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Smartphone, Wireless, and Mobile Technologies Forum

HP says webOS coming to slates and web-connected printers
webOS on your printers!

 6:17 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Having accepted to acquired Palm, Hewlett Packard now wants to put Palm's webOS on top of its new generation of Touchsmart printers that use a visual interface much like the one of a smartphone and currently allow some limited Web browsing.

It sounds a bit silly, but people report liking the things. Now with webOS on top of everything from HP, the company might build a virtual ecosystem unequaled by any other vendor. If all these webOS devices can speak to one another, maybe we'll be able to start a print job from our Palm smartphone and tune in to a Web page view when we approach the printer. Maybe when the printer scans a document, it will sync the contact data to the users' contact app, the same way webOS already syncs in all your contacts from Facebook, all email accounts and Linkedin - crazy, just crazy.



 8:44 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I was hoping HP would go the Android route when they bailed on Windows 7.

Too many devices with too many OS's, I must draw a line in the sand somewhere which is a real shame because now I won't be buying an HP Slate or an iPad.

Having been a huge HP printer fan for over 20 years I hope they don't mess up my love of their printers as well.



 2:24 am on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Bill, the thing you fail to understand in your support for Android is that any maker that relies on Android or Microsoft is ultimately subjugated to the OS software developer's control. HTC, Motorola, LG and even Dell have nothing new to offer and face a continuing challenge for patents of which Google has none for mobile devices.

It has been estimated that it will cost HTC $80 per unit to license Microsoft's patents, and that won't even protect it from further attacks from Apple.

Considering that HP has a history of maintaining its own OS (HP UNIX) and has had bad relations and business dealings in the past faced with sudden policy changes at Microsoft (ask HP about how they were totally compliant for Vista and then Microsoft just dismissed the compliance advantage to get more OEMs) would you continue to put your entire faith in another company's product?

How about being in the driver's seat for once. The only reason Apple hasn't sued Motorola yet, is because the former has a good enough patents portfolio compared with newcomer and overseas HTC.

Having said that, I've read a lot of comments from Android followers asking why Nokia, Rim, Palm, HP, company XYZ don't just settle with Android. Question is why would they? Why settle for Android? It's not even the best OS, it's fragmented, development is not as easy as other platform, although not as obscure as BlackBerry.

Android is Google's baby. Google has a history of backstabbing its partners. That's Google gameplan, to disrupt. You don't think Google won't stick a knife in Verizon's back at the first opportunity? Wasn't it Google that wanted to change the way users bought cellphones in direct opposition to Verizon? Isn't it Google that's promising high speed Internet to communities all over America in direct defiance of Verizon and other "partners?"

Why would anyone at this point trust Google when there was an opportunity like webOS that could be had for cheap? webOS is the best mobile operating system right now. It does not have the marketshare and penetration of Apple or Android, but it's a solid product. If more people had the opportunity to try it out, they would see why people like me a lot more folks unbashfully claim that it's the best mobile OS on the market and why it deserves to continue to flourish.


 3:44 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's a good fit for the printers. The licensing and overhead are expensive for Microsoft. My friends working on WinCE/XP for printers might be looking for a new job.

This will give it some huge market share in printers. Not sure if it changes anything for phones.

Maybe I need to be thinking up mobile apps to run in HP Printers. My last job at HP was actually enabling third party apps on HP printers in XP/CE.


 4:50 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

It has been estimated that it will cost HTC $80 per unit to license Microsoft's patents, and that won't even protect it from further attacks from Apple.

You face this even if it's developed in house - patents are out of control

That has nothing to do with WebOS vs adopting Android with all the apps, lots of apps.


 5:19 pm on May 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apple didn't sue Palm for patents infringements. Microsoft did not bully Palm into a patents licensing deal like they did to HTC. Complaining about patents being out of whack does not address the current issue. It costs HTC $80 to put out a phone now, and it didn't cost that six months ago. Google is not protecting its partners here.

There may be tons of Android apps, but are they all compatible and available to all Android devices? If I have an HTC G1, can I install the latest apps that only support Android 2.1 or yet Froyo? When will your Droid get Froyo by the way?

Got my Palm device almost a year ago, and I'm still on the latest release. I can access all apps.


 6:07 pm on May 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apple didn't sue Palm for patents infringements.

