Quick reminder: At 10am PT, I’ll be at HP’s WebOS event, where news about at least one tablet is guaranteed, and announcements of other WebOS gizmos aren’t an impossible dream. You can join me at technologizer.com/webos, and I hope you will…
Tag Archives | Palm WebOS
Those of us who think that WebOS is one of the best mobile operating systems in the business are looking forward to the WebOS event HP is holding on Wednesday, the first big bash it’s thrown since it acquired Palm last year. The company has pre-announced that it’ll announce something related to WebOS tablets, and there could be more news. (I’m still waiting for a handset that looks a bit like an iPhone but runs WebOS.)
The event is happening at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, and kicks off at 10am PT; I’ll be there and am looking forward to liveblogging the proceedings at technologizer.com/webos. Come hang out with me, won’t you?
Earlier today, Engadget posted images and details relating to HP’s upcoming WebOS tablets, including the suggestion that the devices won’t go on sale until September. Then I got an invite to HP’s February 9th WebOS event–which I thought was a tad odd given that I’d already been invited and RSVPd. But this new invite has a purpose: It says that anyone who thinks that Engadget let the cat out of the bag is wrong. Of course, it doesn’t say whether Engadget’s scoop is completely spurious, or partially so…or even largely correct but incomplete. We’ll presumably need to wait until the 9th to figure that out. I’ll liveblog the event, so you’ll learn what’s going on as soon as I do…
Engadget’s Nilay Patel has an apparent scoop: pictures and details on HP’s plans for tablets based on its WebOS operating system. The images aren’t as exciting as the factoids–all tablets look pretty snazzy in product shots–but the most striking factoid is the apparent possibility that the tablets won’t ship until September. That seems eons away given how many other tablets are set to ship in the next few months. It’s also not the “early 2011” that HP was promising a few months ago. And if HP talks about the tablets at its Feburary 9th WebOS event, it would be preannouncing them by seven months or so. Here’s hoping we don’t have the whole story just yet–and that the whole story involves WebOS tablets showing up before the fall.
The bad news is that it looks like rumors that HP would unveil its WebOS tablet (possibly called the PalmPad) at CES were wrong. The good news is that the company has scheduled a WebOS press event in San Francisco for February 9th at 10am–and it seems like a very good bet that the tablet will make its debut there. (It presumably sent out the invites today to inoculate itself against anyone being disappointed if CES comes and goes with no WebOS news.)
I’ll be at the event and will provide live coverage–more details as we get closer.
More news from TechCrunch Disrupt: TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington asked Todd Bradley, executive VP of HP’s Personal Systems Group, whether the company had any intention of licensing WebOS, which it acquired when it bought Palm, to any other company. He gave a definitive “no,” and if that decision has been publicly stated before, I’d missed it.
Bradley knows whereof he speaks: He’s a former CEO of Palm, back when it was an independent company–one that, at one point, staked its future on the idea that a company could be both a hardware maker and a licensor of its operating system to other companies. Some decent products emerged during this era–I certainly dug my Sony Clie–but overall, it seemed to be terribly damaging to Palm, and the fact that the company split into two entires (PalmOne and PalmSource) hurt rather than helped. In fact, it probably contributed to Palm being in the sticky situation that eventually led to it being acquisition bait for HP.
I can’t think, offhand, of an operating system that’s been both a successful in-house platform and a successful licensed one for any period of time. (If you can recall any, shout them out–no, Mac OS doesn’t count.)
In the months since HP agreed to acquire Palm and its WebOS mobile operating system, the company has said that it plans to put the OS a tablet, in printers, and, yes, in new phones. But it hasn’t said much about WebOS upgrades or new features. Until now: The Palm site has some info on WebOS 2.0, which it’s beginning to prep developers for. Looks like some neat stuff is on the way, including an upgrade to the Cards multitasking interface that groups related Cards into Stacks, and a feature called Just Type–evolved from WebOS’s current Universal Search feature–that lets developers build apps that provide users with the ability to perform searches or “quick actions” by…just typing.
The upgrade will also allow developers to write apps that run when a WebOS phone is charging in Palm’s Touchstone inductive cradle.
I’m at The Big Money’s Untethered conference–an event about tablets and the future of publishing–in New York. One of the speakers this morning was Phil McKinney, CTO of HP’s Personal Systems Group. The Big Money’s James Ledbetter interviewed him about tablets, and he talked about the downsides of using existing operating systems for new types of devices. (He didn’t mention Windows explicitly, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about OS/2.) He also extolled the virtues of WebOS, which HP will own assuming its acquisition of Palm goes through.
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