by Gray Graham
If you have followed me for anytime you know how I feel about HP. You know how I feel about the Touchpad. It was a device that looked like it was built by committee instead of just designed to be good.
I like a lot of other people have not been behind HP this year. Their surprising move to end the PC unit and kill webOS made everyone in the business and tech world scratch their heads in amazement.
The board of HP has been very erratic the last couple of years by firing 2 CEO’s in 2 years and even more the past 10. It has seemed like they have completely lost their direction and focus for what they want to do. This is amazing for the original tech start-up firm that has become the largest computer company in the world.
Like many companies in the pc market I believe they lost their focus by trying to be too much like Apple. They see Apple getting all the press, making all that money, with very little actual effort and they became just a little bit jealous. They, like everyone else, has wanted to duplicate Apple’s success.
Well the thing that HP and all the other PC manufacturers need to understand is that Apple is just in a different reality than they are. They do not exist in the real world. Their customers are people that most would say are crazy or just want to be popular. Who else would spend more money for a product that gives you less features and then state it is the greatest thing ever? This is not something the average person would do. Apple is a religion to its customers and the average person just does not work that way.
Instead HP should focus on the rest of us. The people that actually want value for their money. There is nothing wrong with selling Compaq computers that may not be the greatest but are something that the average person can afford. While the Apple faithful and others may not think $100 -200 is a lot, to the average family that could be money to feed your children for a week.
On the high end HP builds computers that surpass Apple products in many ways and they receive many great reviews which I am sure cause the Apple tech journalists faithful a lot of pain.
The most important thing HP has done is that they have kept their word. That is going to go a long way with their customers who have been wondering about the stability of the company that they have grown to love. The fact that HP actually sold the remaining amount of their Touchpads at the same firesale price is really amazing. After that Best Buy bundle deal I had figured they were done with it.
And last but not least HP is making webOS open source. As someone that completely and fully supports open source I am really pleased with this decision. I have seen many mixed comments from tech journalists however, it is like they just want this project to fail. Most companies would rather hold onto something and never use it, than give it to others. I hope this decision goes as well for HP as releasing Netscape Navigator, which evolved into Firefox went for AOL.
Based on the success of that other tech giant everyone else loves Google, open source can be great. After all Android is open source and so is Chromium which Chrome is based. So HP ignore the naysayers. They said the same thing about Firefox, Android, and Linux yet all of those products are still around and doing just fine. Contrary to what you hear, consumers love choice. Thanks for giving us another one.