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HP ran its webOS SDK on iPad 2, hopes to license it as mobile web app tool

post #1 of 54
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After HP's webOS hardware unit was scuttled by upper management, the webOS software team has hopes of bringing their work to the mainstream, leveraging Apple's open web platform to do so.

While early reports suggested that HP had internally got webOS running on Apple's iPad 2 hardware only to find that it purportedly ran "twice as fast" there, the reality is that webOS developers had actually brought their Enyo software development kit to the iPad 2, as AppleInsider has confirmed with a source within the webOS team.

Enyo is HP's JavaScript development framework for building web apps, core to webOS as a platform. Rather than resulting from an extreme difference in hardware, the aspect of Apple's tablet that made it run Enyo webOS apps so much faster is Apple's superior web browser JavaScript performance compared to the less sophisticated, simply named "Web" browser of webOS.

Evolution of the webOS strategy

While the original webOS team at Palm delivered an SDK called Mojo that worked to use Apple's WebKit as a way to rapidly create a functional platform for smartphones that could rival the iPhone experience, by the time HP acquired Palm's webOS that strategy had shifted to become a way deliver web-based apps that could deploy to both phones and tablets, and potentially other devices (a key feature of the newer Enyo SDK).

HP saw webOS primarily as a way to replace its embarrassing Slate PC fiasco that had begun when it joined Microsoft on stage just weeks before Apple's launch of iPad to demonstrate a new renaming of the Windows powered Tablet PC platform. Next to the iPad, the HP Slate looked so bad it came as no surprise that the company didn't even bother to manufacture more than a few thousand units.

By the summer of 2010, HP realized that just like Palm the year prior, it desperately needed to demonstrate a new mobile development platform if it wanted any hope of competing against Apple. Under the helm of chief executive Mark Hurd, it subsequently paid $1.2 billion for Palm in order to hit the ground running, building upon the work Palm already completed.

HP abruptly pulls out of hardware

Shortly afterward, Hurd was replaced as HP's chief executive by Léo Apotheker, the former chief of SAP, an enterprise software company then embroiled in a high profile intellectual property lawsuit brought by Oracle.

In an announcement outlining HP's future strategy, Apotheker stated that in his first 9 months on the job he had determined that HP had no profitable role to play in developing mobile hardware and had decided to kill the webOS hardware team. This was news to the entire team working on webOS products, as even its top management learned about the shift via HP's press release.

Apotheker also announced that HP would be evaluating its options in getting rid of its PC hardware business to focus on enterprise software, a path similarly followed by IBM. Also noted was the fact that HP was in a legal battle of its own with Oracle, suggesting that Apotheker wanted to convert HP into another SAP to directly battle Oracle in the software business, given that Oracle had brought itself into conflict with HP by buying Sun and pushing its customers to move from HP servers to Sun hardware.

At the same time, Apotheker also indicated that HP would maintain webOS and similarly evaluate various avenues for using the platform internally or externally through licensing deals with third parties. Some observers have suggested that remaining players in the smartphone industry might want to license webOS as a hedge against Android and its various lawsuits, particularly given that HP also owns the mature patent portfolio of Palm, giving the platform some protection from external patent claims.

HP's webOS options

According to source with knowledge of the situation, HP is already scheduled to begin talks with one potential licensee today. At the same time, finding another mobile hardware maker to buy or license webOS for use as its new operating system isn't HP's only recourse for recovering value from the work already invested in webOS.

The fact that webOS is built around WebKit means that its flexible Enyo SDK can be used by web developers to build cross platform apps that can run on any mobile device employing WebKit, which includes Apple's iOS, Google's Android and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook. The only notable mobile platform that doesn't use WebKit is Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.

The design goal of Enyo is to create mobile apps using web standards, but with the flexibility to adjust to multiple screen sizes. Palm hoped this would create a platform that would support apps on both smartphones and tablets, and HP expanded that concept to also embrace PCs and other devices, suggesting at one point that it would roll some portion of webOS out across its desktop and notebook computers. The company has also hinted at using webOS in its printers, and suggested other targets in its presentation of the Enyo SDK.

