“In short HP needs to hit the ball out of the park tonight”
So ended my previous post on my expectations of yesterdays WebOS Connect, so did it? Yes and no.
Ignoring the venue (Bar Music Hall, Shoreditch – which was great), I want to focus on what I wanted form the event, namely details of how HP is going to support developers and get its products to market.
What information we actually got was scant, I’m glad HP has heard the complaints/issues of developers:
- Lack of a universal App Catalog,
- difficulty in registering as a developer,
- Difficulty in getting devices to test applications
- Lack of Communication
These are not new issues and have been prevelent since day one.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, I understand that but what I wanted to hear was not ‘we have heard you’, I wanted ‘We’ve heard you and here are the details of how were working through the problem‘. An example is developer days, there are going to be more. Great, but when will they happen? HP wants to help with marketing, fantastic but how will it happen? For every announcement a curious lack of detail is evident. It would appear that I am not alone in these thoughts, as (anecdotal as it may be) other developers I spoke to at the event walked away with the same impression.
More concerning, was the lack of information for launch partners for the Veer, Pre 3 and TouchPad. It’s Stating the obvious but, the main way that people buy phones is on contract, as we know HP does not have a device that people can walk into a phone store and purchase on contract today. Specifics in this case were not required, as I’m sure that negotiations are still on going but a presence from any of the major mobile carriers would have offered some comfort.
Developing is a business, regardless of the ease of development if there are no devices available today and no details on when new products will be available, developers simply wont commit the money to build WebOS Apps.
And that’s the maddening thing, WebOS is an amazing mobile OS, it offers a clear concise ‘Apple’ like UI experience, innovative features such as Stacks and Just Type and true multitasking.
I want WebOS to succeed, I think that devices such as the TouchPad can really work in the education sector (I’ll blog about that topic later), but as a business case its still needs to prove itself.
Tonight I’m heading to WebOS Connect, HP first ever London based developer event
I’m excited about the potential for WebOS, its still the best mobile OS around. That said competitors are quickly taking the best bits of WebOS and integrating it into their own platforms, WP7 use of the card metaphor for multitasking and Androids use of notifications in Honeycomb.
HP has a huge task on it hands, Palm’s treatment of Europe was sub optimal (to put it politely). For two years developers have watched with envy the regular developer days in New York and California, all European developers could see were power points and the occasional video. This is at odds with the wealth of developer events for Android and iOS all over Europe.
HP needs to make up for lost time, big events like these are great for creating mindshare but what I would like to see are regular sessions highlighting the benefits of WebOS:
Ease of development (HTML/JS/C++ etc)
Ease of Portability (Use the PDK to port from iOS/Android)
All is needed is a room, some laptops and a SME leading the show.
Developers are interested in WebOS once more (WebOS Connect has over 300 attendees from all over the UK at time of writing), but what I want to see is understanding of the mistakes of the past and how HP are moving things forward.
In short HP needs to hit the ball out of the park tonight.