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HP Training Vid Hints at WebOS Netbooks

HP Training Vid Hints at WebOS Netbooks

HP's training materials suggest that the company wants WebOS to become a converged mobile platform for all devices.

It's something of an open secret that HP is planning to use the WebOS mobile platform it acquired with Palm to power future tablets. However, it also looks as though the company has more up its sleeve, including WebOS netbooks, tablets and smartphones.

It appears that the company is looking to get the most out of its Palm subsidiary by turning WebOS into a cross-device mobile platform, sharing apps and data between smartphones, netbooks and tablets.

The hints at HP's plans come courtesy of training materials published for retailers of WebOS devices, which were spotted by Palm watcher PreCentral.

A video shows a conversation between floating heads suggesting that 'If I could run WebOS on my phone and a slate and a netbook... and they all talked to each other and shared information. A friendly little product family... that connects you to the world in amazing new ways. I'm in. Let's go.'

Although none of this has been officially confirmed by HP, it looks pretty certain that the company has some We-OS-equipped netbooks in the works. We even have a rough timeframe, courtesy of the video's stylised silhouettes, who state the running order of the company's plans: 'Today, let's start with the phones. Tomorrow will come soon enough.'

Could a converged OS that enables apps and data to be shared across the entire mobile ecosystem be a winner, or is HP on a hiding to nothing with its WebOS aspirations? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

17 Comments

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mjm25 17th January 2011, 13:02 Quote
I'm still waiting for a Palm iPhone alike to come along... WebOS really appeals to me (but then i'm still happily texting away on my 6500classic!)
<A88> 17th January 2011, 14:40 Quote
I'm not sure putting a touchscreen OS on traditional point and click device is going to be worthwile, they're essentially making the same mistake as Microsoft but starting from the other end. That said, I've still got a lot of love for WebOS and can't wait to see the tablet devices they've come up with.
javaman 17th January 2011, 15:00 Quote
would be nice to have a competitor to Android and ios in the smart phone market. ios is tied to a platform I wont buy into and android is often poorly implemented by different companies with slow updates and bloatware. Im surprised this is even a news article too, HP always hinted at designing an OS for ultra portables. I wouldn't be surprised if they dual booted or done something similar to express gate or even done something similar to LG with docking station laptops.

All I hope for is a platform that has a clear direction rather than one size fits all of windows approach. Also it needs developer support otherwise it'll just be another symbian.
jrs77 17th January 2011, 15:04 Quote
Oh look, they're aiming at what Apple does for a couple of years allready...
<A88> 17th January 2011, 18:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Oh look, they're aiming at what Apple does for a couple of years allready...

Um, no. Apple only announced the iPad a year ago, after a handful of Android and Windows based tablet devices had already been revealed at CES. HP bought Palm last year for this very reason; they wanted to get into the smartphone/tablet business and needed a decent touchscreen OS that they could throw their considerable wealth into instead of just going down the Android route and letting Google decide their fate.
Nexxo 17th January 2011, 20:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
Um, no. Apple only announced the iPad a year ago, after a handful of Android and Windows based tablet devices had already been revealed at CES. HP bought Palm last year for this very reason; they wanted to get into the smartphone/tablet business and needed a decent touchscreen OS that they could throw their considerable wealth into instead of just going down the Android route and letting Google decide their fate.

Ermmyeah. For a given value of "revealed". By that time everybody already sort of knew that Apple was developing a tablet and the "tablet devices" that were "revealed" were a bunch of non-functional mock-ups that were a thinly veiled attempt at stealing Apple's thunder.
<A88> 17th January 2011, 21:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
Um, no. Apple only announced the iPad a year ago, after a handful of Android and Windows based tablet devices had already been revealed at CES. HP bought Palm last year for this very reason; they wanted to get into the smartphone/tablet business and needed a decent touchscreen OS that they could throw their considerable wealth into instead of just going down the Android route and letting Google decide their fate.

Ermmyeah. For a given value of "revealed". By that time everybody already sort of knew that Apple was developing a tablet and the "tablet devices" that were "revealed" were a bunch of non-functional mock-ups that were a thinly veiled attempt at stealing Apple's thunder.

I never said they were any good or anything less than a pre-emptive response to Apple's inevitable announcement, but jrs77 was infering that Apple was the first company to take a smartphone OS and put it ona tablet device, which is neither exactly an earth-shatteringly difficult idea to come up with nor true.
jrs77 17th January 2011, 21:35 Quote
I was more referring to this quote from HP...
Quote:
'If I could run WebOS on my phone and a slate and a netbook... and they all talked to each other and shared information. A friendly little product family... that connects you to the world in amazing new ways. I'm in. Let's go.'