Bringing webOS apps to PC users wouldn't be difficult to do using Apple's Safari or Google's Chrome browser (both of which use WebKit), essentially giving webOS's Enyo platform the ability to deliver sophisticated web apps that properly scale to run anywhere. A variety of JavaScript frameworks already exist to help developers create sophisticated web apps, including several Apple uses internally or offers publicly as a way to create native-looking and acting web apps for the iPhone and iPad, but Enyo is designed to scale between devices, not just to target a specific device (like the iPhone) with the look and feel of its native apps.



webOS could rival Chrome OS, Windows 8

If HP could gain traction for the webOS Enyo framework among developers who want to target mobile devices using web apps (including those who want to evade Apple's App Store rules and revenue sharing requirements by sticking to web apps), it could also mount credible competition to Google's Chrome OS and Microsoft's Windows 8 as a way for hardware makers to deliver web-based computers capable of running sophisticated web apps in addition to just browsing web pages.

Unlike Chrome OS or Windows 8, webOS has already completed the work necessary to scale its same apps to run on tablets and smartphones. Most critically, web apps created using webOS' Enyo SDK also run on Apple's iOS devices too, resulting a vast installed base of valuable users to target in addition to Chrome OS-like simple laptops, standard PC desktop browser users, and other WebKit mobile platforms.

Google's Chrome OS apps don't even work on the company's parallel, mobile Android platform, while Windows 8 is only aimed at tablets and PCs, competing against the Silverlight-based Windows Phone 7 in smaller mobile devices.

HP doesn't have to compete with Apple's Cocoa framework in Mac OS X or Cocoa Touch on iOS devices because Apple desktop and mobile products also support the open web as an unrestricted platform, leaving the iPhone, iPad and Mac open to running web apps developed with Enyo. Developers will only need to find a market for their apps outside of Apple's App Store, which is restricted to native Cocoa apps.

The biggest issue for HP is that it has already made the Enyo SDK available for free to developers, apparently in the hopes that they'd deliver apps that would add value to the webOS hardware it had been selling.

With that mobile hardware now canceled, HP will need to find a way to sell its tools or license the technology to a hardware maker with similar needs. Currently, webOS appears to lack a business model to support the software based strategy the company has already leaped to embrace.


post #2 of 54
Oh my dear goodness, what a disaster.
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post #3 of 54
While it would be nice to see WebOS installed on other vendors' products, I'm reading this with the feeling of being some guy driving at night, drunk, on a twisty 2-lane road with the headlights off hoping he gets home in one piece.
post #4 of 54
I truly laughed the day I saw Rubinstein claim superior development of their WebKit based solution to Cocoa.

The man was bald face lying on stage to a new level and people so desperate to not see Apple be the next leader of computing were swallowing it like cheap booze.

Sorry, but I've got SproutCore, Capuccino/280, jQuery Mobile [bazillion other frameworks and enhancements] for this Web based App Market [the market no one gives 2 craps about when Native Apps make the iPad form factor the next step in the computing evolution].
post #5 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Eran Dilger View Post

...Windows 8 is only aimed at tablets and PCs, competing against the Silverlight-based Windows Phone 7 in smaller mobile devices.

The truth is Daniel, you simply don't know what the hell Microsoft is doing with Windows 8.

They made it pretty clear that HTML/Javascript will be the runtime used for Windows 8 and Office 15.

However they haven't confirmed how they will go about doing this (simply directing everyone to wait for BUILD)

Sinofsky's Windows 8 group contains a dedicated XAML team (an odd thing if Windows 8 is competing with Silverlight on WP7).

At the moment the best best is just wait for BUILD before making any sweeping predictions.
post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

With that mobile hardware now canceled, HP will need to find a way to sell its tools or license the technology to a hardware maker with similar needs. Currently, webOS appears to lack a business model to support the software based strategy the company has already leaped to embrace.

Maybe they don't intend to sell it to hardware vendors, but sell the JS framework to enterprises who want to develop their internal apps in a platform-independent way. That would fit in with what Apotheker seems to envision for the company, as a software services vendor, and explain why he kept it. Enterprises love these cross-platform frameworks, but imho for the consumer space the native platform tends to work out better.
post #7 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In an announcement outlining HP's future strategy, Apotheker stated that in his first 9 months on the job he had determined that HP had no profitable role to play in developing mobile hardware and had decided to kill the webOS hardware team.

Have they booked Apotheker? It is a sad state of affairs and a statement on how powerful the corporations have become when Apotheker can announce boldly that HP had decided to kill the webOS hardware team. I hope those guys can make the jump to Microsoft (with free phones) before HP is done with them.
post #8 of 54
In all likelihood the author has spent more time writing this article than Web OS will be used by third parties. Web OS is a dead OS. Palm never finished it, HP couldn't leverage it and couldn't interest developers to make apps for it. It is highly unlikely to gain interest from HTC or Samsung, I mean, come on, how could HP sell it to them....