Bad example because Apple has infringed heavily on Palms patents and they really don't want to open that hornets nest.

Google is not protecting its partners here.

Facts over fiction:
Google has something to say about it too.

“We are not a party to this lawsuit. However, we stand behind our Android operating system and the partners who have helped us to develop it,” a Google spokesperson emailed us.

Patents are a funny thing, you can either sue the maker of the infringing product of the user of the infringing product. In most cases you would sue the car maker instead of trying to track down thousands of car owners individually, but the latter has happened.

In this case, the number of manufacturers of Android devices isn't that big and suing HTC could scare off new companies from pursuing Android as a battle tactic.

Motorola and the Droid could be next.

Besides, just because Apple sued doesn't mean Apple will win and some of the complaints read like they're prior art to me, things that have been in other portable and touch devices before the iPhone.

If I have an HTC G1, can I install the latest apps that only support Android 2.1 or yet Froyo? When will your Droid get Froyo by the way?

I'm current with Android 2.1 which is the latest shipping version and most others will be soon.

Only developers would want Froyo, it's not ready for prime time, it's still under development, not a valid comparison.

However, I've got Froyo's SDK and emulator on my PC desktop experimenting with it already.

Besides, can you build the latest Palm OS in development and upload it yourself?

Didn't think so...


 6:33 pm on May 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Re: Palm & Apple patent suit - You just proved my point. You complained that HP wasn't using Android and asked why they bothered with Palm and webOS. That's exactly the point here. Having your own patents protects you from companies like Apple that prefer to sue instead of innovating. Had HP used Android, it would have less protection than it does now.

Re: Google partners - Google has not done anything to protect HTC at this point. Releasing a vague statement is not an action. Had Google been proactive in patenting Android or building it in a way where it did not encroach on Apple's patents, it would have helped its partners. Until Google takes on Apple directly in this patents' case, Google is not doing anything to support its partners, except paying lip service.

As I wrote above, I'm not sure Motorola will get sued. They have enough patents of their own unlike HTC and its ridiculous counter suit against Apple with 5 small innocuous patents. Motorola and Samsung should be fine. HTC is in trouble.

RE: Current Android Device - Actually, you are not current. The current release of Android is 2.2 which was released this week. Nexus 1 users (that are not devs) can already download it now. How long did you have to wait by the way, for Motorola to provide you with 2.1? Didn't you have to wait at least two to three months before it was rolled out to your Droid? When will those G1 users ever get 2.1? Is it even possible?

RE: Palm Dev Upload - Your last point is not clear so not sure what you're saying, but there's a desktop and a Web based emulator for the upcoming webOS release. Ditto for the current version. webOS has been installed on a PC as a dual boot and just yesterday, I watched a YT video where it had been ported to a Mac


 8:59 pm on May 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

You just proved my point.

Not even close.

HP obviously wants to differentiate themselves in the market with Palm but instead will shoot themselves in the foot being last.

However, when HP comes to their senses and decides to roll Android devices they can do it with immunity using the pile of Palm patents since they now own Palm. Technically, the $1.2B purchase price for Palm was worth it just for the patent portfolio alone.

They have a stacked deck ;)

Besides, when Google and Microsoft start the patent wars against Apple, that's when it's going to be fun and Apple should know better than to start down this path because nothing good will come from it.

or Motorola to provide you with 2.1
I don't have a Motorola, not an issue.

Your last point is not clear so not sure what you're saying, but there's a desktop and a Web based emulator for the upcoming webOS release.

You said when would I get Froyo and I said I have it now, pretty clear.

I have the complete developer kit right here, right now, it's not "coming soon", complete with emulator and all that nonsense.

Personally, I'm thinking that the Android port to iPhone has Apple in a near frenzy:
Following up on the Froyo release yesterday, we've got the no less vital news that the iPhone 3G port of Android is now ready to download and install.

Just too funny.


 11:10 pm on May 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Why are you so certain that Android is the way to go. The way you describe it, webOS is a mistake and Apple will soon vaporize. Android is only emerging in the US. It still has a way to go. And when you read about companies like Samsung developing Bada, Motorola saying they need their own os and HTC saying the same, it must be because being reliant on Google, or Microsoft for that matter has certain disadvantages. But you think Android is the all end all, so it's hard for you to see why others don't want to use it or rely on it. It's not even technically the best mobile OS. The one thing Android has for it is Google backing it. If it wasn't for that, it would be just another Bada.

