerce,
4. personal computers

Sooner or later (probably sooner than you think), technology will catch up to make such an idea (a content-producing tablet) a realistic alternative. These silly ideas have merit, and would fit a future need. I don't really care any other way, but to call it "silly", well, that's silly.

Apple is clearly doomed (5, Funny)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41061471)

This is HP were talking about with an ex-Nokia guy

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (1, Insightful)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 years ago | (#41061579)

This is HP were talking about with an ex-Nokia guy

Add Windows 8 and Epic Fail is no longer adaquate to describe this train wreck.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (2)

paxcoder (1222556) | about 2 years ago | (#41061651)

What's wrong with Windows 8 on mobile platforms? AFAIK, it's just that it's unsuitable for desktop. Not that I care about non-free OS', I'm just saying.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#41061725)

What's wrong with Windows 8 on mobile platforms?

What's right about it? Why would I want Windows on a tablet rather than Android or Apple's thingy?

'Get your new tablet with the new version of Windows, where you can't even run an application in a window'.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41061797)

'Get your new tablet with the new version of Windows, where you can't even run an application in a window'.

Hey look [advancedpcmedia.com] two application windows side-by-side.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#41062223)

'Get your new tablet with the new version of Windows, where you can't even run an application in a window'.

Hey look [advancedpcmedia.com] two widgets windows side-by-side.

FTFY

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41062343)

FTFY

no you didn't.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41064519)

The image you linked to is Photoshopped anyway. It's a fake.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41063721)

'Get your new tablet with the new version of Windows, where you can't even run an application in a window'.

Except you can, with desktop apps - like Office.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41064471)

No, current Office won't run on ARM. MS will have to port Office to Windows RT.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about 2 years ago | (#41064509)

Except they already have, and it's bundled with Windows RT. However, you won't be able to use other desktop apps.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41064605)

Except they already have, and it's bundled with Windows RT. However, you won't be able to use other desktop apps.

Except you can, there is also desktop file manager and a desktop version of IE10.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41061933)

Windows 8 has a 'cloud' focus. Much functionality depends on 'cloud' infrastructure. It may not even be possible to install apps without agreeing to MS terms and having a MS cloud account?

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41064457)

What is Windows RT (more precisely) gonna deliver that's not already there on either Android or iPad? It's certainly not Windows apps, since the CPU is ARM, not x64. So the ONLY advantage that Windows would have had over those 2 is lost right there. As it is, Windows 8 won't be able to run XP apps, so it's not like they will be @ par on the apps availability front.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#41064957)

It NEEDS a keyboard and a mouse/touchpad/trackball/pen to, you know, use it.

It's like the dev team said "Well, we've got the top layer of Windows mostly converted to be kind of usable using a touch screen, we're start to work on..." Manager: "We're shipping what you've got as RTM tomorrow"

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065263)

Have you tried it?

It looks like they couldn't decide if it belonged in a kindergarten or corporation. Doesn't do anything any of the other OSs do and doesn't bring anything new to the table with usability.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (1)

oztiks (921504) | about 2 years ago | (#41062249)

Why? WP7.5 wasn't too bad? The thing about mobile OSes is that it isn't matter of "how many" features it has its more about "how less" features it has.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (0)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41062331)

for normal folk who like their iphones there is no reason to go WP 7.5. what does it to that the iphone doesn't?

nothing?

ok, unless its free no reason to get it

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (0)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 years ago | (#41063031)

for normal folk who like their iphones there is no reason to go WP 7.5. what does it to that the iphone doesn't?

nothing?

ok, unless its free no reason to get it

Crash frequently?

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (1)

oztiks (921504) | about 2 years ago | (#41065481)

It doesn't do that either.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (1)

oztiks (921504) | about 2 years ago | (#41065557)

Not sure of the price myself which I don't care about as my Lumia was less RRP than an iPhone, does the EXACT same thing except with lower specced but better quality hardware. So say what you will about WP, so far no disappointments.

Here is a fairly balanced comparison between the two.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP9HlGB7Sy8 [youtube.com]

Some wins both sides I'd say. Which is better? whose to say? The weak points on Apple was video streaming and lack of HTML5, WP weaknesses the use of Trident over WebKit. But really splitting hairs between the two there isn't much between them!

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (1)

Haawkeye (2680377) | about 2 years ago | (#41063973)

No doubt HP does not have a good rep and windows 8 sucks.

Re:Apple is clearly doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41064929)

Quote from Waterworld:

Nord: So which way we rowin?
Deacon: I dont have a goddamn clue. Dont worry, theyll row for a
    month before they figure out Im fakin it.

 

Want to see new WebOS tablet, there must be one... (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41061481)

I think it very interesting to hear that HP might sail to the island of misfit tablet OS's, and combine them into something potentially really good...

