On Wednesday during an earnings call, HP CEO Meg Whitman stated that we can expect HP Windows 8 x86 PCs by this holiday season. According to reports, Whitman stated at a small gathering of “entrepreneurs and executives” that HP plans to release a tablet device targeted towards business and enterprise users by the end of the year. Presumably, it will not be an ARM device, but rather a full-featured x86 device.
“It is not really a tablet market, it is an iPad market” exclaimed Whitman. Whether she was referring specifically to the enterprise sector, or to the general consumer sector, she would be right in either case. Surely, HP intends to try to steal away some of that marketshare with x86 Windows 8 tablets for the enterprise, and ARM tablets for average consumers.
She also claimed that iPads and iPhones are currently insecure.
“There is a big trend to BYOD to work; which is all well and good until there is a security breach,” she said, referring to people increasing bringing their own devices such as iPhones or iPads to use on the job.
“We are going to provide an alternative.”
What’s interesting is that she broadly specified “devices”, and mentioned the iPhone in her example. I don’t want to read too far into this quote, but is she hinting at HP possibly making phones — Windows Phones — sometime down the road as well? Perhaps after the webOS flop, they didn’t want to back out of the game entirely. Seeing that Windows Phone does have traction, potential, and enthusiasm, it’s likely that they’re contemplating using it as their next mobile OS platform to complement their Windows 8 tablets.
While it’s not news that HP have begun their open sourcing efforts for webOS, the fact that they have published their official roadmap for the project, however, is.
Back in 2011, HP decided to open source webOS. They flogged their TouchPads and made a bunch of money. They couldn’t find any buyers to sell the platform they built from the ground up. They decided their best choice was to throw open the doors and give it away for free. It’s taken just under 2 months for them to release anything, and today they have.
According to their press release, HP hopes to have completed open sourcing of webOS by the end of August 2012, when they release “Open WebOS 1.0″. Scratch the first entry, it’s done.
January: Enyo 2.0 and Enyo source code Apache License, Version 2.0
- March: Linux standard kernel, Graphics extensions EGL, LevelDB, USB extensions
- April: Ares 2.0, Enyo 2.1, Node services
- July: System manager (“Luna”), System manager bus, Core applications, Enyo 2.2
- August: Build release model, Open webOS Beta, Open webOS 1.0
Hopefully by August, HP will have completely weeded out any and all binary blobs from webOS, open sourced all the bits under the hood, and packaged it with the proper license (Enyo is licensed under Apache 2.0) that truly gives developers, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and hackers the ability to push webOS forward.
Although HP has indicated they have a good interest in using webOS in the near future, putting it all out there with a hands-off approach would likely better the chances of a bright future for webOS. Nokia did it with Maemo and there is a very strong and smart community who are still using and developing for devices that were EOL’d a long time ago. The webOS community is full of resilient, bright, and talented people who will take webOS under their wing.
All webOS needs is some new hardware. If the above image is what you have in mind and you work at HP, please walk yourself off a cliff before you ruin all the hard work Palm did.
HP unveiled its new Envy 14 Spectre ultrabook that will be running on the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors that were earlier demoed by Intel. The HP Spectre is definitely a looker. It sports a glossy mid-night black Gorilla-glass lid, is 20 mm thin, and features a 14 inch screen with super thin bezel and Radiance display. HP insists that the glass lid will not compromise the durability of the ultrabook.
In terms of configuration, the Spectre is a pretty standard affair with Core i5-2467M CPU and 4 GB of RAM. The battery is said to last for nine hours. Interested users will have the option of upgrading to 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM. Typical HP goodies such as impactful speakers with Beats technology, and CoolSense are also present. HP has even thrown in free copies of Photoshop and Premiere Elements 10, along with a two-year subscription to Norton Internet Security. The other differentiating feature of the Spectre comes courtesy the Intel Ivy Bridge processor that includes NFC support.
The Spectre is drool worthy, but it will definitely make your wallet a lot lighter. Priced at $1,399.99, the Spectre is more expensive than the MacBook Air that is likely to be its biggest competitor. The Spectre will launch in the States on Feb 8, and goes on sale in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom in early March.
HP has finally decided the fate of webOS – today, it announced that it will contribute webOS to the open source community. It also stated that it plans to be active in the development and support of webOS going forward.
“webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable. By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.” said Meg Whitman, HP president and CEO.
Looks like it didn’t find any buyers for webOS, not for the price it wanted to offload it at. While it hasn’t specifically stated otherwise, it’s unlikely that HP will continue to develop hardware powered by webOS. It may use webOS on its printers, but don’t expect any webOS smartphones or tablets in the near future.
webOS was one of the most promising mobile platforms in recent times. It didn’t do as well as iOS or Android, of course, but it surely didn’t deserve to die. Thanks to HP, now it hopefully won’t. But then again, even Symbian was open sourced by Nokia long ago, and that didn’t seem to help it much. In the end, Nokia just abandoned it to embrace Windows Phone.
HP has also stated that it will be contributing ENYO, the app framework for webOS to the community too, in the near future.
Check out the complete press release by HP – HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source
Despite being relegated to certain death, HP is actually still providing software updates to webOS.
Although HP has squandered millions (actually, billions) with their acquisition of Palm for webOS, developed and then torched their TouchPad in an attempt to hit billboard status, beyond all expectations, they are still working on webOS behind the scenes. The webOS-Internals team is reporting that the Pre 2, now almost a year old, is set to receive an update to OS 2.2.4 which almost brings it to parity with features of the rare Pre 3.
If you’re unfortunate enough to have both a Pre 2 and a TouchPad, this update will allow the devices to talk over bluetooth in order to share text messages, as well as phone calls. While using bluetooth is a good way to keep the data local, iPhone and iPad users have iMessage which syncs over iCloud in order to keep your messages up-to-date on all devices, which means you don’t need to be in close proximity of your phone. A much better implementation.
Amongst all the hullabaloo concerning mobile security, webOS 2.2.4 also implements encryption for the local filesystem. This likely means system databases and essential files are either stored within a real cryptfs or are encrypted separately. Not quite as handy as having the ability to remote wipe without running your own Exchange server, but it’s a step in the right direction for data integrity.
Hopefully some bugs were squashed and there’s more to the changelog than 5 features, but judging by the package size (46MB), it’s not likely. It’s still unfortunate that webOS is floating in limbo with HP, but it’s great to see that the webOS team is still looking at the future for current users.
When HP first launched the TouchPad, no one wanted it. However, when it discontinued it and tried to offload its entire TouchPad inventory in a firesale for just $99 a pop, everyone on the planet wanted one.
HP may have lost a ton of money in the firesale, but here’s some good news. According to a report by NPD, HP’s TouchPad was the most popular tablet after the iPad in the U.S tablet market, for the first three quarters of 2011.
While Apple sold close to 11 million iPads in the last quarter alone, around 1.2 million tablets were sold by all the other manufacturers combined, from January to October 2011.
Of those 1.2 million, HP managed to grab 17% share with the TouchPad, while the most popular Android tablet manufacturer, Samsung, captured a 16% share. I’m really surprised to see HP beat Samsung, but then Samsung’s tablet offerings were priced much higher than the TouchPad.
HP’s TouchPad firesale validated the fact that despite the tremendous popularity of the iPad, there is still a market for budget tablets. Amazon has already launched the Kindle Fire to capture a majority market share in that space.
Asus, Motorola and Acer trailed Samsung in the list. Hopefully, the coming year will be better for Android tablet manufacturers, considering that Android Ice Cream Sandwich tablets should be coming out soon.
HP revealed its Q4 2011 earnings results, and the whole blogosphere is laughing at how it made a fool of itself by buying webOS (Palm) for $1.2 billion, and then wasted another ton of cash trying to wind it down.
Eventually, it may make good on its webOS investment by selling it off to some other mobile company. Rumors suggest that Palm’s patent stash is quite valuable now that the patent wars are on in the industry.
HP is currently busy finding buyers willing to take Palm’s assets, including webOS, off its hands. However, it has included a clause in the deal which requires the buyer to license webOS back to HP, for use in its printers.
HP first promised us printers powered by webOS when it acquired Palm. It may not be a big deal for any of us, but printers still account for a major portion of HP’s revenues. It made close to $6.4 billion in revenue in the last quarter, from the Imaging and Printing group.
However, its revenue was still down 10% year-on-year. Even a small boost in printer sales could mean a significant increase in HP’s topline growth.
