The sad story of WebOS and the TouchPad


This article titled “Pre to postmortem: the inside story of the death of Palm and webOS” on The Verge is not new, but it is well worth reading.

It’s a short rundown on the sad story of the one platform that could have become the No. 3 – maybe even No. 2 on a longer time scale – on the tablet/smartphone OS market. To me, HP’s Touchpad looked so promising and the ideas and concepts behind WebOS combined with nice hardware could have been very attractive to many users and developers.

But the story also shows something else: The fate of a technology has so little to do with its actual quality that it really makes you wonder how crazy our market ist. Management driven by quarterly reports and a “vision” can easily wipe a great technology from the table. Failure of technologies often has nothing to do with their quality. Or the other way around, it even makes more sense: just because “everybody” likes, hypes, uses a certain technology, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is good.

There’s another example: If you read reviews of Windows Phone (7 or 8) or Nokia’s newer Lumia Smartphones , the reviewers never forget to mention the low numbers in which the O/S is being sold today, even though reviews of the O/S are positive. Take a step back when you read such a sentence next time ask yourself if it doesn’t make you think: “so maybe I shouldn’t buy one – because obviously nobody else does” ?

The TouchPad had only a few days or weeks to prove whether people like it or not, before its vendor (HP) killed it. So we’ll never know if it would’ve been a serious competitor to iPads and Android Tablets or Windows8-tablets. It’s such a crazy story…