But I really wish they would commit fully to this, instead of also making a Windows8 tablet.

Now that Microsoft has shown it's happy to make it's own hardware, with potentially a very competitive price - it seems like HP should take a gamble on reviving it's own tablet OS flavor instead of trying to compete on margin against Microsoft.

Re:Want to see new WebOS tablet, there must be one (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41061587)

They just need to ship a 41 with a tablet sized display and multi-touch.

How fast could they clock one of those puppies these days. Microcode the OS. RPN shell language.

Re:Want to see new WebOS tablet, there must be one (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#41061857)

Nonsense. They could surprise us all by focusing their energies on the neglected markets of desktops, by suddenly shipping full towers with extensive, user-friendly options, rekindling interest among the common folk in owning 'a Porsche for less than a Ford.' Or they could continue to follow the pack, and make some loose change.

I mean, it's not like other manufacturers aren't also slowly pulling out of the desktop market, which with the diversion in resources could allow for an upset victory. And it's not like desktop components aren't massively less expensive to manufacture than laptop or tablet components. And it's not like there isn't a giant market out there filled with people who don't mind owning a desktop.

But yes, let's abandon the desktop market, and switch to the lower revenue and less useful tablet market. Let's pay more for 16 GBs of Flash than for a 1 TB hard drive. Let's pay more for a 7" screen than for a 23" LCD screen. So that our customers can carry it around with them, and drop it, breaking the screens, and driving up warranty insurance. It's like embracing an anti-market.

Re:Want to see new WebOS tablet, there must be one (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41062493)

But yes, let's abandon the desktop market, and switch to the lower revenue and less useful tablet market.

Yes let's not change, let's stick to our declining market that clearly people are starting to abandon and ignore the growing market segments! If we all get our heads in the sand everything will turn out ok!

And it's not like there isn't a giant market out there filled with people who don't mind owning a desktop.

Outside of professional users (and even then in many cases laptops are preferable) there really isn't much of a market for desktops, sure they "wouldn't mind" owning one, but you're only going to be competing on price, a laptop is far more useful and these days almost insignificantly more expensive. It's a terribly low revenue market, desktops don't have any advantage that most people care about so outside of hardcore PC gamers (and even then there are a myriad of high-powered gaming laptops) the factor is just price.

Re:Want to see new WebOS tablet, there must be one (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#41065657)

I'm sure tablets (or "consumer computing devices" to say what they really are) have a huge market ready for the taking, once you can compete with the iPad, but that doesn't mean the desktop market is ready for exploitation too - its not just professionals who need a super-powered desktop machine for development or graphic design or whatnot, but all those call-centre workers who have an underpowered PC humming under their desks. There are millions of 'ordinary' workers who have/need one.

Now, I'm sure the cloud will come along and tell everyone they need a thin-client instead, but we're not there yet. And even then, the thin client had better be much cheaper than the existing no-brand PC they currently use, or they'll continue to use XP on them.

See, there is an opportunity for Linux on the desktop, its just that it's going to be as a PC replacement in the form of a thin terminal running webapps, not a PC clone.

The fanciest buggy on the road (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41062847)

They could surprise us all by focusing their energies on the neglected markets of desktops

I'm sure in the waning days of the horse carriages there were buggy makers that decided to "focus their energies on the neglected market of the carriage" and build some really fancy buggies...

But it didn't help them turn a tide that was beyond any one company.

Tablets are just as useful as any other computer. But it's also not like desktops and laptops are going away, just marginalized... in a way it is better for us, because instead of systems mostly being built for the average consumer, more and more only the highly technical will be buying them and so we must be catered to.

Re:Want to see new WebOS tablet, there must be one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41062931)

Don't be dense.

Apple has the highest ROI for apps, Android has a huge volume of units to sell apps to, MS has next to nothing but they might manage to pull off an Xbox just because they're MS so they'll get apps too.

What does HP have with WebOS? Jack squat and everyone knows it. App developers will put a port to WebOS at about the same priority as a port to OS/2.

Not exactly true... (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41064885)

What does HP have with WebOS? Jack squat and everyone knows it. App developers will put a port to WebOS at about the same priority as a port to OS/2.

This is not really true. I know an interesting cross-section of app developers, both Android and iOS that all like WebOS quite a bit.

If a real attempt to push WebOS would arrive, I would spend some effort porting software to it, just to help prop up competition that I like.

MS will get apps because they are paying handsomely to have the most popular apps ported. Nothing wrong with that approach.

There's a lot of if around WebOS really coming back though, I'll believe it when I see it.

Help with going out of business? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41061547)

I can do that for 1/10 of the money in 1/10 of the time without a bonus.

What is going on at HP? (5, Insightful)

redback (15527) | about 2 years ago | (#41061551)

I cant help but think that HP are just stumbling around in the dark doing things at random in the hope that something pays off.

