There was plenty of buzz surrounding yesterday's webOS announcements by Hewlett-Packard
The belle of the ball was TouchPad, HP's first stab at a tablet using a refreshed version of the webOS platform it inherited when it acquired Palm last year.
The initial reviews have generally been kind, though one has to wonder if there's really a market there for what is essentially a supersized Palm Pre with a few operating system enhancements. However, we don't know how much these things will cost. Heck, we don't even know when the TouchPad will hit the market.
"Planned availability this summer," teases the tablet's product page.
Not being able to nail down a specific date doesn't bother me. The open-ended nature of "planned" hints at possible delays, but that only irks me a bit. The real deal breaker here is that it may be too late for HP, even if it's cranking these out by June.
The dance floor's going to be pretty crowded by then. Motorola Mobility's
In short, by the time that TouchPad debuts it's going to be battling entrenched giants. The flavor wheel of Apple's iOS, Google's
Do we need a webOS tablet? Do we want a webOS tablet?
All of this has to be driving developers nuts. Cranking out cheap or free ad-supported apps for one platform is hard enough. Eventually, they will just develop for the most popular platforms to maximize their reach. Less popular tablet operating systems will be marginalized. Why should a webOS tablet hold up any better than a webOS smartphone?
At least when Palm was at its peak with its Pre and Pixi devices, the multitasking nature of webOS turned heads. The new webOS is still cool, but not the differentiator that it was two years ago.
I would love to see HP be rewarded for bailing out Palm last year, but this whole process took too long. Technology moves too fast to sit on innovative platforms for too long.
Planned availability this summer? Planned obsolescence this fall!
Which 2011 tablet introduction are you looking forward to the most? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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