There is a large variety out there today in the handheld market, but Palm was one of the pioneers. For many, the Palm-based OS was the operating system of choice. From the Palm OS, the next OS to be developed was Web OS, which was the final product of Palm. After a series of strategic errors, the company eventually could not keep up with the ever-changing technology market. As a result, Palm ended up being acquired by HP (Hewlett-Packard).
HP has been going through major changes itself. After buying Palm, HP decided to create the Touchpad, which would run on Web OS. However, after the Touchpad was on the market for a relatively short time, HP announced that it would be ending its project with Web OS. The price of the Touchpad dropped from $599 to $100-150, depending on the model, producing a huge fire sale of the Touchpad. It was sold out in a matter of hours and many people couldn’t even get their hands on it.
After that, another run was made, producing one or two million more Touchpads, and as of now, most of these have already been sold. There has been no further talk of more Touchpads being produced in the near future.
In addition to HP killing Web OS, a decision was made to scrap HP’s personal computer division as well. All of these radical changes led to the CEO being fired and replaced by former E-Bay CEO Meg Whitman.
With her years of experience as a CEO, she has decided to change some of the ideas that the former CEO, Leo Apotheker, had. For instance, she decided not to close or spin-off the PC (personal computer) division. In terms of Web OS, it is still unclear what its future will be. As of Oct 21, 2011, Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP’s personal systems group, announced that they would make a final decision about the future of the Web OS platform in a couple of months.
The select few who were fortunate to get the Touchpad at the sale price got themselves a great deal. Web OS is a great competitor to Google’s Honeycomb OS and even to the iPad, especially for that price. Currently, there is still a community of techies out there who are making apps. In the event that this comes to an end, there are those who are talking about installing Google’s OS on the Touchpad, in place of Web OS.
As for future tablets from HP, that remains to be seen. However, I wouldn’t write them off just yet. The reality is that the tablet business has become very profitable and popular. The latest talk on the web is that HP is working on a tablet that will run Windows 8.
Windows 8 is almost sure to be tablet-friendly. Currently, Apple is getting a large chunk of the tablet market, and Google’s OS is making tremendous headway. It would be a huge mistake on Microsoft and HP’s part to not get on the bandwagon. The reality is that the computer business is changing radically right before our eyes.
It is crucial to a company’s survival for it to stay on top of its market and know what and when to give its customers. If a company does not keep up with the market’s demands in a timely fashion, it could eventually become the next Palm.