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back to article HP murders webOS tablets, phones

HP has announced that it will discontinue its webOS TouchPad and webOS phones, just weeks after the arrival of the TouchPad and a little more than a year after the company acquired the webOS mobile operating system from Palm in a $1.2bn purchase. In a press release floated before the company's quarterly earnings call, HP also …

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Devil

Jemma...

...I think I'm in love with you.

Meanwhile, I've already told hubby to wait, pick up two at bargain basement prices and we'll give them to the kids as Christmas presents. They are good kit, just half-baked at release and now a stupid knee-jerk reaction from incompetent twat managers is sending them to product hell. What can you expect though? Leo flunked programming (it was in his official SAP bio if anyone took time to read it) and is now head of one of the biggest IT companies in the world. WTF much? He probably thinks a pre-test loop is something you do in a cul-de-sac with a car you want to buy.

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Facepalm

Speaking of throwing money away

"Meanwhile, I've already told hubby to wait, pick up two at bargain basement prices and we'll give them to the kids as Christmas presents."

If you want to buy your kids something that has no ongoing value, may I suggest an assortment pack of chocolate bars.

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FAIL

@SisterClamp

WTF has the ability to programme got to do with being able to lead an IT company? Most devs I know would be shit at that sort of thing. Too focussed on detail, not on the strategic.

And if it was that way, then we'd see the most valuable tech company in the world led by Woz, not Jobs.

Tit.

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freebies

"12 year olds on my planet have nowhere near enough cash to splurge on a several hundred dollar phone."

they don't need no money in london.

just something hard, to bust in a shop window.

innit.

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That's...

..."Tits" to you, thank you! I still have 'em both!

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Mushroom

Re: @SisterClamp

"WTF has the ability to programme got to do with being able to lead an IT company? Most devs I know would be shit at that sort of thing. Too focussed on detail, not on the strategic."

There must be more to life than stereotypes.

The ability to *program* (and spell) might indicate a level of rigour that could serve an executive well - at least one who isn't thinking of ways of backdating his options and cashing out after having swung the axe yet another time.

And let's be condescending to those "techs" and "devs": give them some more piecework, pat them on the head and tell them that they can't see the bigger picture. Except that when I was once told that I couldn't see the bigger picture, I could have given a long list of things that would have stopped the business taking a slow dive into the sun, whereas management were flailing around wondering about their partner agreements and their positioning.

Most of Nokia could run the business better than Elop, for example. Or at least do no worse.

Don't tell me: you have a business degree and the magic beans didn't work after all? There's a big picture there somewhere as well.

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RE: Speaking of throwing money away

I don't know of many people who can flog off their kids' old toys at a profit. Don't kids generally use things until they're dead, or they're bored and hide them in a cupboard?

Seriously, if you're already looking at the resale value of your kids' christmas presents when you buy them I'd hate to be one of your kids. I realise people aren't exactly rich right now, but that's tightness on a whole, strange, new level.

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Stop

Re: Speaking of throwing money away

@Cam

Actually I was thinking of value to the kids. Wasn't that the first thing to come into your mind?

I think that says more about you than it does about me...

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Anonymous Coward

The power of the financial markets

If they can get governments to give them billions of your money, shit little companies don't stand a chance when they can't fulfil the money grabbing greed.

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G2
Mushroom

HP grabs tantō, performs seppuku ...

instead of nuking webOS it would be better imho to just release it as an open-source project... maybe this way android could use some bits from it and HP would get to use it for (a potential) future tablet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seppuku#Ritual

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Anonymous Coward

The power of the financial markets

If they can get governments to give them billions of your money, shit little companies don't stand a chance id they can't fulfil thier greed.

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Silver badge
WTF?

Nope

I'm still not getting it. Could you try again and this time, try to state your comment a bit more clearly?

It's only your second go; third time's the charm.

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WTF?

Really... ?

No more HP laptops ?

