WebOS fans are up in arms after HP admitted that older Palm-branded products will not gain the access to the updated operating system that will ship with the upcoming Veer and Pre 3 smartphones. It won't be the first time a manufacturer has frozen out older hardware - Apple's original iPhone can't be officially upgraded to iOS 4 …
Encouraging people to upgrade? More like encouraging people to upgrade to iOS or Android (not that the latter will get any updates either). The people that are bothered by this are the people that make smartphone recommendations to their friends, don't forget.
This was one of the main selling points of WebOS I think, at least with the techie crowd - fine the OS was new but it would get better and your phone was very likely to be upgraded. It's not surprising that a company like HP don't want to support perpetual free software upgrades but without them I can see people picking other options.
Existing customers bring you new customers.
" ... it needs to encourage sales if it wants WebOS to be as loved by consumers ..."
It also needs to love it's customers if it want to encourage sales. In a market where everyone immediately thinks of Android or iOS, it's their existing customers that will say consider WebOS if they are treated well.
Foot ... aim ... shoot.
Get with the Program
HP obviously didn't get the memo that states before it's ok to screw over your customers, you need to get into a position of market dominance.
"The WebOS 2.0 update will be delivered to existing customers in the coming months, with exact timing to be announced at a later date."
So HP lied to their customers and have now said FU to the early adopters.
Not quite the same as Apple
While Apple do stop support on older models, I am not sure they can be directly compared.
So far, with the iPhone and iPod touch, Apple have supported two versions of the hardware at any given time. When the iPhone 3G came out, they carried on supporting the iPhone. When the 3GS came out, they stopped supporting the iPhone. When the 4 came out, they stopped supporting the 3G.
As such, each phone has been supported by new OS releases for about two years.
As I understand it, HP is now saying only new users will get Web OS 2.0. Existing users won't.
This, I think, could backfire on HP. Developers on the iPhone know that, thanks in part to what I have said above and in part to Apple quite rigorously enforcing updates on users, that around 90% of users will be on the latest OS version, or at least a recent one. As such, they can code for those versions safe in the knowledge that 90% of iPhone/iPod Touch users will be able to run their app.
Doing things the way HP is is going to lead to many versions of the OS being available..
The problem is that HP/Palm had already publicly (and quite loudly) declared that ALL existing WebOS devices would get the upgrade. They tried to backtrack on this quietly by announcing that they were not upgrading these devices during an interview with a fan web site.
i.e. they LIED to their customers. How can they be trusted about anything they say in the future ?
I think it is brutal, and as someone with a palm pre I'm one of the losers.
But, it's still a nice little phone, more usable than the iphone -it's a great little music player- and being linux based, is easy to get in and play with. It won't stop doing anything, at least as long as HP don't turn the synchronization servers off.
I have a Pre and I think this is simply absurd, we were sold the Pre on the promise that there would always be regular updates and the platform would only get better. At the beginning of the Pre's life we had an update every 2-3 months and then nothing for a very long time. It was assumed that Web OS 2.0 would be ported and Palm themselves said they would create ports over the next few months, and finally after all that we get nothing.
I definitely won't be buying a new Palm - what's to say that the Pre 3 will stop being supported when a Pre 4 comes out?
Rule 1 People - if a feature is "Coming Soon", Assume that it's not coming, then be pleasantly surprised when/if it does ship.
Not that it strictly applies to this case (Most people bought the phones before they were taunted by the update), but that's basically basing your purchasing decision on Vapourware.
Who remembers SD card support on gamecube?
Or the original promises on Windows Ultimate Extras?
Or even the current situation with Rock Band 3 Pro Instruments?
Same as Nokia
None of the newer Maemo OSes will run on the N810, N800 or N770, which is why I have a Droid instead of an N900.
You'll welcome the day they tell you the next Android version won't be available for your phone then....
When open source is not really open source
That's what happens with all these pseudo-open platforms such as Android and webOS. They might be based on Linux - but the amount of control exerted by the manufacturer is far beyond what we know as the Linux environment in the x86 world. You don't see regular pc's released by manufacturers with the inability to upgrade the OS embedded in them (although, I'm sure the manufacturers would love that).
That is why, in spite of it's shortcomings, I still use x86 in everything that I can. Give me a tablet with the new Z6xx Atom inside - with (hopefully) 10 hours real battery - and 3G integrated - and I will be happy to use it as my portable device and even phone (through SIP over 3G if I have to) - and upgrade whichever software component in it I want when I want it.
Anything else is just a single use device designed for manufacturers to make as much profits as possible - while being as useless as possible to me so I can upgrade again and again.
Re: When open source is not really open source
Even x86 is not as open as it seems. It is "open" when you use the standard firmware called BIOS/EFI, which allows you to boot any operating system compatible with that standard.
But it is entirely possible to switch the firmware from BIOS to an in-house one. No BIOS, no "open platform".
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