HP Rep "Hey, guys, we have this fantastic OS that you can license for your hardware.."

HTC/Samsung "why did you stop using it?"

HP Rep "erm..."

HTC/Samsung "How did it review? how well did it go down with the press"

HP Rep "erm, well, about that"

HTC/Samsung "what about 3rd party developer support"

HP Rep "well, arm, we paid some devs to make stuff for it"

HTC/Samsung [hangs up]
post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

In all likelihood the author has spent more time writing this article than Web OS will be used by third parties. Web OS is a dead OS. Palm never finished it, HP couldn't leverage it and couldn't interest developers to make apps for it. It is highly unlikely to gain interest from HTC or Samsung, I mean, come on, how could HP sell it to them....

HP Rep "Hey, guys, we have this fantastic OS that you can license for your hardware.."

HTC/Samsung "why did you stop using it?"

HP Rep "erm..."

HTC/Samsung "How did it review? how well did it go down with the press"

HP Rep "erm, well, about that"

HTC/Samsung "what about 3rd party developer support"

HP Rep "well, arm, we paid some devs to make stuff for it"

HTC/Samsung [hangs up]

Yup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I truly laughed the day I saw Rubinstein claim superior development of their WebKit based solution to Cocoa.

The man was bald face lying on stage to a new level and people so desperate to not see Apple be the next leader of computing were swallowing it like cheap booze.

Sorry, but I've got SproutCore, Capuccino/280, jQuery Mobile [bazillion other frameworks and enhancements] for this Web based App Market [the market no one gives 2 craps about when Native Apps make the iPad form factor the next step in the computing evolution].

And yup. Web apps are just not at the level of native apps.

Even if web apps gain steam, with so many web app libraries being developed with quite some intensity, how would WebOS/Enyo/whatever from HP's abandonment compete?
post #10 of 54
The problem with web apps is simple. Some management and the press keep going HTML5 is amazing lets base products on it as it will also make it possible for thousands of HTML developers around the world to instantly build apps for are platform rather than having to learn a new language.

None of them ever stop to question what the average HTML guy can actually do? 99.9% of websites are really basic and when there is something completed like this forum run off a bit of code that someone origionaly made and a web developer has then bought. Most of the time the guys producing websites can't actually write the complex bit themselves and are just re-using other people code.

Your average propper application developer though can generally pick up another language in under a week. Making what language your using a bit irrelevant.
post #11 of 54
Either Microsoft or Google Android should just buy up the WebOS team and IP, more likely Google. It'd be exciting if Google bought up the WebOS hardware side as well and integrated it with its Motorola hardware capability. That would really give Google soms guns to tackle Apple. As Apple fans, we all know that Apple needs competition, otherwise Apple is even worse than Bill Gates when he was at his worst.
post #12 of 54
iSuppose this whole webOS was born out of the "all things Web" idea.

Problem is that idea a now dated, and while webOS is well made, the driver is not there! Web based apps ran in to a bunch of compatibility issues only now developers like myself relied on a layer we had no control over.

I can see that the webOS team may not want to see their brainchild die, but it can't be any more apparent that it has no future whatsoever. Perhaps bits and pieces of it but as it is...fudgetaboutit!
post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Evolution of the webOS strategy

There isn't any.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


HP's webOS options

To die with dignity. Whatever it's got left.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to source with knowledge of the situation, HP is already scheduled to begin talks with one potential licensee today. At the same time, finding another mobile hardware maker to buy or license webOS for use as its new operating system isn't HP's only recourse for recovering value from the work already invested in webOS.

Like a gambling addict chasing their money. It doesn't end well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The fact that webOS is built around WebKit means that its flexible Enyo SDK can be used by web developers to build cross platform apps that can run on any mobile device employing WebKit, which includes Apple's iOS, Google's Android and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook. The only notable mobile platform that doesn't use WebKit is Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.

The design goal of Enyo is to create mobile apps using web standards, but with the flexibility to adjust to multiple screen sizes. Palm hoped this would create a platform that would support apps on both smartphones and tablets, and HP expanded that concept to also embrace PCs and other devices, suggesting at one point that it would roll some portion of webOS out across its desktop and notebook computers. The company has also hinted at using webOS in its printers, and suggested other targets in its presentation of the Enyo SDK.