Google has no patents in mobile to rely on in your proposed "upcoming patents war." They have some in search though, but we don't know how far Apple will go in the search world.

You don't have a Motorola Droid, but a lot of folks do and one of the best selling Android phone released less than 9 months ago can't even be upgraded to the latest Android cut. Normal people don't upgrade their phones every six months you know. Google is shooting itself in the foot with the lack of a cohesive platform and the fragmentation. That's why the numbers of apps on Android don't tell the whole story. How many of these apps are available to all Android users. At least with the iPhone (and god knows I'm not a supporter) 2007 iPhone users can still use most apps. Ditto for early webOS users. Best way to kill your platform is make people think there's always a better thing next and that what they buy today is obsolete less than two weeks after they purchased it.

You're not really answering my points just shooting around because you obviously don't have an answer. All you can up with is blind faith in Android without ever explaining why it's so great and why companies like HP need to fall in line. What's so great about Android?

The Android port to the iPhone means nothing. It's not stuff like that that will scare Apple. If for the average iPhone user there was a real benefit of using Android on top of Apple's lame and outdated hardware, I'd agree. But if Android is so great and the iPhone hardware so archaic compared to the new Android device that arrived this week, why would Apple be worried? Only ultra geeks and a few devs will bother to port Android on an iPhone. And when they do, it's only for the bragging rights. There's no point to it. There's a reason people continue to buy iPhone even when faced with better products. And until Google realize what they aren't doing, Android will remain a platform for male geeks.


 11:40 pm on May 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

blind faith in Android without ever explaining why it's so great

Blind Faith?

There is no blind faith.

I reviewed the iPhone, played with one for a few days, got my hands on the Palm Pre, and they just weren't for me for various reasons. The iPhone was locked on AT&Ts junk network in the US and the Palm simply was too small and had too few apps.

It's not just me, lots of people are buying Androids in droves, lots of people are developing for Android too, the numbers don't lie.

I don't have to defend Android, the shift in the marketplace says it all.
Android will remain a platform for male geeks.

Almost spit my soda across the room.

I wouldn't say that to my wife, she loves her Android phone too, so do her friends.

FWIW, I don't dislike Palm, I just prefer Android more, which many other consumers do as well which is why the Android phones are selling like wildfire.

That's why I originally questioned HP's purchase of Palm, why bring out a Slate with a platform that has far less app software available?

It makes no sense in the long run as the new Dell Android tablet will probably bury the HP Slate on lack of apps alone, that and the fact that people in love with the millions of Android phones will probably give and Android tablet a chance.

TBH, I was more looking forward to a Windows 7 tablet from HP more than Android, something that could run my desktop software, but that ship has sailed.


 10:03 pm on Jun 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Finally got my hands on an Android phone Bill... Been using one for days now. Man what a painful thing to use. Next to it the iPhone looks spectacular. There is no logic, no grace, no sense of UI design, no sense that a normal human being should be using the bloody thing.

I'll stick to my Palm Pre which has all the flexibility of an Android phone but far more elegance than the iPhone OS.


 4:17 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Harry, I would not count on the frequency of updates on WebOS that you are used to, now that HP is in charge. Sorry, I know them too well.

If a printer ships with version X.Y of WebOS, that's the one it will probably have for life. In fact, if another printer in the same general family, one or two years later, it will probably still have version X.Y.

I can hope the situation will be somewhat better on tablets or smartphones, but we'll see.


 12:21 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

If HP fails to react proactively, they will just lose the market to some smart and faster competitor.


 7:21 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

If HP fails to react proactively, they will just lose the market to some smart and faster competitor.

No disagreement there. Let's hope for the sake of your favorite OS and my few remaining employee shares that they do act proactively.


 2:59 am on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Seems like HP is starting to get it. They bought Melodeo this week and Phoenix a few weeks ago.

Melodeo gives them an iTune competitor that uses cloud streaming for music and can link into iTunes. Phoenix has instant on technology for starting an OS. THink about a tablet that could switch from Windows 7 to webOS in mere seconds or a printer with an OS that switched on as you turned it on.

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