I had an experience HP tech support for a printer/scanner a few years ago. Long story short, after several frustrating hours on the phone, the unit was in the dumpster. I haven't even considered buying any HP device since.
Several years ago, I purchased an HP plasma TV which was new technology for them at the time. Two warranty factory replacements and one additional service call later, the TV has been functioning without issue for the last few years. HP dropped out of the plasma TV market shortly after my purchase. With this lesson, I steer clear of new HP products until there is a lot of good data behind it.
I was at a local Sam's Club last week, where they had a representative there to demonstrate (and hopefully sell)the tablets.
Unfortunately, the demo unit was locked-up with an error message on the otherwise blank screen. The unit wouldn't even power down, and had been in this state most of the day. The rep. hadn't been able to clear the fault, and his calls to the support center hadn't been able to provide an answer either.
Locking up was bad enough, but not getting an answer from HP's support center, for a representative in the field trying to show this in a very public location... This looks VERY bad for their support capabilities in general!
Fortunately for the sales rep. I was able to fix the problem for him. Unplugging the cable that was connected, and holding all three buttons down together for about 30-seconds while we chatted, forcing a hard reboot. It took several minutes to reinitialize everything, but after that it was working fine. (I didn't "know" that this might work, I simply took my best guess.)
I'm sorry to hear that Mr. Apotheker wants to take HP away from hardware and move to software development/support, but what do you expect from a former software company guy? (Not very good software either, from my experience...)From both a technology and business perspective I feel that this is a huge mistake. If he wants to do software and support, spin that part of the company off and name it something else... Leave the PC unit to someone who actually knows what they're doing, since he very obviously doesn't. He's just trying to justify his recent acquisitions, and will wreck the company in doing this. (Board of Directors and stockholders take note!)
Darn-it! I'll have my newly minted MBA to add to my BSEE in a couple of months, and I could already do a better job of running the company than this joker! I've revived one of their catatonic machines for them already, maybe I could do the same for the rest of the company. ;)
They still support PalmOS, but not webOS. It would be pretty much a complete rewrite from what I understand porting applications between the two. I'd guess that RIM was already in talks with DataViz when webOS debuted, so rewriting for a whole new platform was not resources they wanted to spend.
In any case, if you've not checked out the forums/news at PreCentral .net, you should. There's some good info for all things Palm/webOS, and especially for new TP owners -- as well as tear downs and other things of interest to DesignNews readers. Specifically for you though, I just read an article there about a VP at HP saying QuickOffice will be releasing their document editing version within a week. If the link comes through, it's on PreCentral's website at:
I talked with the folks at documents to go. They still support several palm applications. So it looks like a couple of lines of code would allow touchpad uses to use it today. But I guess HP pride stopped it. Yet iPad supports dos to go. BTW Sprint will get new iPhones in Oct. So I'm definently switching.
Jamit: I have also been a long-time Palm fan, with my Palm IIIx back in the 90s. I currently have a Palm Pre+ and was excited when HP bought Palm and for the TouchPad. Unlike you, though, I did not buy one because it seemed too close to the iPad hardware, but at the price of an iPad2. I was really hoping for the TouchPad 2 in another year.
Anyhow, I wanted to point out that the reason Palm/HP ditched Documents to Go, which I also liked, is because RIM bought DataViz, the company responsible for Docs to Go. As such, RIM turned off all support and development for any OS besides their own (QNX). In a scramble, QuickOffice stepped forward to fill the void. While I think HP could have done more to help out QuickOffice by TP release time, I also think they did the best they could in the very short time they had since the RIM/DataViz announcement.
I'm not quite willing to give up on whatever the Palm spinoff becomes, as Palm has done this sort of thing in the past. (Remember when they threw off PalmOS to ACCESS, which seemed horrible. But we got webOS instead -- a MUCH better product!)
I also agree that the OS is a powerful tool. Unfortunately, the one thing webOS had going for it was the hardware -- in the form of the "gesture area". Software and OSes can be copied relatively easily (just take a look at the Playbook or the various Android themes that look like webOS), but the gesture area would have required a hardware change -- much more difficult. When they gave that up on the TouchPad, I was disappointed. And I think many webOS fans were, too, which is one (small) reason it didn't sell so well, IMO.
Truthfully, when we first took a look at the TouchPad when it was launched, we had a feeling it was DOA. Our first impressions were the units were extremely bulky in comparison to recent releases like the Motorola Xoom or the iPad 2. Secondly, it's price point wasn't competitive. It came it at $499 and $599, the same price as the iPad 2. In a spec-to-spec comparison, they were essentially the same type of product. Why would the average consumer pay what they can pay for an iPad 2 - with its vaunted Apple support and massive, well-developed library of applications, for a tablet with a unproven operating system in webOS.
Unrelated to the previous thread, I just wanted to express how much I love the concept of this "Tear Down" section! If it were not for the watches, toasters, TV's around the house that I dissassembled as a kid, I would never have been the engineer I am today. Just as physicians begin their training in the "Cadaver Lab" I believe, as an educator, designers need to take things apart. And this series in Design News is the next-best thing. In fact, its even better in some respects.
Keep it up, Design News! (One day, you'll be able to put those devices back together! With only a few parts left over :-)
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