My company has a corporate buying agreement with HP : 80000 people, 80000 laptops. I wonder what my next machine will be... ?

I'm writing this on one now : an Elite Book. Good solid hardware. Some of the best on the market.

Just one question : why ...?

I'm not going to repeat the "why by Palm?" stuff above, but .,..... why ??????

I really REALLY do not get this.

Really don't.

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Boffin

RE: Really... ?

I'd say it's about margin figures for growth. PCs (including laptops) make large revenue numbers but not that much margin, are expensive to manufacture (you need factories and warehouses and lots of people) and the stock can age (which means if you make too many you have to bin them when you make the next generation). But software gets written once, then you just need to update it and test it. No need for massive warehouses (anyone notice how hp is pushing all their software to e-LTUs, which means you're buying a download, so their expense is only a website and a licensing system) or factories, and since you're just cloning the copy on the download server there is no stock to age. And software has rediculous margins - just look at SAP and Oracle.

Leo is keen on enterprise hardware (which has high margins and lots of associated sales pull-through), enterprise software (mega-margins, lower support costs) and services (though I'm not sure Leo actually gets services).

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WTF?

Re:

Gees!

You will buy your 80000 laptops from whoever will pick up the PC biz.

Just as with the IBM / Lenovo transition, the procurement contracts will be transferred and nothing will change overnight

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Really... ?

"And software has rediculous margins - just look at SAP and Oracle."

Not arguing with anything other than your spelling here, but both of those companies are notorious for holding their customers' balls very firmly (and frequently the end-users' balls if you take the user experience into account, particularly with SAP's hateful applications). The stupid rich may seek out such solutions, and maybe for some there'll be no choice for a long time, but such stuff is ripe for a devaluation.

Face it: this is HP's Elop moment. Bloke shows up from SAP, persuades the board to give into their lusts and desires (in this case, HP desperately wanting to be IBM so badly), and torches swathes of promising products in a value-destruction purge. Still, if HP ends up selling stuff off, the value will hopefully be realised elsewhere.

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Unhappy

Didn't the Reg used to have an RIP icon?

Sad news (although not as sad as what happened to Alpha). Not that I had, or particularly wanted, one - in part because of the hardware, in part because the app stores was so far behind - but I hate to see interesting tech disappearing. Perhaps Google could buy them for the patents?

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Unhappy

HP have got billions of my money?

I wondered where it went.

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Irony

Not so autonomous now, are they?

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Silver badge

Waiting for the woot

This is going to be a screaming deal on geek toys.

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heh

I have conflicting emotions at the moment. On one hand I'm happy. As I've been wanting a touchpad, but refuse to pay such a high asking price for it. And now that it is discontinued, I imagine the price will drop, sharply, shortly. But, on the other hand, I'm sad, as I'll have to rely entirely on the geek community for new apps and support. Come to think of it, maybe the negative aspect isn't so bad...

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Boffin

RE: heh

The 16GB model is going for £295 on Amazon. I'd probably buy one if they get down to £199, I'm not really bothered with the higher spec model as tablets like this are really more about consumption than production (and it has WiFi and Flash to help with the consuming). If I want a tablet for actual productive tasks it would probably be a bigger one like the hp Slate 500 (proper x86 CPU, Win7, more/better apps), and they're going around the £500 mark. Now, I wonder if anyone has put CentOS onto a Slate 500 yet.....

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WTF?

RE: RE: heh

Now here's a funny thing - this morning the Bestbuy.com in the US website is flogging off the Touchpads at $99 and $199, but the UK site still has the 16GB model at £349 and the 32GB model at £429 (that's US$575.85 and US$707.85 for you ex-colonials)! Seeing as they're supposed to have only shifted 100 units in the UK, you would think the Bestbuy UK management would have dropped their prices as quickly as their US counterparts. Oh well, looks like I'll have to get a US model and an international charger and get them shipped over here.