A complete lineup of devices by default able to communicate with each other and easy to use... Apple does this for how long allready?
<A88> 17th January 2011, 21:56 Quote
Yeah I see your point to an extent there; Apple has always been about the 'ecosystem' of its products, i.e. the iPhone connects to the iTunes connects to the Macbook connects to the hipbone etc. That said there is little difference between connecting an iOS device to a Mac or PC nowadays, and Apple's ecosystem is more about having tight integration with its digital content management nowadays (iTunes, Apple TV, Airplay etc) than HP's desire for a ubiquitous OS that works on any platform. But you're probably right in thinking that HP probably wants to become renowned for having a tight and well-managed platform in the same way that Apple does.
jrs77 17th January 2011, 23:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
Yeah I see your point to an extent there; Apple has always been about the 'ecosystem' of its products, i.e. the iPhone connects to the iTunes connects to the Macbook connects to the hipbone etc. That said there is little difference between connecting an iOS device to a Mac or PC nowadays, and Apple's ecosystem is more about having tight integration with its digital content management nowadays (iTunes, Apple TV, Airplay etc) than HP's desire for a ubiquitous OS that works on any platform. But you're probably right in thinking that HP probably wants to become renowned for having a tight and well-managed platform in the same way that Apple does.

It's not just HP having this idea, it's Google aswell and they've got their ChromeOS and stuff in beta-testing etc and M$ would actually love to do it too, but M$ is just too big to make quick moves anywhere.

And the idea is not even something we could possibly say anything bad about from a companies POV. It's only logical for the companies to setup an ecosystem like that, to keep competitors off the lawn. Apple has just started to build their ecosystem alot earlier, but all of the big companies in this market would like to get rid off free software and open platforms better now then tommorow.
It will happen, there's no doubt about it.
<A88> 18th January 2011, 01:31 Quote
I don't see the point you're trying to make with ChromeOS in relation to the original argument? It's not intrinsically linked to Android in any sense other than them both supporting and favouring Google's web services, which in itself again has nothing to do with the point about a curated ecosystem.

You also seem to have become distracted with this idea that everyone wants to create their own similar ecosystem that allows them to manage every part of the experience themselves; Microsoft loves the fact that you can install Windows on almost any 3rd party machine, and Android likewise is open-source for the very reason that it allows carriers and developers to manipulate the OS to fit their criteria.

Oh, and please stop doing the whole 'M$' thing. It's 2011 for goodness sake.
shaffaaf27 18th January 2011, 05:05 Quote
im thinking it means seemlessly, if all are connected via wifi, or 3G, the wobOS profile will update between each device. say you are working on your tablet, reading a webpage, you need to go out. on the train, you open up your phone, open the browser and voila its there, ready for you to continue. same with games and maybe apps that work on all the versions.
Cthippo 18th January 2011, 07:27 Quote
This wasn't just a hint. HP announced it on 1-7

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20110117/tc_nf/76936
Jehla 18th January 2011, 13:08 Quote
Why do we need all these devices running the same OS? A company would love to get you into their ecosystem so your almost forced to by their tablet/ phone etc.

Surely for consumers commonly accessible formats and the cloud is the best option. Dropbox for example I can type up a document on word save it to my dropbox then read it on my phone or continue editing on a mac/iPad.
I'd love to do the same with my game saves too.
<A88> 18th January 2011, 19:44 Quote
Tablet's looking pretty tasty:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/18/exclusive-hp-palms-webos-tablets-pictures-plans-and-mor/

Slim, sexy, stereo, front-facing camera and 7" (9" coming too).
jrs77 18th January 2011, 21:49 Quote
Get into a store and test the Samsung Galaxy Tab... 7" is just too small.

10" is the minimum for a decent tablet imho and I actually hope for 11"-tablets to become the norm, as even the 9.7"-screen of the iPad is too small for some stuff to enjoy it.

And no. The problem is not solved by increasing the resolution by having a tighter dotpitch, the problem is, that the screen-size need to match your fingers.
Standard-keyboard size for the screen-keyboard is what I'd like to see, including the Tab-, CapsLock-, and. Ctrl- and Alt- too ofc. and that's not possible in a smaller then 11"-screen.
<A88> 19th January 2011, 16:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Get into a store and test the Samsung Galaxy Tab... 7" is just too small.
Sort of. The problem I found with the Tab was less the size and more the aspect ratio- 4:3 works better for smaller tablets than 16:9 as websites can fit much more comfortably on them without requiring too much zooming or scrolling. For eBooks and a lot of games (I'm thinking especially driving games which require accelerometers) I'd say 7" makes for a more comfortable experience; the iPad is simply too big to make a perfect eBook reader, but it truly excels when it comes to videos, magazines, web browsing and of course specially taylored apps.

From what I've read, the 7" HP/Palm tablet is going to be geared towards the reading, and perhaps student, markets whilst the 9" version will be more of the general-purpose iPad competitor that we need. I personally don't agree that 11" is ideal for tablets and don't see a full size keyboard enhancing the experience that much as touchscreen keyboards just aren't ideal for long-term use regardless of the size right now. That said, given time I'm pretty sure every form factor imaginable will be developed at some point and you'll get your 11" device soon enough.
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