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Microsoft courting stranded webOS developers

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Microsoft is looking to capitalize on HP's webOS failures by offering free phones, developer tools and training to developers left stranded by the demise of the platform.

Just one day after HP announced plans to pull the plug on webOS-based mobile devices, Brandon Watson, director of developer experience at Microsoft, leapt at the opportunity, issuing a public offer of assistance to webOS developers.

"To Any Published WebOS Devs: We'll give you what you need to be successful on #WindowsPhone, incl.free phones, dev tools, and training, etc.," Watson wrote on Twitter.

Interested developers were instructed to email him in order to get connected with a Windows Phone team member for "personal attention."

Microsoft's goodwill gesture, however, may not receive many takers, as a lack of developer interest in webOS was a major contributing factor to its downfall. When the TouchPad tablet launched last month, there were 6,200 total webOS apps, with just 300 optimized for the tablet. That's compared to the more than 425,000 iOS apps available on the App Store as of early July.



HP announced a series of bold moves on Thursday meant to change the company's course to be more like IBM and focus on software and services. The company admitted that the "tablet effect" has been real and sales of webOS devices have fallen below expectations.

The world's largest PC maker is now looking into strategic options for its PC business, such as spinning off the unit into a separate entity or selling it off to an interested buyer.



Sales of the TouchPad were reportedly so poor that Best Buy was left with more than 90 percent of its inventory. HP took a $100 million charge in order to write off unsold inventory of the TouchPad.

For its part, Microsoft is fighting to establish its Windows Phone 7 platform as a viable alternative to Apple's iOS and Google's Android. The software giant will release a major update to the OS this fall. Nokia, which has abandoned its Symbian platform for Windows Phone 7, will launch its first WP7 devices later this year.



Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted last month that sales of Windows Phone 7 devices have been low. "Phones, we've gone from very small to very small, but it's been a heck of a year," he quipped. "And you're going to see a lot of progress in that market competitively as we move forward."
post #2 of 49
Frying pan to the fire?
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #3 of 49
WP7 must *really* be crap for them to do this.

All we see is "Microsoft courting." Why do they need to court developers? Aren't their products and platform enticing enough on their own?
post #4 of 49
hp tpuchpad...now $99 at best buy. sad
post #5 of 49
Having just been burned, I'm sure their instinct will be to move to the biggest platform.
post #6 of 49
Ballmer was sitting around having a few brews with the sales boys at the end of the day (around 4:00-ish). He said to one of 'em: Where are we going to find suckers to come in and develop for our mobile platform? And the guy says, "Well, HP just shut down their tablet business..." And Ballmer says "That's FCKN BRILLIANT! Think they'll be expensive?" "Nah, we can get those losers for a free phone and some beads."
post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Ballmer was sitting around having a few brews with the sales boys at the end of the day (around 4:00-ish). He said to one of 'em: Where are we going to find suckers to come in and develop for our mobile platform? And the guy says, "Well, HP just shut down their tablet business..." And Ballmer says "That's FCKN BRILLIANT! Think they'll be expensive?" "Nah, we can get those losers for a free phone and some beads."

I don't know... Android is looking more and more like a re-inactment of the Titanic, and other posters here could be right. Win 7 or 8 could be the next best thing if Android licensee's decide to switch to a platform they can not get litigation from. May only be second overall in the long run, but the next best.
post #8 of 49
And all three WebOS developers declined Microsoft's offer. Seriously though I would assume at this point if I were an exclusive WebOS developer I'd be a bit gun shy. MS to me seems like another sinking ship......regardless of whether it's warranted or not.
post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post

And all three WebOS developers declined Microsoft's offer. Seriously though I would assume at this point if I were an exclusive WebOS developer I'd be a bit gun shy. MS to me seems like another sinking ship......regardless of whether it's warranted or not.

Exclusive? I don't know. In college they were teaching us to develop for quite a few platforms. WebOS was not one of the major ones. I suppose when school starts next month it will be dropped. However, I'll see what they have for me. I'll take the phone(s), but it doesn't usually work very well unless connected. If they pay the bill, then I'll keep developing for it. It's quite a bit different, but not really different. It's hard to explain...
post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post

And all three WebOS developers declined Microsoft's offer. Seriously though I would assume at this point if I were an exclusive WebOS developer I'd be a bit gun shy. MS to me seems like another sinking ship......regardless of whether it's warranted or not.