Bringing webOS apps to PC users wouldn't be difficult to do using Apple's Safari or Google's Chrome browser (both of which use WebKit), essentially giving webOS's Enyo platform the ability to deliver sophisticated web apps that properly scale to run anywhere. A variety of JavaScript frameworks already exist to help developers create sophisticated web apps, including several Apple uses internally or offers publicly as a way to create native-looking and acting web apps for the iPhone and iPad, but Enyo is designed to scale between devices, not just to target a specific device (like the iPhone) with the look and feel of its native apps.



webOS could rival Chrome OS, Windows 8

Just . . . stop.

The market has seen WebOS. Twice. THEY DIDN"T CARE.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

If HP could gain traction for the webOS Enyo framework among developers

WebOS is probably the first thing developers will run from. Fast. Nobody who isn't Apple will be trusted with WebOS ever again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

who want to target mobile devices using web apps (including those who want to evade Apple's App Store rules and revenue sharing requirements by sticking to web apps), it could also mount credible competition to Google's Chrome OS and Microsoft's Windows 8 as a way for hardware makers to deliver web-based computers capable of running sophisticated web apps in addition to just browsing web pages.

Unlike Chrome OS or Windows 8, webOS has already completed the work necessary to scale its same apps to run on tablets and smartphones. Most critically, web apps created using webOS' Enyo SDK also run on Apple's iOS devices too, resulting a vast installed base of valuable users to target in addition to Chrome OS-like simple laptops, standard PC desktop browser users, and other WebKit mobile platforms.

Google's Chrome OS apps don't even work on the company's parallel, mobile Android platform, while Windows 8 is only aimed at tablets and PCs, competing against the Silverlight-based Windows Phone 7 in smaller mobile devices.

HP doesn't have to compete with Apple's Cocoa framework in Mac OS X or Cocoa Touch on iOS devices because Apple desktop and mobile products also support the open web as an unrestricted platform, leaving the iPhone, iPad and Mac open to running web apps developed with Enyo. Developers will only need to find a market for their apps outside of Apple's App Store, which is restricted to native Cocoa apps.

The biggest issue for HP is that it has already made the Enyo SDK available for free to developers, apparently in the hopes that they'd deliver apps that would add value to the webOS hardware it had been selling.

With that mobile hardware now canceled, HP will need to find a way to sell its tools or license the technology to a hardware maker with similar needs. Currently, webOS appears to lack a business model to support the software based strategy the company has already leaped to embrace.

This would actually be interesting if it was 3 years ago.
post #14 of 54
I don't get the negative response to the idea of HP providing cross-platform development tools. I think it's a great idea. Businesses really do want the best cross-platform tools they can get, and they want those tools from a company with credibility to keep updating/refining those tools without favoring one platform over another. Companies that have their own platforms to promote aren't credible nor are tiny companies or open source projects that rely primarily on the amorphous "community".

If HP were to really commit to providing truly cross platform development tools of this type i think they could find a lot of success.
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

The problem with web apps is simple. Some management and the press keep going HTML5 is amazing lets base products on it as it will also make it possible for thousands of HTML developers around the world to instantly build apps for are platform rather than having to learn a new language.

None of them ever stop to question what the average HTML guy can actually do? 99.9% of websites are really basic and when there is something completed like this forum run off a bit of code that someone origionaly made and a web developer has then bought. Most of the time the guys producing websites can't actually write the complex bit themselves and are just re-using other people code.

Your average propper application developer though can generally pick up another language in under a week. Making what language your using a bit irrelevant.

These are fair points, and I'm afraid you are right. Even with the very best HTML5 development tools, you will end up with a development environment much like Flash. The abundance of Flash applications that are extremely badly coded shows what this will result in.

At least with native toolkits and development environments, the barrier for entry is set high enough to filter out most of the me-too 'developers'. Many people are able to click-drag some shitty app together with some glue code to make it somewhat run, but as soon as you are forced to think about good architecture, efficiency, code organization etc, a lot of wannabe's will simply give up before their shitty 'application' hits actual users.
post #16 of 54
I wonder if Apple has had a little chat to HP about buying WebOS, at a far smaller price than HP paid for palm of course.

There is some nice functionality there that would benefit their platform tremendously.
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post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... embarrassing Slate PC fiasco ... HP Slate looked so bad ... no surprise that the company didn't even bother ... it desperately needed ...

This article was clearly labeled a Feature rather than hard news, but aside from the above, it seemed to stick to the facts.

DED seems to know a lot, and he can pull disparate things together in interesting ways. The article was well-written, and as it was a feature rather than hard news, some leeway for opinion is perfectly OK.