Personally, I don’t think webOS on printers is that big a deal, after all, it’s a printer, not a smartphone or a tablet. But you never know. It definitely won’t cost HP much; the buyer of webOS may just throw it in to speed up the deal.
Lately, lots of “research reports” have been coming out on Apple. For example, last week, it was reported that Mac sales were continuing to surge despite a declining PC market in Europe. Today, a new report by research firm Canalys suggests that Apple is expected to overtake HP and become the top PC maker in the world next year. Wait..what!? A company that has the least amount of marketshare is supposed to surpass the world’s largest PC maker. Maybe HP should have spun off its PC business after all. Oh, how times have changed.
Canalys is predicting this due to the number of projected sales of both the iPad and Mac lineup. In fact, Apple already holds second place in the worldwide PC market, with tablet sales included, as of the third quarter of 2011. So, it is only a matter of time before they are number one. In addition, Canalys has estimated that 2011 global PC shipments will reach 415 million, a 15 percent year over year increase due largely to the popularity of tablets like Apple’s iPad. Wait a second, there are other tablets? Apparently there are…the research firm also predicts that tablet shipments are expected to reach 59 million by the end of 2011, with 22 million of those sales alone coming in the fourth quarter. Um yeah, I’m sure most of them are iPads. Canalys also mentioned that Apple’s iPad will once again dominate tablet sales in the fourth quarter, though the newly released Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are also expected to boost sales. iPad is doomed indeed. Not to mention, since the announcement of the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s share price has gone down nearly 16%.
In addition, Canalys noted that PC makers are struggling to compete with Apple’s profitability, though the release of Android 4.0, known as “Ice Cream Sandwich,” may help sales of tablets that compete with the iPad. So wait, how exactly is Apple losing if the company is dominating in the “money-making” game? It is always about the money.
Finally, Canalys also believes that Ultrabooks, a MacBook Air copy, aims to compete with Apple’s iPad, will drive notebook sales over the next five years. Let’s take that with a pinch of salt, eh?
The HP TouchPad, the tablet that never made it far out of the front gate before getting axed, has spawned life to a little brother.
The rarely seen TouchPad Go, was given a solid time in front of the camera recently. Of course, it looks exactly like a TouchPad at first glance. It’s a 7″ webOS tablet, sporting the same 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and Beats Audio as the original TouchPad. Absolutely everything is known about this tablet, thanks to marketing slides that were leaked a few months ago. What was never covered, is how the Go actually looks compared to the rest of the HP/Palm device line-up. For nostalgia sake, here’s a shot that will make any webOS fan cry.
A smaller form factor and some flash accessories won’t put HP back on the mobile map, unfortunately. It’s a shame that the TouchPad Go will likely have the same fate as the unreleased Pre 3 – stockpiled in a warehouse or selling like hotcakes on eBay and CraigsList. While many users are perfectly happy with their $99 TouchPad tablets, especially ones who have them running Android, the TouchPad Go will probably never be blessed with such satisfaction.
It’s truly unfortunate that HP may not even sell these devices to employees, developers or even let them go with the clear understanding of no support, no warranty and no care comes with a purchase. Looks like the 7″ tablet wars have dwindled to just a few competitors battling it out amongst themselves.
Windows 8 has been able to shore up some support from device manufacturers already. Android hasn’t been doing too well on tablets, which is why some manufacturers like Dell are waiting for Windows 8 to move forward with their tablet plans. It recently announced that it would focus on Windows 8 for tablets, not on Android.
HP, also almost quit the tablet game after the disastrous market response to its webOS powered TouchPad, which was eventually offloaded in a fire-sale.
According to a new report by Digitimes, HP and Dell are already working on the development of Windows 8 tablets. They will be launched after Windows 8 becomes publicly available in the third quarter of 2012.
With Amazon poised to take over the low end of the tablet market and Apple dominating the high end, Windows 8 seems like the best alternative for tablet manufacturers.
Google will be unveiling Android Ice Cream Sandwich tomorrow, which will be a unified OS for smartphones and tablets. It could potentially tilt the scales in Android’s favor. However, the lack of tablet apps for the Android platform continue to be a significant deterrent for those planning to buy a Android tablet. Unless Google is able to solve that, Microsoft stands a good chance to beat Android with Windows 8.