Re:What is going on at HP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41061663)

Remember the modern mantra: 'Change is good'.

Re:What is going on at HP? (1)

Dreamlandlocal (978245) | about 2 years ago | (#41061791)

Its good money after bad but heck, the fancy new Nokia guy has to look like he's doing something.

Re:What is going on at HP? (2)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 2 years ago | (#41061861)

Seriously. This has fail written all over it. You'd think they'd take a breather after the Touchpad. Like a 5-10 year breather.

Re:What is going on at HP? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41063177)

Not only that but after they abandoned the Touchpad before even giving it a chance, who the he'll would actually buy a "consumer" tablet from them. They're going to have to put a ton of effort to convince me and the people that look to me for tech suggestions.

Re:What is going on at HP? (2)

jcr (53032) | about 2 years ago | (#41061871)

I'm afraid you're right. HP as we knew it is done. I just hope that Agilent buys the name back when it goes into receivership.

-jcr

Re:What is going on at HP? (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41064507)

Why would Agilent want a tainted brand? They should buy back maybe a few things that HP has, like the calculator, maybe the dead PA-RISC CPU (for their internal usage), and stay away from the rest.

Re:What is going on at HP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41064961)

I work in the calculator group. Wouldn't mind that...

Re:What is going on at HP? (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41061907)

the consumer PC and the enterprise IT market is mostly smallish companies making the tech and dell/hp rebranding it and selling it with some value added in like providing support. this is called a commodity and it doesn't really matter what you buy. it's all the same. kind of like a blu ray player

almost everything HP sells is rebranded stuff they buy from a small supplier like Emulex or Fusion IO and resell it under their own brand

companies like EMC have staked out the high more profitable end where they can charge higher margins

Re:What is going on at HP? (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 2 years ago | (#41061955)

Exactly. HP's tablet was just a me-too product. On the other hand, HP produced some of the very best lab equipment (oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, spectrum analyzers) on the planet. If they were to choose a market to get back into, why choose tablets?

Re:What is going on at HP? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41062091)

HP's tablet was just a me-too product.

What the? There have been dozens of me-too products in the tablet space over the last several months. HP's was definitely not one of those. They had their own OS, brilliantly designed for touch computing, unique features, and a follow-up product (the 7-inch Touchpad Go) just months away from release. They had poor hardware design choices, key apps missing, and remarkably poor rollout execution; but they still had the #2 tablet within weeks of launch. And that was before they killed it all and sparked the fire sale. Their tablet not only wasn't a me-too product; it was actually a product that had a chance of making it.

If they were to choose a market to get back into, why choose tablets?

'Cause they're the world's largest computing vendor, and computing is increasingly tablet-oriented, probably.

Re:What is going on at HP? (2, Interesting)

BBCWatcher (900486) | about 2 years ago | (#41062893)

'Cause they're the world's largest computing vendor, and computing is increasingly tablet-oriented, probably.

By what measure is HP the "world's largest computer vendor"?

  • Market capitalization? No, that's Apple.
  • Software? No, that's Microsoft.
  • Business software ("middleware")? No, that's IBM and then Oracle.
  • Internet? No, that's Google.
  • Mobile? No, that's Samsung (in units) and Apple (in profits).
  • Servers? Depends on which quarter/year you check, but generally that's been IBM, especially in the more profitable high-end.
  • Networking? No, that's Cisco.
  • IT services? No, that's IBM.
  • Business applications? No, that's SAP and Oracle.
  • PC distribution? Yes, although Lenovo is now nipping at their heels.

HP is rather tiny now, especially in market capitalization terms (under $40B). For perspective, even Facebook, which has been battered, has a higher market capitalization. HP really needs to choose its battles wisely.

Re:What is going on at HP? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41063355)

'Cause they're the world's largest computing vendor, and computing is increasingly tablet-oriented, probably.

By what measure is HP the "world's largest computer vendor"?

Personal Computer sales. What else would that sentence realistically imply?

Re:What is going on at HP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41063593)

Nowadays the New Personal Computers are tablets and phones.

Re:What is going on at HP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41064679)

And apparently software, considering that over 50% of the gp's metrics didn't have shit to do with actual physical devices.

Re:What is going on at HP? (4, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | about 2 years ago | (#41064817)

PC distribution? Yes

Obviously that one, even if you were incapable of inferring that from the original post the fact that all the other random metrics you listed don't support such a claim (and most don't even fit the definition of 'computer vendor') should tell you that the one that does (and best fits the definition of 'computer vendor') is most likely the measure in question.

Blame Lew Platt (4, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 2 years ago | (#41061967)

He's the one who split the company in half and infested it with the usual gang of MBA idiots while the company was ironically promoting "The HP Way" to its own employees.