Calling the story a feature seems to be the way to present his stuff fairly. Good move, AI. But even though it is labeled as a Feature, the article was one of the least biased ad most informative I've seen from DED.

He could be a great fire and brimstone Editorial writer. I'd love to see him go for it with scathing opinions and rampant speculation, clearly labeled as an opinion piece. His opinion pieces are his most entertaining, and so long as they are not presented as hard news, AI could have the best of both worlds.

Calling this one a Feature is a Good Thing, but having him write purely Opinion or Editorial pieces could be even better.

Just my 2 cents.
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I don't get the negative response to the idea of HP providing cross-platform development tools. I think it's a great idea. Businesses really do want the best cross-platform tools they can get, and they want those tools from a company with credibility to keep updating/refining those tools without favoring one platform over another. Companies that have their own platforms to promote aren't credible nor are tiny companies or open source projects that rely primarily on the amorphous "community".

If HP were to really commit to providing truly cross platform development tools of this type i think they could find a lot of success.

I've never understood why people think cross-platform is a good idea. Making your business logic layer cross platform is good but doing it with presentation is very very bad. Just look at Windows/Mac applications that exist of both, do they look the same? No. Should they look the same? No.

Could you imagine a WP7 app on an iPhone with its sideways navigation, large letters and general square feel. It would look stupid. Equally could you imagine an iPhone app on WP7 with it's back buttons and tab bars. It to would also look stupid.

It's much better to accept the fact that people chose there device because it was different to another device and for your app to be popular it should also be designed to take advantages of those differences. Not try an come up with one app that looks and works the same everywhere.
post #19 of 54
i could see it as a replacement for Windows Mobile Auto.
post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

I've never understood why people think cross-platform is a good idea. Making your business logic layer cross platform is good but doing it with presentation is very very bad. Just look at Windows/Mac applications that exist of both, do they look the same? No. Should they look the same? No.

This is a common source of confusion for people who are unfamiliar with larger businesses. I'm not talking about software that is developed as a product and sold to consumers or businesses. I'm talking about software that is developed as a tool for either internal use by a business or for limited use outside of the business (with clients or suppliers). These projects are usually resource constrained, plus it just isn't necessary to provide a really polished native UI on every device that might use the program, even if the resources existed to do that. For these types of projects, write once and run (almost) everywhere is very appealing.

And this is exactly the kind of customer that HP seems to be interested in targeting now.
post #21 of 54
If HP is looking to build on its enterprise integration then WebOS makes sense to retain. It gives them another tool/service to compete against Dell with. And the announcement made abundantly clear that HP is, in key product areas, cutting away the less profitable product lines and withdrawing some aspects of engagement in the consumer market. Printers for the near-term make sense as I'm sure their profit margins on those is fairly good, the rest is building out their products and services to the enterprise.

Look for the WebOS team to be challenged to produce an enterprise version that can be leveraged into the larger enterprises for embedded enterprise apps. It makes sense there as many larger corps(like my current venue) are looking for lightweight deliverability as they build out reliance on things like VDI.
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post #22 of 54
RiM needs Palm/WebOS and can afford the $1.2B HP paid for it.
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post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Maybe they don't intend to sell it to hardware vendors, but sell the JS framework to enterprises who want to develop their internal apps in a platform-independent way. That would fit in with what Apotheker seems to envision for the company, as a software services vendor, and explain why he kept it. Enterprises love these cross-platform frameworks, but imho for the consumer space the native platform tends to work out better.

That seems to be a better fit with Apotheker's direction.
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post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

RiM needs Palm/WebOS and can afford the $1.2B HP paid for it.

The question is if that were to occur, would two fails make a win in this very difficult market place?
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post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

This is a common source of confusion for people who are unfamiliar with larger businesses. I'm not talking about software that is developed as a product and sold to consumers or businesses. I'm talking about software that is developed as a tool for either internal use by a business or for limited use outside of the business (with clients or suppliers). These projects are usually resource constrained, plus it just isn't necessary to provide a really polished native UI on every device that might use the program, even if the resources existed to do that. For these types of projects, write once and run (almost) everywhere is very appealing.

And this is exactly the kind of customer that HP seems to be interested in targeting now.

The interesting thing here is enterprise could use most any hardware for such implementation except a Microsoft based one.
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post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

The market has seen WebOS. Twice. THEY DIDN"T CARE.