Forgot to add, I don't think MS is a sinking ship. However I think they are at a very real turning point in the industry. They put way too much into this for them to fail. They also have very close ties to
AAPL, believe it or not. When MS cuts out their tablet OS (granted they don't really have one), then I'll say that AAPL has the "Monopoly". Until MS gives up, it's still a race in my mind. ...and MS only does software! There's a lot of hardware makers out there waiting for an eco-system. That's what's MS should have been investing in (and not shutting down) year over year.

Eco-system is a year-over-year idea. Only an OCD person can achieve it. When the market says no, and you keep saying yes... Well, the schools are starting to teach this approach!
post #11 of 49
Well maybe sinking ship is a little strong but at this point I don't see much upside to developing for it. They're just so late to the party. Honestly if I were in the market for a non- iOS phone I'd look at WP7 just because it's enough different to make it compelling to me. Obviously what you've been taught about developing for many platforms is valid and smart, but many just go where the money/volume is and at this point WP7 ain't it.
post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post

Well maybe sinking ship is a little strong but at this point I don't see much upside to developing for it. They're just so late to the party. Honestly if I were in the market for a non- iOS phone I'd look at WP7 just because it's enough different to make it compelling to me. Obviously what you've been taught about developing for many platforms is valid and smart, but many just go where the money/volume is and at this point WP7 ain't it.

They're not 'technically' late to the party. They are waiting for the correct hardware, along with the trailing thought to use Android to disappear. Perhaps that's why they are hindering Android. Right now they are making money off of Android. If they are not already making an eco-system and OS ready for the next revolution a.k.a. 'tablets', then they are doomed. I don't think Ballmer is that bad. No one on this blog is that bad. They are waiting. They don't make tablets, but when Android fails, which I think it will, MS will be there, open arms!

Personally, I think it will come down to MS VS. AAPL again. Only this time it will be AAPL on top and MS taking second boat.

The problem may be that MS will have many hardware Mfgs building MS tablet and AAPL only has one.

Is history repeating itself?
post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

WP7 must *really* be crap for them to do this.

All we see is "Microsoft courting." Why do they need to court developers? Aren't their products and platform enticing enough on their own?

I guess based on your reasoning scouts that go to colleges looking for players for different basketball and football teams shouldnt visit because people should go to the training camps on their own.

You cant tell me as a developer that if Microsoft came to you and offered you 10k to develop for their platform that you wouldnt accept it.

Companies seek out the best talent, its what they do.
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"In March we told you 2011 would be the year of iPad 2, and it is, but we're starting 2012 early." - September 2011

~Ireland

Such a true sig
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post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post

Well maybe sinking ship is a little strong but at this point I don't see much upside to developing for it. They're just so late to the party. Honestly if I were in the market for a non- iOS phone I'd look at WP7 just because it's enough different to make it compelling to me. Obviously what you've been taught about developing for many platforms is valid and smart, but many just go where the money/volume is and at this point WP7 ain't it.

Over 73% of people dont have smartphones and yet you deem them "late to the party"?

The party is just getting started
"In March we told you 2011 would be the year of iPad 2, and it is, but we're starting 2012 early." - September 2011

~Ireland

Such a true sig
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"In March we told you 2011 would be the year of iPad 2, and it is, but we're starting 2012 early." - September 2011

~Ireland

Such a true sig
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post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

We'll give you what you need to be successful ... incl.free phones

depends on what phone they're giving away. can i get an iphone?
post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post

Well maybe sinking ship is a little strong but at this point I don't see much upside to developing for it. They're just so late to the party. Honestly if I were in the market for a non- iOS phone I'd look at WP7 just because it's enough different to make it compelling to me. Obviously what you've been taught about developing for many platforms is valid and smart, but many just go where the money/volume is and at this point WP7 ain't it.

One reason is the old reason to develop Mac apps when nobody had Macs. It may be a smaller market but there's a lot less competition. With iOS you already have 425,000 apps to compete with. You basically have 3 days when you launch an app for it to sell while it's at the top of the new apps list. If it doesn't get enough downloads in those 3 days to get to the top of the popularity lists then give up and move onto the next app. With WP7 at the moment your only competing with 30,000 apps, there's a smaller audiance but you will sell to a bigger percentage, plus you can charge more on WP7 for your apps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

WP7 must *really* be crap for them to do this.