Re:What is going on at HP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41062253)

It's worked fairly well for Samsung thus far

Re:What is going on at HP? (5, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41063265)

In the tablet market, compared to HP, Samsung is executing with razor sharp focus approaching sublimity. HP didn't have the stomach to keep the Touchpad on the market for two good months. They didn't market it worth a shit and the hardware was lackluster. If WebOS had been well cared for, it could have at least made some money and been a worthy competitor to the iPad especially since Honeycomb Android tablets at the time were unadulterated garbage. HP had a chance. Now you have iOS 6, the Nexus 7 with Jellybean and Windows 8/RT with the full push of the Microsoft machine behind it. And HP is going to try to bring something else to the market? Get real. If they can make something notable with a 199 dollar or less price tag then they might have a chance. Otherwise forget it.

Re:What is going on at HP? (-1, Flamebait)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41064541)

Oh come on, Samsung has a clear focus. Copying Apple seems to work for them. At least all the Google fanboys who want an iPhone have a look-alike so they can eat their own dog food and not gag on it.

Re:What is going on at HP? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41063421)

They keep getting new CEOs. Every time, the CEO gets a new idea, and a new direction to take the company. So if it seems like the company keeps changing direction randomly, it is. Maybe this CEO will be better. I'd like to think so, but I have doubts.

Re:What is going on at HP? (3, Informative)

Shoten (260439) | about 2 years ago | (#41063751)

I left HP a few months ago for greener (less insane) pastures. From my perspective, you are absolutely correct.

Splitting hairs (0)

Dracos (107777) | about 2 years ago | (#41061777)

Business tablets comprise are a few niche markets at best. Consumer tablets are doomed to failure.

The only reason the iPad has sold well is because of Apple's reality distortion field. No one made a commercially viable tablet before, and no one else will.

Re:Splitting hairs (2)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 2 years ago | (#41061879)

I'm enjoying my Nexus 7. I'm also one of those people that generally mocked the idea of tablets and held off for a long time.

Re:Splitting hairs (2)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#41063643)

Business tablets comprise are a few niche markets at best. Consumer tablets are doomed to failure.

The only reason the iPad has sold well is because of Apple's reality distortion field. No one made a commercially viable tablet before, and no one else will.

I see Thomas "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers" Watson is alive and well and posting on Slashdot.

Re:Splitting hairs (1)

equex (747231) | about 2 years ago | (#41065763)

five computers with 640kb each.

Re:Splitting hairs (0)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41064559)

The iPad sold well because it's a high quality product with better features and a better OS than the competition. Until somebody else can come up with something better (NOT BLOODY LIKELY considering all they are doing is furiously copying Apple) Apple will continue to own the tablet space.

People like the iPad because it's easy, and it was successful partially thanks to a very rich software library from launch.

Just pretending that Apple's success is because they magically make buy their stuff might make you happy, but it's not the truth of the matter.

Apple makes easy-to-use products that are far better than anything else out there. Until somebody else can do that better, AND release a product with a good software library, they will continue to own the market.

Wait, what? (4, Insightful)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#41061815)

Microsoft has announced its own hardware/software tablet product to compete with the iPad that has Acer begging MS not to sell the Surface, and HP thinks this is a good time to throw out the tablet OS it bought (which already has an installed userbase) and start over from scratch with a brand new tablet division to compete with Microsoft? No one has even used Microsoft's product (the few who got to "touch" it had it taken away as soon as they tried to do anything with it), or even knows how much it's going to cost. All we really know is it's coming out in October and it's a rounded rectangle with a shiny front.

Perhaps Meg Whitman's underlings told her that HP's last tablet offering "flew off the shelves at Best Buy," but neglected to tell her why. I bought one for a friend who needed a new computer but couldn't afford one at the time, and as I helped her set it up and figure out how to do the things she needed with it, I realized it was a steal for the fire sale price, but it certainly wasn't worth anything close to the retail price.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41062139)

Perhaps Meg Whitman's underlings told her that HP's last tablet offering "flew off the shelves at Best Buy," but neglected to tell her why. I bought one for a friend who needed a new computer but couldn't afford one at the time, and as I helped her set it up and figure out how to do the things she needed with it, I realized it was a steal for the fire sale price, but it certainly wasn't worth anything close to the retail price.

Perhaps not, but it was selling. It was the #2 tablet (granted, a very distant #2) even before the fire sale. And that's #2 in total sales, not sales pace, even compared to Android tablets that had had a whole lot longer in the market.

Who would develop for it? (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41061829)

Who's going to develop for their new platform after what happened the last time?