They cared, but both times the execution of the releases was fatally flawed. Just look at Palm's stock the 5 months right after they announced WebOS. It went up about 20x. It was only on their foolish decision to release an incomplete OS with no native SDK on the heels of the iPhone 3G and iOS 2.0 that killed Palm. If they would have buttoned up the OS and HW for another several months they would been ale to release with a solid product that wasn't overshadowed by the iPhone frenzy in the media.

Same goes for the HP and their TouchPad. Success in business is more than understanding of one aspect. You have to get multiple things right if you want to succeed yet these companies have tried to go head on with the company with the most mindshare. It's like trying to combat a hurricane by holding up a pedestal fan.
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post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

If HP is looking to build on its enterprise integration then WebOS makes sense to retain. It gives them another tool/service to compete against Dell with. And the announcement made abundantly clear that HP is, in key product areas, cutting away the less profitable product lines and withdrawing some aspects of engagement in the consumer market. Printers for the near-term make sense as I'm sure their profit margins on those is fairly good, the rest is building out their products and services to the enterprise.

Look for the WebOS team to be challenged to produce an enterprise version that can be leveraged into the larger enterprises for embedded enterprise apps. It makes sense there as many larger corps(like my current venue) are looking for lightweight deliverability as they build out reliance on things like VDI.

That might be possible. The other possibility is the other extreme. If HP can't find a buyer, they open source it - so the market can get a TRUE open sourced OS.
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post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

The question is if that were to occur, would two fails make a win in this very difficult market place?

That was said many times about Apple buying NeXT. Apple only $5B left in market cap and wasn't too many quarters away from going under yet their solution was to buy a company that had never amounted to much in the enterprise market*. Look where that got them.

RiM has some core competencies that haven't been used lately. They also have some major shortcomings, like a modern mobile OS. They appear to want this for a phone and tablet. WebOS has been designed for both and now has a worthy SDK for creating native apps.

I think it's a great fit for RiM and their only chance for coming back. Some might say that Android is a choice, but that's not in RiM's DNA. They want to control the stack, not be just another Android-based vendor, regardless of how much they could fork the OS. They need something to call their own. To be their own OS, their own HW, their own victory. They aren't likely to settle for anything less.


* They lost a lawsuit against Apple that disallowed them from competing in the consumer market.
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post #29 of 54
WebOS. It's not completely dead, but it's not at all well.
post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That was said many times about Apple buying NeXT. Apple only $5B left in market cap and wasn't too many quarters away from going under yet their solution was to buy a company that had never amounted to much in the enterprise market*. Look where that got them.

Well, if RIM were to acquire a CEO like Steve Jobs (as Apple did buying NeXT) that might get them somewhere. But if Balsillie and Lazardis get Rubinstein, I don't predict the same outcome for RIM.
post #31 of 54
The great thing about the webOS approach was that you could do SDK (JavaScript/HTML/CSS), PDK (C++), or hybrid (JavaScript makes calls to C++) apps. I don't get all of the criticism directed towards Palm's approach. Developing for webOS was very nice (I suspect that most, but not all, of the criticism comes from people who've never developed for webOS).

Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

The problem with web apps is simple: some management and the press keep going on about how HTML5 is amazing and how products should be based on it, as it will a̶l̶s̶o̶ make it possible for thousands of HTML developers around the world to instantly build apps for our platform rather than having to learn a new language.

None of them ever stop to question what the average HTML guy can actually do. 99.9% of websites are really basic, and when there is something completed like this forum, it is run off a bit of code that someone originally made and a web developer has then bought. Most of the time, the guys producing websites can't actually write the complex bit themselves and are just re-using other people's code.

Your average proper application developer, though, can generally pick up another language in under a week, making what language you're using a bit irrelevant.

You are making a big mistake when you lump the "average HTML guy" in with web developers; the SDK is targeted towards the latter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I wonder if Apple has had a little chat to HP about buying WebOS, at a far smaller price than HP paid for palm of course. There is some nice functionality there that would benefit their platform tremendously.

I would love it if Apple picked up the interface (iOS multitasking really blows). There are many other nice features (Synergy, Just Type, etc), but the UI is by far the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

RiM needs Palm/WebOS and can afford the $1.2B HP paid for it.

I think that it would be good for RIM, if only its management wasn't so terrible. The QNX integration has been a disaster so far. However, RIM copied the webOS interface; it might as well own it outright.
post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They cared, but both times the execution of the releases was fatally flawed. Just look at Palm's stock the 5 months right after they announced WebOS. It went up about 20x. It was only on their foolish decision to release an incomplete OS with no native SDK on the heels of the iPhone 3G and iOS 2.0 that killed Palm. If they would have buttoned up the OS and HW for another several months they would been ale to release with a solid product that wasn't overshadowed by the iPhone frenzy in the media.