All we see is "Microsoft courting." Why do they need to court developers? Aren't their products and platform enticing enough on their own?

MS have always recognised the value in having developers support their platform. What there giving way isn't anything new, dev tools and training have always been free. In fact there free for normal Windows apps to. The free phone is also more likely to be a free phone for a week or at an event, that's what it's turned out to be whenever they've said free phone in the past, and they've always had very limited numbers.
post #17 of 49
Microsoft is luring developers into its Windowless Van
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I've accomplished my childhood's dream: My job consists mainly of playing with toys all day long.
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post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post

Microsoft is luring developers into its Windowless Van

post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimerl View Post

depends on what phone they're giving away. can i get an iphone?

This is all too easy, isn't it. What a week of tech self-imploding.
post #20 of 49
arent those things free or next to free anyway? Unless they give them away unlocked....still they're not that precious?!
You'd have to be a real loser to get enticed by a stupid phone FFS. If m$ wants to get me an a benz AMG, Audi R10 or BMW M6, I'll think about it.
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granmastak View Post

arent those things free or next to free anyway? Unless they give them away unlocked....still they're not that precious?!
You'd have to be a real loser to get enticed by a stupid phone FFS. If m$ wants to get me an a benz AMG, Audi R10 or BMW M6, I'll think about it.

You mean just like iPhone is free as well?

http://www.vodafone.co.uk/brands/iph...hone/index.htm
post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

You mean just like iPhone is free as well?

http://www.vodafone.co.uk/brands/iph...hone/index.htm

Holy guacamole! That's some hefty pricing! I still have grandfathered unlimited data for $29.99.

True that though! I would not want to start developing for M$ even if they gave me an iPhone, even 10 iPhones. If the potential was there I'd do it for the opportunity
post #23 of 49
None of this is a suprise. HP was nuts to buy Palm. Gartner and IDC both are probably right, Android, WP7, and iOS will survive. RIM and Webos are dead men walking.

That Mango video is pretty dam cool.
post #24 of 49
M$ is giving phones at dev training seminars, it isn't just webOS devs. The article makes it sound like that.

But M$ has been doing that for as long as I can remember. Why do you think the 4sale boards are flooded with M$ paraphernalia whenever they release something? That's how I never pay for a windows disc.

As for RIM, I wouldn't be surprised if M$ bought them, and integrated BBM etc into W7 and secured a corp foothold in the mobile. RIM doesn't have the wherewithall to pull it off. After I heard about google buying motorola mobile, M$ scooping RIM made sense.
What I got... 15" i7 w/8 gigs ram,iPad2 64gig wifi, 2.0 mac mini, 2.0 17" imac, appleTv, Still running my old G4 466 upgraded to 1.2GHz maxed ram as a pro tools machine, and 2 iphones.
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What I got... 15" i7 w/8 gigs ram,iPad2 64gig wifi, 2.0 mac mini, 2.0 17" imac, appleTv, Still running my old G4 466 upgraded to 1.2GHz maxed ram as a pro tools machine, and 2 iphones.
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post #25 of 49
Thinking Lenovo ought to offer HP 100 million or less to buy WebOS.
They could then just build a Tablet specifically for the Chinese market.
Stop trying to take on Apple on the world market and look for a gigantic niche market.
Think outside the box.
post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Groovetube View Post

M$ is giving phones at dev training seminars, it isn't just webOS devs. The article makes it sound like that.

But M$ has been doing that for as long as I can remember. Why do you think the 4sale boards are flooded with M$ paraphernalia whenever they release something? That's how I never pay for a windows disc.

As for RIM, I wouldn't be surprised if M$ bought them, and integrated BBM etc into W7 and secured a corp foothold in the mobile. RIM doesn't have the wherewithall to pull it off. After I heard about google buying motorola mobile, M$ scooping RIM made sense.

