New thoughts on WebOS

After sharing some first thoughts around HP and WebOS, I think it’s time to come back to these.

So the Autonomy acquisition is done. I still think we could have done something great with 13 B$, but it’s too late (and always was).

So the PC business is still at home. That’s great and continue to think it’s a good differentiator. Lots of analysts would like us to mimic IBM. But why ? There may be more than one successul business. And still being the largest IT manufacturer able to cover everything from PC to SuperDome, from printers to 3PAR gives us wonderful opportunities, and is a way to satisfy customers, as well as being able to talk to them with various entry points.

Now remains the WebOS question. It seems that the shut down of WebOS is an “unfounded rumor”. I’m really delighted to hear that. Because being a user of both the Touchpad and the Pre 3, I think WebOS is a darn good environment. And honestly would deserve a much better future than what was disclosed before. So hopefully the final decision will be the same as for PSG.

The technology provided is at the state of the art right now, with HTML5, Canvas, multiple popular Javascript bricks. That’s what Tizen is looking at, even if their architecture is not yet disclosed. This is also what Android devices are adopting. It is really becoming the standard environment that could be to mobile what HTML has been for desktops in the past. For WebOS, it’s just a matter of couple of months to have more apps, a better developer community and a better platform. But nobody else than HP is able to take that opportunity to be a major new player in that market. And it would be good for customers to have choice. The Apple environment is closed, the Android is not as open as one could expect, so we have with this ecosystem all good reasons to think we can be successful. Even if not fully open source now, it’s much more open (upstream patches made regularly) than the others. And I prefer to see HP investing more in R&D as said earlier, to own the technology and drive the market rather than following it.

Now, seeing the announces for future HP Touchpad with Windows 8, I’m afraid we are not going in the right direction (or are pushed to the wrong one – you said conspiracy !). So at worst, if we don’t want to persue, instead of letting a great techno die, it would be worthwhile to look at open sourcing it as much as possible (where no patent is blocking us) and provide that content to the Tizen community e.g., which could help make for a greater (and more time to market) solution, that we could in return adopt on some of platforms.

Contrary to what most people think, open sourcing a technology helps driving the business in favour of the open sourcer, and doesn’t reduce it. Especially when the most costly part (the investment in R&D) has already been done.

But I’m not in charge of that, nor have any specific information about choices made. Just trying to influence as much as I can😉

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2 Responses to “New thoughts on WebOS”

  1. brunocornec Says:

    Others do think as well that WebOS development should be Open Sourced if abandonned. read it at http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/10/never-say-die-why-hp-should-open-up-webos-instead-of-killing-it.ars

  2. The wow effect « Bruno Cornec’s Blog Says:

    […] I’m really forced to change my mind on the conspiration theory, and deliver on what I said then: “open sourcing a technology […]

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