Julian Yap

HP CEO Meg Whitman on the recent webOS announcement

On HP creating new webOS hardware:

In the near term what I would imagine — and this could change, in full disclosure — is I would think tablets, I do not believe we will be in the smart phone business again.

So the webOS powered TouchPad failed so they're going to try again? Maybe the argument here is 'Yeah, but I'm not "Léo.":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9oApotheker I'm going to pick up where "Mark":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MarkHurd left off'.

The measures of success are going to be: how many developers are writing for this platform? Have there been other hardware manufacturers who have signed on and built devices, whether they be tablets or devices of the future or smart phones? And ultimately, the ability of developers to make money.

At least Meg sounds like she understands the game.

Previously the game in PC hardware was 'if you build it, he will come'. This was same reasoning as netbooks where only the hardware and the pricing points mattered. That's important because HP only really understood the PC hardware business.

Many manufacturers jumped on board with tablets to try and establish themselves in the market that Apple created with the iPad. What they found was that the game had changed and did not solely rely on hardware and pricing points. Now an ecosystem was required and no other manufacturer other than Amazon's Kindle Fire has sold any tablets of significant volume or impact since the arrival of the iPad in April 2010.

Google's Eric Schmidt's argument is that developers will want to develop for Android because of its market share and volume. That's Google's stance and wording because that's the game they're playing and the metrics they use to discuss their 'winning' position. But volume is just one factor that requires other elements to create a financially healthy application ecosystem.

Ultimately developers will follow the money trail and it is true that for any platform if the right elements are in place for developers to make money, they will want to develop for it. If HP can get the elements right and build a compelling ecosystem under Meg Whitman's guidance then webOS may well be a competitive platform.

9 DECEMBER 2011 @ 02:51PM

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