For that matter, who trusts HP for anything after their behavior "Hey, we're in the tablet market, buy WebOS, it's the wave of the future!" "Oh hey, we don't want to be in the tablet market, so we're selling our entire inventory for 80% off!" "Oh yeah, and the PC market sucks, we're spinning of the division, so no more HP PC's!" "Well maybe PC's aren't so bad after all, we decided to keep selling them! So keep buying them!" "Oh you know, we were wrong about tablets, now we we're going to sell them again and we really mean it this time!"

I won't buy HP servers because I really don't know where they are going and don't want to build an HP shop, then find out in 2 years that they decided that servers are not profitable.

Re:Who would develop for it? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#41063237)

That was pretty dumb from HP, launching a decent tablet with a decent OS on it, and next throwing the towel, making people investing in that ecosystem to leave and potentially to not come back ever.

In the other hand, provided that they can do decent hardware and push some innovation from their own in that area, plus the knowledge of those 2 great mobile OSs, they could still have room for some surprise (i.e. if adding to the mix running android apps in an environment that mix the best features of WebOS and Meego/Maemo)

Re:Who would develop for it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065527)

Agreed. HP sold their touch pad at too high of a price point and then panic sold at far too low of a price point when best buy complained they had trouble selling the HP touch pad. If I knew at the touch pad launch what I now know about it, I would :have paid retail price for it. I love my HP touch pad as it dual boots webos and android 4.0. Soon it will run Android 4.1 as well. I use it everyday and use it more than my laptop.

2 different divisions making tablets? (5, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about 2 years ago | (#41061893)

So, two completely unrelated divisions making tablets. This is guaranteed to turn out well!

Why the hell is Apple the only large tech company that can get its shit together? A while back some pundit posted a bunch of speculation over who would have revolutionized mp3 players if Apple had not come along. Would it have been Microsoft or Sony or Creative? But the consensus of the responses was that none of the above would have stepped up and we would still be using crappy 2000's style mp3 players today and blackberries would still be the height of smartphones. Go e-mail!

Nothing was stopping any of those companies, or dozens of others, from making a better mp3 player before the iPod launched. Nothing stopped them from stepping up their game after it launched and the truth is that most of them still suck today, over a decade later. Apple's only secret sauce is that all their competitors are fundamentally incompetent.

Sony is famous for squabbling and hostile divisions. Each division tries to undercut every other division while developing competing ideas in parallel and not sharing any resources, while at the same time the media side of the company stabs everyone else in the back. Repeatedly. With a machete.

Microsoft's long running managerial dysfunction has been getting a bunch of public airing lately. Their method of giving performance reviews on a scale, thus forcing out 20% of the good teams and encouraging the smart teams to keep on bad workers in order to pad their numbers. While the Office division stabs everyone else in the back. Repeatedly. With a machete.

And now HP wants to do tablets again. Right after canceling their tablet plans. What do they do? Get a few dozen of their smartest people in a room and hash it out until they have a comprehensive plan that describes the tablet goals and provides for a cohesive set of feature to scale nicely from the consumer to the corporate, allowing them to cross-sell to their best advantage?

Hell No!

They set up two different teams. They are going to make two entirely different lines of tablets. They might not even use the same operating system, let alone a scaling feature set. Probably going to be completely incompatible. Already committed to one of HP's tablet lines and looking to upgrade or replace them? I'd bet cash money that it will be an easier experience to switch to iPads than switch to the other HP line.

This announcement right here is where the board should be fired and replaced and then the new board should fire and replace the entire C level.

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41062275)

Why the hell is Apple the only large tech company that can get its shit together? A while back some pundit posted a bunch of speculation over who would have revolutionized mp3 players if Apple had not come along. Would it have been Microsoft or Sony or Creative? But the consensus of the responses was that none of the above would have stepped up and we would still be using crappy 2000's style mp3 players today and blackberries would still be the height of smartphones. Go e-mail!

Nothing was stopping any of those companies, or dozens of others, from making a better mp3 player before the iPod launched. Nothing stopped them from stepping up their game after it launched and the truth is that most of them still suck today, over a decade later. Apple's only secret sauce is that all their competitors are fundamentally incompetent.

Creative and others had products that beat the iPod, both before and after the iPod's launch. In contrast to the iPod of the time, my old Zen Micro played more formats of music, supported music stores that had legal DRM-free music, received and recorded FM radio, allowed playlist editing on the device, had a user-replaceable battery, etc. etc. The explanation is the reality distortion field, not the inferiority of the competition.

And now HP wants to do tablets again. Right after canceling their tablet plans. What do they do? Get a few dozen of their smartest people in a room and hash it out until they have a comprehensive plan that describes the tablet goals and provides for a cohesive set of feature to scale nicely from the consumer to the corporate, allowing them to cross-sell to their best advantage?

Hell No!

They set up two different teams. They are going to make two entirely different lines of tablets.