I've got a last-gen 24 inch iMac. That's how I never pay for a windows disc.
I've accomplished my childhood's dream: My job consists mainly of playing with toys all day long.
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I've accomplished my childhood's dream: My job consists mainly of playing with toys all day long.
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post #27 of 49
Don't know that many webOS devs will be taking up the MS offer but Leo Apotheker would certainly fit in Ballmer's hip pocket.
post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

None of this is a suprise. HP was nuts to buy Palm. Gartner and IDC both are probably right, Android, WP7, and iOS will survive. RIM and Webos are dead men walking.

That Mango video is pretty dam cool.

I wouldn't say webOS is dead man walking..... It's what we call "in a coma" or on life support as of a couple of days ago
post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Having just been burned, I'm sure their instinct will be to move to the biggest platform.

Not necessarily. The problem with the iOS eco-system is that it's too big and bloated that an emerging developer getting an application recognised would be nearly impossible.

That's why developers like to get in on the 'gold-rush' stage where people who have bought a new phone are exploring for new content.

The App Store has over 400,000 apps whereas Windows Phone 7 store has just over 20,000.

There are 20 x less Windows Phone owners but there's also 20x less competition for your app.

I think the best thing Microsoft can do at this stage is to take the quality not quantity marketing route and be extremely harsh with their application approvals and also offer developers the chance to get a profile spot in their store if they meet certain quality goals.
post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

WP7 must *really* be crap for them to do this.

All we see is "Microsoft courting." Why do they need to court developers? Aren't their products and platform enticing enough on their own?

WP7 isn't really "crap" at all. it's just late to the game and has a lot of marketshare to make up, as well as being a little behind on features. I think it has some good ideas, although the interface isn't really for me. Was WebOS crap? No. There's just no reason to buy it when it's short on apps and it's "not quite as good" as the competition (and, unlike Android, had no hardware choice or advantage)

Think about Macs. Apple lost many customers in the 90s because they started making products that were far too similar to PCs with a dated operating system that offered no major disadvantage over Windows, but no major advantage either. If you don't have a major advantage, you won't be catching up with your competitor that has the developer support advantage. Apple came back because they started to make innovative hardware again, and vastly improved their software so that it was superior to Windows like it was before Windows 95.

Mango seems like it's on par with anything else. And I wouldn't underestimate the power of having a quality hardware maker like Nokia behind the platform.

Why do you think Android took off? The OS is open source (and not half bad either, offering a few key features that make it stand out from iOS despite its inferior UI), and Google says you can make just about whatever app you want as long as you pay something like $25 to their app store to get on the market. But you don't even have to do that - there's competing app stores and you can always just release your APK file. The barrier for entry on Android is essentially nil, and Microsoft is trying to one-up that effort by giving away the hardware and documentation needed to get started.
post #31 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Not necessarily. The problem with the iOS eco-system is that it's too big and bloated that an emerging developer getting an application recognised would be nearly impossible.

That's why developers like to get in on the 'gold-rush' stage where people who have bought a new phone are exploring for new content.

The App Store has over 400,000 apps whereas Windows Phone 7 store has just over 20,000.

There are 20 x less Windows Phone owners but there's also 20x less competition for your app.

I think the best thing Microsoft can do at this stage is to take the quality not quantity marketing route and be extremely harsh with their application approvals and also offer developers the chance to get a profile spot in their store if they meet certain quality goals.

I don't agree with your last statement, simply because I don't think Microsoft is saying "make a bad app we'll approve anything." They want to get people started making apps. And really, you can worry about quality later when you can say "we have a lot of apps"

If you think about it, only a really serious medium sized app developer would bother making a cross platform app for everything out there, joe blow would put his apps on iPhone exclusively because a low quality app developer could only afford to develop for one platform. So I don't think Microsoft needs to focus on quality yet - they just need to attract developers.
post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

None of this is a suprise. HP was nuts to buy Palm. Gartner and IDC both are probably right, Android, WP7, and iOS will survive. RIM and Webos are dead men walking.

That Mango video is pretty dam cool.

I don't think RIM will die. The only reason they ever had a large marketshare was because before the iPhone, the smartphone market was exclusively reserved for business. Blackberry still has a corporate advantage, and corporate networks are slow to change. RIM has plenty of time to make up ground in becoming more modern.
post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

That Mango video is pretty dam cool.

