Ironically, in order to compete with Apple, HP is taking a page from Apple’s playbook. Steve Jobs’s strategy has always been to control both the hardware and the software it runs on. While other PC makers, including HP, have relied on Windows, Apple’s Macs have always come with Mac OS, an operating system designed specifically for its hardware. Apple has followed the same approach when expanding to the iPhone and iPad with iOS. “Everyone is figuring out that if you want to survive, you really want to control the experience end to end,” McKinney says. “The ability to control both the hardware platform and OS is absolutely critical.”
HP Gets It | Daring Fireball
Music to my ears. Here’s what I wrote about HP back in October 2009:
“Operating systems aren’t mere components like RAM or CPUs; they’re the single most important part of the computing experience. Other than Apple, there’s not a single PC maker that controls the most important aspect of its computers. Imagine how much better the industry would be if there were more than one computer maker trying to move the state of the art forward.”
Hands on with the HP TouchPad [Jason Snell] | Macworld
Jason Snell Reviews the HP TouchPad | Daring Fireball
Best review of it I’ve seen. If you’re only going to read one, make it Snell’s. He covers it all: the great UI design, WebOS’s excellent card-based switching interface, the solid hardware, the shortcomings, what seems unfinished, WebOS’s seemingly endemic lagginess, and the miserable performance of Flash Player.
The HP TouchPad has a case that’s easy to open and replaceable components. This tablet is built more like a PC than an iPad.
H-P TouchPad Tablet Review [Walt Mossberg] | AllThingsD
H-P stresses that webOS is a platform and that the TouchPad is just one iteration of it. The company plans to add the operating system to numerous devices, including laptops, and hopes that this scale will attract many more apps. And it pledges continuous updates to fix the current shortcomings.
But, at least for now, I can’t recommend the TouchPad over the iPad 2.
First of all, the TouchPad is beautiful. It’s iPad beautiful. The case is glossy black plastic — a magnet for fingerprints, unfortunately, but it looks wicked great in the first five minutes.
The WebOS is beautiful, too. It’s graphically coherent, elegant, fluid and satisfying. That, apparently, is the payoff when a single company designs both the hardware and the software. (Android gadgets, by contrast, are a mishmash of different versions and looks.)
It supposedly has a blazing-fast chip inside, but you wouldn’t know it. When you rotate the screen, it takes the screen two seconds to match — an eternity in tablet time. Apps can take a long time to open; the built-in chat app, for example, takes seven seconds to appear. Animations are sometimes jerky, reactions to your finger swipes sometimes uncertain.
Pogue on the TouchPad | Daring Fireball
Very strong consensus among all the reviews I’ve read.
After Spurning Android, HP May Offer Windows 8 Tablets | Fast Company
“I’m limited to what I can talk about with Windows 8,” McKinney says. “We’re working very closely with [Microsoft], and I’m going to leave it at that or I’m going to start getting myself into trouble.”
Any chance of a Windows 8 tablet, though? “We currently have a product shipping today called the Slate 500, and to be quite honest that product has been doing quite well,” he says. “So that’s a Windows 7 version, and then we’ll have the TouchPad coming out [with WebOS].”
So is it safe to assume there will also be a Windows 8 tablet? A long pause.
HP’s Uncomfortable Relationship With Microsoft | Daring Fireball
HP is the number-one seller of Windows PCs in the world, but they’re charting their own course in mobile with WebOS. They might even license WebOS to other hardware makers — whatever you think of the merits of that idea, there can be no argument that doing so would put HP in direct competition with Microsoft.
HP acknowledged Apple’s dominance in the tablet market, but said Apple wasn’t its target with the TouchPad.
“We think there’s a better opportunity for us to go after the enterprise space and those consumers that use PCs,” said Kerris. “This market is in its infancy and there is plenty of room for both of us to grow.”
HP Says Apple Is Not TouchPad’s Target | Daring Fireball
Smart. Reminds me of that Steve Jobs mantra from the late ’90s: “We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace the notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job.”
Restated for today, mobile OS competitors need to let go of the notion for them to succeed, Apple has to lose. Compare and contrast HP’s attitude with RIM’s.