I remember reading the articles from 2009 when the Pre was launched seeing it as the next big thing 'after' the iPhone-keyboard and touchscreen together. And the TouchPad really is a triumph of UI design, even if WebOS was slow and the hardware assembled from the components Apple rejected (HP staff's words not mine, by the way).
So many if onlys now. Unless Mark Zuckerberg decides to resurrect it at the core of his FacePhone, which doesn't seem likely.
If only they'd rushed out a tablet version concept demo ahead of or just after the iPad's launch. Even if it was vapourware it would have got people developing for webOS. The software was so perfect for tablets.
If Mark Hurd had stayed at HP they could have owned the future instead of Android and Samsung.
If only Google had realised it needed a hardware subsidiary earlier and bought Palm instead of Motorola. They spent ten billion on Motorola when they could have had Palm, intact, for a tenth the price.