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21Aug/11Off

Windows Phone 7 is dead

TechOps Guy: Nate

That is the headline of this news article, and as I read the article, and more importantly the comments I couldn't help but think about the parallels between both of those and HP's now defunct WebOS (yeah I know officially HP has committed to continue support but most people expect nothing to come of it unfortunately).

Here is part of the list, see the article for the rest

  1. Sales are plummeting - Same was said for WebOS
  2. Mango (new version of Windows phone 7) is taking too long - Same was said for WebOS 3, Pre3, and the Pre3's lack of running WebOS 3
  3. Customer's don't care - Similar things said about WebOS
  4. Nokia doesn't matter - HP at least believed the Palm brand didn't matter since they killed the Palm name earlier in the year..

I'd say a good 8 out of 10 of those points could of applied to WebOS/Palm as well. I also suspect that the same could possibly be said of RIM as well.

But the comments from the community responding to the article were much more similar to what the hard core WebOS community would say than I would of expected and thought that was fascinating.

Maybe it's coincidence, but I have seen more than one suggestion from the WebOS community that Windows Phone 7 is the closest user experience to WebOS.

I was never a strong defender of the WebOS platform, I used it for myself, thought it was a solid product line, never tried to talk someone else into using it, though often times I wanted to try (unlike some other products/companies I talk about on this site). I suppose deep down I knew they needed "more" to appeal to more users so I was patient  - waiting until the day they had those core elements completed, HP wasn't so patient though.

For me, I ordered a pair of unlocked Pre 3 phones from the UK for about $500 each last night in the hopes they will ship. Far more than I've ever spent on a phone before, but given the retirement of the hardware and no future prospects of new hardware at this point, ironically it was a pretty easy decision to make. I just hope they have stock. The price point almost assures there won't be a mad dash to buy them like with the Touchpad. If I get lucky and HP has a fire sale of the remaining stockpile of Pre3s in the US, I'll pickup more. My only real concern is batteries - what's the best way of storing a battery if your not going to use it for a year or more ? Should it be fully discharged? Should I keep it on the charger the whole time? Maybe it doesn't matter what I do.

At this point I guess I'm glad HP left the Pre 3 with WebOS 2.2 where there was/is a stronger development base on the Mojo(?) SDK with many more applications. WebOS 3 by contrast that runs on the Touchpad uses another, incompatible SDK Enyo.

One of the strange decisions HP/Palm made was when they built the original SDK they didn't take into account large screens, so when the Tablet came around they had to re-do it. Unfortunately for some reason they didn't make the new SDK good for small screens for some reason (I assume that reason was lack of time and resources for the schedule), so developers were stuck having to use two different ways of writing apps to support the Phone vs Tablet, not a good way to attract developers from competing platforms.

But like most of the faults I believe it would of been fixed at some point in the not too distant future(~1 year or so), once Palm had the ability to stabilize and catch their breath from the break neck pace they've been working at for years now.

I think what hurt Palm/HP/WebOS more than anything is they didn't have enough resources to pull off what they needed to in the time allowed. I have little doubt they tried to hire like crazy after HP bought them but there just wasn't enough time to develop these 3 products, and ramp up hiring / get people familiar enough with the platform to be really productive at developing by the time they had to launch their products.

Made me think back to this post about a year ago.

The main difference between WP7 and WebOS, as I've mentioned before, is that Microsoft is not going to give up on their platform. WP7 may die, or may not, I don't know. But if it does MS will re-work it, and try again. I had expected and hoped, as mentioned before, HP was going to do the same with WebOS.

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