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Thumb Up

There is room for 3 players

...in the mobile space. iOS, Android and Windows. That's it. Everything else cannot compete. So good riddance to WebOS and the rest.

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Thumb Down

I disagree

Had Nokia done the sensible thing and bought Palm - and they threw that chance away pre-Elop, remember - it could have been a whole different story.

As it is, we lose an alternative and an incentive to compete and innovate.

And that is always bad.

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Facepalm

3 players?

@Bugs R Us - You must be joking. How much investment is it going to take over the current level to pull mobile Windows up from 1% market share to something that makes a difference in the real world? $5B a year? 10? Has Microsoft even got enough money to pull this off?

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You're right

Mikel, you make sense, but we are talking Microsoft. They will spend whatever it takes until there is no hope. Remember PlaysForSure? Zune? All the money poured into XBox? etc? etc? etc?

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Thumb Down

@Dogged

Dogged, you are assuming that Nokia could have done a better job than HP in promoting the OS , and that they could have conjured up the Eco system people seem to need to see before they buy.

If they had bought it at the time, they would have had two competing Linux based OS's, (including Maemo) would probably have spent years trying to merge them (so they could please all internal interests) plus more time making the whole thing QT based.

Even if they had done that they would still have had to announce that Symbian was being discontinued in four years, and faced the massive drop in sales that appears to have exacerbated .

What they did do, was hire the chap who designed the WebOS UI and set him to work on Symbian and Meego which was significantly cheaper. And they lied to themselves about how long it would take to fill in the missing pieced from Maemo and create an ecosystem, then they got distracted by the fairly pointlees partnership with Intel.

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FAIL

Good Greif

Just yesterday I pointed out that HP's executards are failboys of the highest order, only for them to go and compound their fail with an extreme over-reaction to their initial fail.

10 Billion for Autonomy? A British Search company that is virtually unheard of outside of the UK and/or the banking sector?

I'm sure their enterprise search is good, they have some decent customers according to their site but 10 billion dollars?

It makes Googles $12B for Motorola look like an astute purchase really.

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Facepalm

or

UK, US and EU Government, the Military, health, pharmaceuticals - just because you have not heard of it....

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As a former PC repair technician

IMHO, HP should stop making laptops. They are not very good at it.

As far as these tablets go, can they run Android?

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Happy

Consultants and the marketing department

massive palm os fan that just sadly watched it all get thrown away through the 90's and the noughties through successive regime changes who frankly didn't have a clue but i am sure have done well for themselves and their families with pensions and share options so thats ok...

now i am an apple house and howl like you want but for me (a 40 something, 20 year plus HP-UX 10.20, 11, Solaris 8 etc etc and linux admin) it just works and thats what I want.

I love technology and I want android to push IOS dev and vice verse and I just get tired seeing the crap that that is spouted on these forums about one technology being better than the other it's boring, christ its all great, buy what you want and deal with it be happy

Rant over thank your for listening

although of course we all know xz spectrum with a 32k ram pack and a kempston joystick hanging off the back was far better than a c64.........fight (I was a rich boy and had both!!)

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Rich boy

A proper rich boy would have had a BBC Micro with a 6502 second processor for the ultimate (at the time) Elite experience.

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So...

Will the spin off of the PC business be called Compaq or Digital Equipment Corporation or something nondescript like Lenovo?

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Nya
Alert

Re: So...

Think it'll be called Microsoft Hardware division ;)

Back in January there was a lot on the rumour mill that HP were getting rid of the hardware business to go all cloud service based and invention (which they've always been good at) in a kind of IBM model. Was also a load of rumours that MS was snuffling around them to go into the hardware business themselves. If this occurs sheesh it's going to shake things up in the market place. Throw in a Nokia buy out also and we oddly have what seem's like some kind of direction for both HP and MS.

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Facepalm

HP Invention?