Same goes for the HP and their TouchPad. Success in business is more than understanding of one aspect. You have to get multiple things right if you want to succeed yet these companies have tried to go head on with the company with the most mindshare. It's like trying to combat a hurricane by holding up a pedestal fan.

Web OS was a success. Rubenstein had the job of making Elevation partners money on their initial 200 million dollar investment and he did exactly that. HP were the suckers who bought the whole 'smoke and mirrors' operation and were left to ship an ailing OS.

Palm tried to 'button up' the OS and only succeeded in releasing update after update which eventually slowed the Pre to a crawl. HP the better part of a year to ship a woefully bugged OS and never looked like actually getting it to work. Their whole strategy was scattershot and they even tried to fix it within the first few weeks with a promised boosted hardware spec for new devices.

Overall its highly embarrassing for HP.


If they HAD shipped a fully working hardware and OS to glowing reviews then it would potentially have been a different story but thats something they could never have ever achieved with Web OS.
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinfusor View Post

You are making a big mistake when you lump the "average HTML guy" in with web developers; the SDK is targeted towards the latter.

I'm not lumping them all together. There are a lot of very skilled web developers (I know because I manage a team of them), but there isn't more skilled web developers than application developers, yet I constantly read how by having something based in web technologies it opens the market up to x developers as there skilled in HTML. But in reality it just opens the development up to the small percentage who can develop rather than just write HTML. Not only that but your average skilled Web Developer doesn't write any HTML as it's such a waste of resource and instead gets provided it by another very cheap resource for them to then add functionality to.
post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That was said many times about Apple buying NeXT. Apple only $5B left in market cap and wasn't too many quarters away from going under yet their solution was to buy a company that had never amounted to much in the enterprise market*. Look where that got them.

RiM has some core competencies that haven't been used lately. They also have some major shortcomings, like a modern mobile OS. They appear to want this for a phone and tablet. WebOS has been designed for both and now has a worthy SDK for creating native apps.

I think it's a great fit for RiM and their only chance for coming back. Some might say that Android is a choice, but that's not in RiM's DNA. They want to control the stack, not be just another Android-based vendor, regardless of how much they could fork the OS. They need something to call their own. To be their own OS, their own HW, their own victory. They aren't likely to settle for anything less.


* They lost a lawsuit against Apple that disallowed them from competing in the consumer market.

Being a NeXT and Apple alumni you work on several flawed bits of history. Firstly, Apple had 30 days of capital left after Steve became iCEO, with the current list of bleeding projects. That's right, 30 days before the doors would be closed.

Those numbers included useless sabbatical costs that Steve immediately cancelled. 1/3rd of all Engineering was up for Sabbaticals were some where 12 weeks of paid vacation.

Steve immediately blew up the Marketing from 26 separate departments down to one. He blew up the product sheet from 24 individual areas to 4.

The single biggest waste of money and largest department, per quarter was the IT Department. With over 500 custom in-house applications and staff where 90%+ was never used the department was costing Apple > $180 Million per quarter to operate with 500+ in staff--more staff than NeXT world-wide which was 300 at the time.

RIM became a big player in a time of dumb phones. NeXT had some of the top world class engineers in OS Design, UI-Design and Enterprise Software Development. The amount of IP on projects Gil Amelio saw was key to Apple's interest.

Java EJB is a rehash of EOF/ObjC. Java was drastically changed from it's Oak Research Project by several ObjC former NeXT employers who left NeXT to sell their expertise to SUN after the Openstep partnership broke down.

The true talent of OS Design left HP shortly after HP-UX got the axe and the big Apollo line of Servers was replaced by the disaster that became Itanium.

The true talent of OS Design from DEC left DEC before HP acquired the IP.

NeXT talent was legendary in computing. Apple aquired that IP, talent and leadership for $400 Million, a triple headed monster that dwarfed Be Inc's talent, IP and leadership.

There was at least a dozen projects at NeXT that never saw the light of day and those ideas and talent to implement portions of them into the past decade has been evident to us Alumni.
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4miler View Post

As Apple fans, we all know that Apple needs competition, otherwise Apple is even worse than Bill Gates when he was at his worst.