There's a rumor that a Microsoft license prevents HP from having the same people working on Windows and non-Windows tablets. They may have to do it this way because that's the only way to hedge their bets against the possibility that Microsoft will score overwhelming success with their Surface, at the expense of OEMs.

They might not even use the same operating system ...

They probably won't use the same OS. HP owns webOS, remember, and started work on the Touchpad as an Android tablet before buying Palm.

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (1)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#41062401)

There's a rumor that a Microsoft license prevents HP from having the same people working on Windows and non-Windows tablets. They may have to do it this way because that's the only way to hedge their bets against the possibility that Microsoft will score overwhelming success with their Surface, at the expense of OEMs.

Actually it's to ensure Apple doesn't release an iPad running Windows 8, because it would have more intuitive buttons on the surface than the Microsoft's Surface and come in better colors.

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (-1, Flamebait)

grouchomarxist (127479) | about 2 years ago | (#41062555)

The original iPod nicely matched capacity with portability, along with relatively fast sync. No other players had that at the time, they were either too big to fit in a pocket or low capacity.

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (2, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about 2 years ago | (#41062859)

Creative and others had products that beat the iPod, both before and after the iPod's launch. In contrast to the iPod of the time, my old Zen Micro played more formats of music, supported music stores that had legal DRM-free music, received and recorded FM radio, allowed playlist editing on the device, had a user-replaceable battery, etc. etc.

I had a Creative before (and for a while after) the iPod came out. It was only good when measured against the next option, which was burning mp3s to CD and using a portable CD player that supported them. Yeah, sure, it played more formats than the iPod. Hell, it played more formats than my iPhone probably does. But once you finished reading the box it wasn't very good at actually performing it's intended function. Loading music sucked. Sorting and organizing music sucked. Browsing music sucked. It just sucked less than the competition. And then suddenly the competition got better.

The explanation is the reality distortion field, not the inferiority of the competition.

What reality distortion field? When the iPod came out (and for several years after) Apple was viewed about the same way RIM is right now. Dead on its feet and only valuable for the IP. The iPod was probably the most mocked product launch of its time.

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41063125)

Having missed out on the Apple ][ days by cutting my teeth on the C64 and on DEC equipment obtain through a cousin who worked there, I've never had any attachment to Apple. The whole "computing for idiots" mantra that started with the Mac was off-putting, and hasn't changed yet. The iMac was candy colored crap, the iPhone 1 was a style-over-substance featurephone masquerading as a smart phone, the Air was a ridiculous toy, and all their other offerings have been over-hyped and hyper-inflated machines for suckers.

Except the iPod. That was the first MP3 player that combined a ton of storage (micro HD instead of very limited flash those days), good battery life (though admittedly not user replaceable), and slim form factor (easily jean pocketable, even shirt pocketable). I picked up an 8GB Gen-2 in 2003 and never regretted it. I know some people had battery issues that generation, but I stumbled upon mine last year during a move and it was still working.

iTunes did/does suck, though.

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (0)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41064641)

"The whole "computing for idiots" mantra that started with the Mac was off-putting, and hasn't changed yet."

You're totally missing the point. Apple doesn't, and never has, made computers for idiots. They make computers for people who want to do their work using their computers, not WORK ON their computer. The Apple ][ series was designed at a time when the next best things were all jokes, designed and built for and by electronic engineers for no reason other than to say "hey I have a computer." It was different because it was useful, came fully assembled, and had lots of 3rd party support.

The Macintosh was and still is the go-to computer for people who want something that just plain works. You don't really use the Mac OS (any version!) because you use the applications. The OS just gets the hell out of the way, which is sort of the whole point.

And iTunes doesn't suck. It's bar none, the best music organization / playing / purchasing option out there. It organizes the library much better than you can. Sure, iTunes for Windows has problems, but that's because Microsoft poisons their OS and makes it suck.

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41063493)

Creative and others had products that beat the iPod, both before and after the iPod's launch.

in your (and a small handful of others) opinion

In contrast to the iPod of the time, my old Zen Micro played more formats of music,

which nobody cared about and didn't matter

supported music stores that had legal DRM-free music,

full of music no one wanted to listen to

received and recorded FM radio,

which the majority of people didn't want to do

allowed playlist editing on the device,

so did the ipod

had a user-replaceable battery,

who cares!

etc. etc.

etcetera etcetera

The explanation is the reality distortion field,

says the guy who thinks a checklist describes a "superior" product, it's easier than thinking about actual usability

not the inferiority of the competition.

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41064619)

"Creative and others had products that beat the iPod, both before and after the iPod's launch. In contrast to the iPod of the time, my old Zen Micro played more formats of music, supported music stores that had legal DRM-free music, received and recorded FM radio, allowed playlist editing on the device, had a user-replaceable battery, etc. etc. The explanation is the reality distortion field, not the inferiority of the competition."

