I May Be Ignorant, But Occasionally I Luck Out

I have heard of WebOS from HP but knew nothing about it. I guess I assumed it was another in-house OS like Symbian, etc. SJVN set me straight. It’s yet another environment on top of the Linux kernel. So, while I was clueless and thinking Android/Linux on ARM was the big play this year to get GNU/Linux into the PC game widely, in fact, the number one PC OEM is talking up WebOS, based on Linux, on general PCs.

To me HP has always been about almost indestructible power supplies and lab equipment. I had little to do with Compaq stuff until I got back into teaching. I see HP in IDC’s scorecard but did not connect the dots with them doing something in-house with Linux except shipping some servers and workstations. This WebOS thing is seriously aimed at consumers, and SJVN is right, this will probably provoke some chair-throwing. Good.

Here are some press releases from HP:

  • 2010-10-19 WebOS 2.0
  • 2011-2-9 HP TouchPad – This is ARMed so it fit my vision.
  • 2011-2-9 HP shows its stuff in the Think Beyond event. Products shown: Veer smartphone, Pre3 smartphone, both with slideout keyboards and awareness of docking/location, TouchPad with fantastic multitasking and synergy between smartphone and TouchPad and cloud services.

This raises the bar for usability. Stuff that Ubuntu has on the horizon is already working smoothly in these implementations. Palm and HP have been working 5 years on this and it shows. No wonder this technology is aimed at the whole personal computing space. It is second to none and certainly blows that other OS away. People will choose ARM just to run this software but HP obviously is looking at seemless integration with smartphone, TouchPad and notebooks or desktops. This is a killer OS and Linux is underneath making all those context switches with no one noticing.

Here’s HP’s video. From about 1:37:00 onward, HP mentions bringing WebOS to the largest installed base of connected people on the planet. They mean the devices they ship including PCs. As the largest OEM of PCs, this move will have M$ shaking in its boots. Not only will we have the choice of various distros including Ubuntu and Android we will have WebOS on retail shelves. HP is committed to going all-in to this Linux platform and they will push it unlike Dell. This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. This means that in a year or two hundreds of millions more users of GNU/Linux will be free of M$ (they talk about 2 PCs per second…).

UPDATE
see The Register

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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13 Responses to I May Be Ignorant, But Occasionally I Luck Out

  1. Enough already! Everyone! Cut out the ad hominem attacks. They are more boring than fanboism and less useful. We are who we are and insults will not help. Tech is too interesting and life is to short for all the name-calling and pejoratives.

  2. oldman says:

    “Too bad you have to ask.”

    Proving our stupidity are we?

  3. Richard Chapman says:

    “So what exactly was your point Mr. Chapman?”

    Too bad you have to ask.

  4. Alex says:

    Well, I listened to half of the presentation of WebOs, and I am not very impressed. They seem to have gone out of their way to make WebOS interface as boring and as plain as possible, probably to appeal to business owners. So it looks set to replace Blackberry in the office. Yawn.

    All I know that I would not buy a webOS thingy based on what I saw; by contrast, Honeycomb impressed me to the point where I would consider buying an android tablet for me and my 4-year-old kid.

  5. oldman says:

    “It’s a beautiful day!”

    Same Here… Glad we are both having wonderful weather.

    So what exactly was your point Mr. Chapman?

  6. Richard Chapman says:

    It’s a beautiful day!

  7. oldman says:

    “Your point of reference “oldman” is always pointing at yourself. Have you noticed the weather lately?”

    Have you, Mr. Chapman?

  8. Richard Chapman says:

    “North America has applications that work Pog, not the IMHO half a$$ed junk applications you would foist on us.”

    What does an ant see when a human foot is about to step on it? Answer: An overcast sky.

    Your point of reference “oldman” is always pointing at yourself. Have you noticed the weather lately?

  9. oldman says:

    “Probably true. NA needs to catch up on usage of GNU/Linux. The world is far ahead. HP is tight with business who should lap this up. We also have no information about security, but HP knows what its customers want.”

    North America has applications that work Pog, not the IMHO half a$$ed junk applications you would foist on us.

    As far as HP is concerned, WebOS will only work if the applications that run on it match the standards that has been set by Apple and which are being matched by vendors of android based systems.

    And even then Pog, there has yet to be any indication that any of the application sets being developed for iOS/Android/WebOS based mobile devices being back ported into the desktop world.

  10. Probably true. NA needs to catch up on usage of GNU/Linux. The world is far ahead. HP is tight with business who should lap this up. We also have no information about security, but HP knows what its customers want.

  11. Bender says:

    I believe that Microsoft will have to change the way they produce software and will have to embrace open source way of doing things or fade away as a legacy company. Companies feel no longer obliged to use that other OS. As soon as stupid patent law get abolished or made a little bit more intelligent i believe all the extortion from Microsoft will end as well as Microsoft itself… I’m looking forward into the future with hope 🙂

  12. Dan Serban says:

    It seems that for the time being WebOS is aimed solely at the North-American market.
    They still have some work to do in the localization arena.
    But it’s so refreshing to watch genuine free market competition driving everyone into madly investing efforts on creating better products.
    This is what the PC market should have been, had Microsoft not distorted it in their hatred of free enterprise ideology.

  13. saulgoode says:

    Remember how angry HP was — and justifiably so — over Microsoft’s lowering the standards for “Vista-capable” hardware?

    ( http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3785611/HP+to+Microsoft+Thanks+for+Nothing.htm , an advertisement may appear before reaching the news story)

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