Here's a famous quote that sums up the reaction to yesterday's surprise announcement by HP to stop supporting webOS, and, by extension, the TouchPad tablet, as well as get out of the PC business, courtesy of the classic 1968 film, The Planet of the Apes: "YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! OH, DAMN YOU! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!". We all knew that Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker was a software guy, we just didn't realize that meant he'd pull the rug out from under consumers and do a dramatic IBM-style business shift. At least we can still buy their printers, right? ... Anyone?
This affects me personally, because I was working on TouchPad For Dummies, which would have been my third book for 2011, to go along with the recently released, Motorola ATRIX For Dummies, and the upcoming, My Xbox: Kinect, Xbox 360, and Xbox LIVE. While these events are much bigger than me and others will be affected far more dramatically, I thought I would still give my personal impressions, starting first with a little background on the book stuff, some discussion of the TouchPad itself, and then get a bit more into an analysis of the present situation within the industry.
After acquiring Palm back in April 2010, HP yesterday unveiled their long awaited webOS strategy. While the two showpiece devices are arguably the HP TouchPad tablet and the HP Pre3 smartphone, HP's strategy involves getting webOS on all types of devices, including desktops, laptops and even printers, and making the development environment inexpensive and relatively transparent. This should in theory create an explosion of apps for all webOS devices in short order, assuming there is reasonable positive reaction to an alternative to the headline-grabbing Apples iOS and Google Android/Honeycomb device infrastructure. Certainly HP and Palm seem to have gone all out, creating what is being called an attractive and effective operating system/interface and one with hitherto unseen connectivity features. One example of these impressive connectivity features is shown in the video below:
After returning from our "last hurrah before baby number 2 cruise", my wife and I went to see if we could get new cell phones, since our Nokia 6820's just weren't cutting it anymore. Luckily, even though we were originally AT&T Wireless customers, they were bought out by Cingular, so we were in reality Cingular customers now, and they finally had a mechanism in place to transfer customers to new phones and plans without penalty (and of course keeping the same phone number). Also, now was a good time since the company I work for, Volt, has a corporate deal with them for minor discounts.