No, no, no. The problem is that you don't understand the market, marketing, or making a good device. The Zen Micro was OK, but it was cheap. It's a creaky little hunk of shit. It had worse battery life, an awful UI, and very little worthwhile support. And let's not even talk about additional file formats. There are only 3 worth mentioning - MP3, MP4/AAC, and FLAC/ALAC.

You mention FM tuners. Nobody gave a shit about FM tuners, and they still don't. Some companies (like Apple) now have FM tuners in their phones, but that's only because the chipsets they use already had the tuner onboard, making it something that didn't require much, if any, additional circuitry.

You're one of those people who looks at two products and chooses the one with the longer list of bullet points. These kinds of products fail, because the secret of good design is to throw away every feature that people don't really need. This is why the iPad still outsells other tablets 1000:1 even though those other tablets have longer feature lists, faster processors, more RAM, SD slots, etc. The truth of this is that those additional features are only there to lengthen the list of bullet points (aside from the faster processors - you really need those to run a fucking Java ripoff with any speed).

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#41065241)

Creative and others had products that beat the iPod, both before and after the iPod's launch. In contrast to the iPod of the time, my old Zen Micro played more formats of music, supported music stores that had legal DRM-free music, received and recorded FM radio, allowed playlist editing on the device, had a user-replaceable battery, etc. etc. The explanation is the reality distortion field, not the inferiority of the competition.

On paper, maybe. But the thing is, everyone has their own priorities and it turns out "has a user interface that doesn't make me want to gouge out my eyes with a spoon" is a high priority to a lot of people, and that's something that most other MP3 players were sorely lacking.

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#41063157)

Aren't Gram just the remnants of the webOS open source project? Let them push boundaries, innovate and just let them code.

As for this new ex-Nokian led venture, let them polish the end results in terms of marketable hardware. e.g. akin to Samsung taking Google's AOSP and polishing the OS (touchwiz) for Galaxy phones and tablets.

Nothing in the announcements says Gram will actually make hardware.

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41065019)

Why give it a new name like Gram? Why not simply spin off Palm again under the same old name, let them resume the TouchPad & WebOS, and run w/ it. HP obviously didn't think that they're competitive, so why not let them compete against them? They can do their Windows 8 Tablet (base it not on ARM but on Fusion or Medfield) and they can do their Consumer tablet either using Meego, or better still, if Meego is their basis for apps development, maybe use Plasma Active on their WebOS Linux kernel as the basis for their new platform. Why re-invent that wheel? Meego apps, being Qt based, can then also run on this Plasma Active, unless there is a different in the Qt versions that they're based on.

Re:2 different divisions making tablets? (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41064579)

"While the Office division stabs everyone else in the back. Repeatedly. With a machete."

I have to disagree here. The Office division isn't stabbing the rest of MS in the back with a machete. After all, that'd be an effective tool and MS doesn't believe in those. What they did was take a Cabbage Patch Kid, melt the head into a narrow cylinder of goo, tape a piece of confetti onto the end, and stab the other divisions in the back with it even though it's not very sharp. They did it with sheer willpower, because they believe in making their own dog food and eating it too.

What would Bill and Dave do? (3, Interesting)

lastx33 (2097770) | about 2 years ago | (#41061913)

HP are floundering and it's really sad to see a company with so many technology innovations to it's name struggling to find it's feet. Maybe people stopped asking "what would Bill and Dave do . . .?" If anyone wants a (quite extensive) peek into the way HP was, there is an excellent booklet by former employee, John Minck, available as a pdf at http://www.hpalumni.org/HPNAR110227.pdf [hpalumni.org] .

Gram? (1)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#41061935)

Their product offering is "in stealth mode." So, Gram, as in WaitAndSeeGram? Perhaps they're hoping Facebook will buy it for a billion dollars to complement Instagram.

In other news... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41062015)

In other news it was announced today that I will be producing a web tablet of my own, designed to compete head to head with all the other tablet makers. When reached for comment, I said, "Why not? Everyone else is!"

Re:In other news... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41063147)

In other news it was announced today that I will be producing a web tablet of my own, designed to compete head to head with all the other tablet makers. When reached for comment, I said, "Why not? Everyone else is!"

Oooh I heard of this earlier! Can I get in on the early adopter band wagon for your Big Chief tablets?! I'm a game developer, and tablets need games! I assume you'll be running Apache. You're in luck, mod_rewrite is Turing complete and I've used my .htaccess vodo to create a nifty tic-tac-toe game! Bonus: It uses Cloud Computing!

Re:In other news... (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about 2 years ago | (#41065411)

I think you just described kickstarter.