This is such a ridiculous statement on so many levels, it not only made me laugh so hard I almost choked on my coffee ..... but it made me think that you should just stick to your anti glossy screen rants .... or did you finally realize that everyone is now "tuning you out" on that one?
See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
Reply
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Web OS was a success. Rubenstein had the job of making Elevation partners money on their initial 200 million dollar investment and he did exactly that. HP were the suckers who bought the whole 'smoke and mirrors' operation and were left to ship an ailing OS.

Palm tried to 'button up' the OS and only succeeded in releasing update after update which eventually slowed the Pre to a crawl. HP the better part of a year to ship a woefully bugged OS and never looked like actually getting it to work. Their whole strategy was scattershot and they even tried to fix it within the first few weeks with a promised boosted hardware spec for new devices.

Overall its highly embarrassing for HP.


If they HAD shipped a fully working hardware and OS to glowing reviews then it would potentially have been a different story but thats something they could never have ever achieved with Web OS.

I think this pretty much sums up the situation. HP can spin this all they want, but without a hardware platform, either directly or via OEM's. WebOS is dead...
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

This article was clearly labeled a Feature rather than hard news, but aside from the above, it seemed to stick to the facts.

DED seems to know a lot, and he can pull disparate things together in interesting ways. The article was well-written, and as it was a feature rather than hard news, some leeway for opinion is perfectly OK.

Calling the story a feature seems to be the way to present his stuff fairly. Good move, AI. But even though it is labeled as a Feature, the article was one of the least biased ad most informative I've seen from DED.

He could be a great fire and brimstone Editorial writer. I'd love to see him go for it with scathing opinions and rampant speculation, clearly labeled as an opinion piece. His opinion pieces are his most entertaining, and so long as they are not presented as hard news, AI could have the best of both worlds.

Calling this one a Feature is a Good Thing, but having him write purely Opinion or Editorial pieces could be even better.

Just my 2 cents.

My 2 cents. Nothing on AI is hard news. Any expectation to the contrary is a failure of the reader of near epic proportions. That also severs the need for labeling things as editorials, the distinction is meaningless on a rumors site.

Hit the browse button with that expectation, see every DED piece as a well executed blog entry seasoned heavily with personal experience and opinion filters, but not doing intentional violence to fact. Be happy.
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post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

NeXT talent was legendary in computing. Apple aquired that IP, talent and leadership for $400 Million, a triple headed monster that dwarfed Be Inc's talent, IP and leadership.

There was at least a dozen projects at NeXT that never saw the light of day and those ideas and talent to implement portions of them into the past decade has been evident to us Alumni.

You deserve it dude, but be careful you don't break your own arm patting yourself on the back . I'll take a bit'o stress off it .

Without NeXT, there is no OS X, and no iOS; Apple almost assuredly either goes away or remains essentially irrelevant forever. Everyone who was forward thinking enough to play in that endeavor was easily two+ decades ahead of the rest of Computingdom in terms of vision and execution. The proof is in the market.

Nobody else has anything that looks or sounds like a NeXT out there today, and I knew of them from when they got started up. Vision was obvious from the outside then, but MS+Apple was an awful big pair to take on. The vision was resilient and survived the gorillas trying to squash it, now look where it ended up.

Today I don't hear anyone out in Computingdom with a compelling platform message. Just a bunch of traditional half-baked startups and balloon-like bidding to gobble them up as the next great thing, but under-executing badly in the process.
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post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4miler View Post

Either Microsoft or Google Android should just buy up the WebOS team and IP, more likely Google. It'd be exciting if Google bought up the WebOS hardware side as well and integrated it with its Motorola hardware capability. That would really give Google soms guns to tackle Apple. As Apple fans, we all know that Apple needs competition, otherwise Apple is even worse than Bill Gates when he was at his worst.

Comments like this crack me up. Apple is even worse than Bill Gates when they have no competition? How can you even say this? It makes absolutely no sense. Competition is good, sure. But enough of this free marketeer b.s. about how without competition, everything turns to garbage. Repeat the mantra all you want, but that doesn't make it true.

I don't think Jobs cares one bit about his competition. He's always led the pack, whether he was financially successful (Apple today) or not (NeXT back in the day). Competition from second-rate copycats like Microsoft and Google is not what drives Apple to build better products. Anyone with a casual understanding of Apple and Jobs should know that by now.
post #40 of 54
I recall a similar move by NeXT during the post-hardware years when NeXT tried to salvage their ObjC-based frameworks on other, competing platforms such as Windows NT, before Apple finally bought them. Perhaps this is not the end of Enyo (or whatever or is called).

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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