HP has long since abandoned invention come to think of it, it is no longer part of the logo either. Their labs is a shadow of its former self (although remarkably has managed to up the manager:doer ration :-), engineers in divisions get far less time to innovate ad the emphasis is all on growth through acquisition.

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@Nya

Interesting thought, if you couple that with Google's recent purchase of Motorola you have the very real prospect of gPhone + gPad and mPhone + mPad from the other two 800lbs gorillas on the scene.

I know Big G has said they don't plan to do anything with Moto, but I can't quite bring myself to believe that - because, well, what would be the point in spending all of that money? I think they're just making sure the likes of HTC and Samsung don't immediately jump off the Android ship before they can get some hardware developed.

Nokia and HTC could be the biggest losers in all of this, HTC has never had its own OS to fall back on, they would almost certainly have to fork Android and Nokia are in the middle of putting theirs into the recycling bin, their best bet might be to see if they can get all of the crumbs and old teabags off Meego.

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Silver badge

Oh please lord

Let the hive at HP do the right thing and let Autonomy drive. We're talking about a company that has been on cruise control for far too long. Groping around for a savior to hit one more home run and pulling them after two strikes and three balls. They are about as directionless as a company can be, it boggles the mind how they stayed alive for so long since their printers became doorstops.

Let's do a test. Would everyone who has seen or heard an advertisement for a WebOS device please raise your hand? Ok, put your hand down if it wasn't on TV or radio. Good! Now both of you can put your hands down. Now let's do the same thing for Apple devices, hands if you've seen an ad. Ok and hands down if it wasn't on TV or radio... wait, isn't anyone going to put their hand down?

Well, that confirms it. HP's marketing department is slightly worse than Palm's was and both were too focused on being an iPhone instead of making WebOS the best it could be. Seriously, how many man hours were wasted trying to sync with iTunes in the early days. I just hope all those HP are sure to let go find work quickly.

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Unhappy

it was always said

that HP would market ushi as cold, dead, wet fish - come and get it. Nothing much has changed.

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FAIL

Cheap tablets?

Oh, no you don't!

Correct corporate procedure in this case is to recall all shipped tablets and crush them with a bulldozer. If we can't make a profit out of them, NOBODY WILL! is a corporate mantra.

cf. Beechcraft Starship for more details.

Still it is astonishing to see such a big, allegedly well informed company go so horrifically off the rails. The phrase "couldn't lose money quicker if they simply shovelled it out the window" comes to mind.

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Meh

Something else?

Does this mean that your TouchPad competition (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/09/win_hp_touchpad/) is cancelled?

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Anonymous Coward

Yes Worksite

And they already have TRIM in their fold.

What will they do?

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Meh

You think there was much cheering going on

in Cupertino?

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Probably not

Apple is probably already heads-down on their next thing. If they notice at all, it would probably be to say "Dang, that was quick" or "Hm, I wonder if X is looking for a job now. We could sure use ..."

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FAIL

hmm a question

Don't you generally want to find a buyer first before announcing your intentions? Wonder how nasty the Osborne effect is going to be on HP current quarter.

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Anonymous Coward

title

So, was the Palm purchase just a cheap way to get a few talented engineers and a whole slew of patents then?

Make a token effort to use the product, ditch at first available opportunity and go on the patent troll hunt?

I await the first "HP sues [insert tech company]" headline on el reg any time now.

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Joke

They do have form

HP acquires companies like dogs chase cars. Fun to do, but can't drive them when they catch them.

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FAIL

12345

One had merely to look at who announced the product ...

Who had it in his sweaty palms ...

Why, Mr Ballmer, of course!

FAIL right from the beginning.

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Facepalm

Everyone forgot how to read? WebOS != dead (yet)

Skimming does not equate to reading.

"continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward."

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WebOS == dead

If a company does not have the patience and confidence to develop products on the platform itself then why should anyone else invest further in it? Use in printers and fridges etc. will be of no consequence to anyone outside of HP.

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