Open-Source BeOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41062195)

Open-source the BeOS source code

Re:Open-Source BeOS (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#41063179)

Palm/HP no longer control the remains of Be. Meanwhile [slashdot.org]

Re:Open-Source BeOS (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41065611)

Better yet, make tablets based on Haiku

Hmmmmm.... (1)

SuperMog2002 (702837) | about 2 years ago | (#41062531)

HP Mobility? Motorola Mobility? Coincidence? I think not!

Re:Hmmmmm.... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41063201)

Count me out. I only do computing while stationary.

WTF, HP? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#41063053)

I've never seen such indecisiveness and direction-changing in a major corporation. How are they still in business after 20 years of being completely ADHD?

They must be doing pretty well selling $80000/gallon ink..

HP deathmarch.... (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#41063329)

So after coming out with a reasonably good tablet (Touchpad) HP decides that a fire sale is in order. This is before allowing WebOS to get any traction whatsoever. I still think that WebOS is the best tablet OS around. The problem is that they didn't have any apps - or not enough of them. The hardware was a bit crippled but it could have been jazzed up a bit. Now they're back in the game. Who is going to buy one of them? Who is going to go out and pay $499 only to see them slashed down to $99 a few weeks later?

The problem with HP is that they don't have any vision, any direction. They don't know what they want to be when they grow up. It's just a giant printer company trying to figure out what else to do. If I were an HP stockholder I would be furious at the idiots running this once proud company into the ground. The reason that Apple is kicking everyone's ass is that they know who they are. They know what they do and they do it well. They don't try to get into markets that they don't have a reasonable expectation of dominating. Not following, dominating. A lot of people on here don't like Apple but they execute - and execute extremely well.

HP needs to figure out what it wants to do. Get a solid vision of where they want to go and then hire the best engineers they can find and give them the budget to execute.

Re:HP deathmarch.... (2)

tri44id (576891) | about 2 years ago | (#41064615)

You don't understand the roles of Apple vs HP. Apple is Henry Ford's Ford, a singular vision where you could get a Model T in any color you wanted, as long as it was black. HP is General Motors, where you could get any color you wanted from 7 or more brands ranging from low-end Chevrolet to high-end Cadillacs, not to mention GMC trucks and tractor-trailers. The press and financial analyst community views HP as a PC and printer company because that's all they ever put their hands on, but HP makes as much or more money off the infrastructure business that makes up enterprise computing, creating more private clouds than anyone else, for example. Enterprise computing is a total blind spot to most PC bloggers.

There's actually a mobility strategy that can be discerned hidden in all the noise, secrecy and speculation, based on a close reading of published press releases and other announcements and interviews.

Gram was likely spun off so that it can make deals with third parties for the fundamental smartphone patents that came with Palm, without the direct conflicts of interest of dealing with a HP as both a hardware competitor and a licensor who could turn on its customers at any time. And as a side project, Gram will be the prime sponsor of OpenWebOS and Enyo.

HP will make a commercial tablet based on Windows 8 that hopefully has all the enterprise security and managability features that have been in Windows forever, and that Apple has never been able to come close to. If Microsoft doesn't shoot itself in the foot, this will take over the void created by the demise of RIM, and squeeze Apple out of the my-company-pays-for-it iPhone and iPad markets. HP and all the Microsoft tablet OEMs are betting that enterprises are already setup with Windows apps that can port to tablets without the massive effort of recoding from C# and VB to Objective-C. They may not be cool, but the get the job done.

HP will also make a consumer tablet based on Windows 8's consumer editions, and if they're smart, will incorporate a BIOS that will boot Win8 securely but also allow competing OS's such as WebOS and even Android to be installed without the shennanigans that other vendors will make them go thru. HP could even license its own smartphone patents back from Gram (at a very nominal fee) and get back into the phone business, if the Win8 phone turns out to be anything more than the failure that the Win7 phone was.

But, knowing HP's history, they'll figure out some way to screw it up and lose money at every stage.

why do i get the impression (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 2 years ago | (#41063933)

that HP has no idea what the hell it's doing.

HPDV41101TU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41064233)

Laptop HPDv4 for me . I like HP very good.
http://www.cameraphuthai.com.vn

Touchpad + incompatible open webos = ICS Installed (1)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | about 2 years ago | (#41065855)

I bought a "fire sale" touchpad last year and I am impressed with the hardware.

WebOS was a slick OS - swipe gestures are intuitive too.

WebOS was then open-sourced - components were released in a timely manner and then the punchline - "Not compatible with existing devices!!!".

I installed cyanogen ICS (Andoird 4) tenderloin and never looked back - the only hardware that doesn't work is the camera - no big deal.
It even has accelerated GPU - I can quite happily play Minecraft PE.

Current score:
0 HP
1 Cyanogen Developers

On the strength of the ICS experience I now own a shiny new quad-core Samsung S3 - my Nokia N900 is now facing imminent retirement - again great hardware & OS (Maemo) but again, retarded company decisions killed the product!

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