Agreed! I'd like to try it out for myself...

post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

WP7 isn't really "crap" at all. it's just late to the game and has a lot of marketshare to make up, as well as being a little behind on features. I think it has some good ideas, although the interface isn't really for me. Was WebOS crap? No. There's just no reason to buy it when it's short on apps and it's "not quite as good" as the competition (and, unlike Android, had no hardware choice or advantage)

Think about Macs. Apple lost many customers in the 90s because they started making products that were far too similar to PCs with a dated operating system that offered no major disadvantage over Windows, but no major advantage either. If you don't have a major advantage, you won't be catching up with your competitor that has the developer support advantage. Apple came back because they started to make innovative hardware again, and vastly improved their software so that it was superior to Windows like it was before Windows 95.

Mango seems like it's on par with anything else. And I wouldn't underestimate the power of having a quality hardware maker like Nokia behind the platform.

Why do you think Android took off? The OS is open source (and not half bad either, offering a few key features that make it stand out from iOS despite its inferior UI), and Google says you can make just about whatever app you want as long as you pay something like $25 to their app store to get on the market. But you don't even have to do that - there's competing app stores and you can always just release your APK file. The barrier for entry on Android is essentially nil, and Microsoft is trying to one-up that effort by giving away the hardware and documentation needed to get started.

WP7 is gong the way of WebOS.

WP7 phones are already in stores (have been for almost a year) and MS has been steadily losing share with them. If Google gets into hot legal water with Android and manufacturers shy away from the platform (the Moto purchase will help in this) then WP7 might have a chance, though the strategy for it will have to be re-thought and re-evaluated entirely. Because for the time being there's a WebOS situation going on with WP7.

MS had their chance to make an incredible first impression and the whole thing fizzled. And competing with Apple in a segment where Apple has an overwhelming lead in mindshare is usually a losing game, unless you can radically shift your way of thinking to Apple's way of thinking. Most don't have what it takes to do that. You can't out-Apple Apple. You need about 30 years of Apple-like philosophy and values under your belt to achieve it. An ambitious and progressive start-up could do it. Not MS, though. Not under their current leadership. Forget it. You'll need a radical paradigm shift at MS. They aren't really set up for that.

Ballmer needs to GTFO.
post #35 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoXoM View Post

Agreed! I'd like to try it out for myself...


Once you do, you won't go back :-)
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

WP7 is gong the way of WebOS.

WP7 phones are already in stores (have been for almost a year) and MS has been steadily losing share with them. If Google gets into hot legal water with Android and manufacturers shy away from the platform (the Moto purchase will help in this) then WP7 might have a chance, though the strategy for it will have to be re-thought and re-evaluated entirely. Because for the time being there's a WebOS situation going on with WP7.

MS had their chance to make an incredible first impression and the whole thing fizzled. And competing with Apple in a segment where Apple has an overwhelming lead in mindshare is usually a losing game, unless you can radically shift your way of thinking to Apple's way of thinking. Most don't have what it takes to do that. You can't out-Apple Apple. You need about 30 years of Apple-like philosophy and values under your belt to achieve it. An ambitious and progressive start-up could do it. Not MS, though. Not under their current leadership. Forget it. You'll need a radical paradigm shift at MS. They aren't really set up for that.

Ballmer needs to GTFO.

Sit back and watch what happens now that the FTC in no longer crawling up Microsofts ass. Grab your popcorn and enjoy the show. You will be surprised. You can already see some changes and it has only been a couple of months.
post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksons View Post

Sit back and watch what happens now that the FTC in no longer crawling up Microsofts ass. Grab your popcorn and enjoy the show. You will be surprised. You can already see some changes and it has only been a couple of months.

Uh . . . this is Microsoft.

The "show" is a comedy.
post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post

Microsoft is luring developers into its Windowless Van

Winning witticism! Particularly when you remember that WP7 is, in fact, windowless (in both the sense that it lacks legacy Windows code and it also lacks visible, overlapping UI windows).
Clever!

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by pooman625 View Post

hp tpuchpad...now $99 at best buy. sad

Just think if they came out at $99. They would be a number 2 tablet right now for sure.

Nice on MS trying to get people on their side, though I wonder how many exclusive good developers webOS still had at the time of touchpad intro.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Uh . . . this is Microsoft.

The "show" is a comedy.

Nothing wrong with comedies. I watched one yesterday.
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