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Comments on Jon Rubinstein’s WebOS letter

[2011-07-05] mobile, webos
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After initial reviews of HP’s TouchPad were mixed, Jon Rubinstein (head of HP’s Palm unit) wrote a letter [1] to his staff. This post summarizes that letter and gives additional perspective.

The letter

The following are quotes from the letter:
  • People see the potential of WebOS.
    If you’ve seen the recent TouchPad reviews you know that the industry understands HP’s vision and sees the same potential in webOS as we do. David Pogue from the New York Times says “there are signs of greatness here.” (I’ve included links to David’s review and others below.)
  • There are still flaws.
    You’ve also seen that reviewers rightly note things we need to improve about the webOS experience.
  • The flaws can and will be fixed.
    The good news is that most of the issues they cite are already known to us and will be addressed in short order by over-the-air software and app catalog updates. We still have work to do to make webOS the platform we know it can be, but remember... it’s a marathon, not a sprint.


I like that Rubinstein kept his letter short and that he acknowledges the flaws that are there. I also agree with him on the potential of WebOS, whose web technology foundations provide it with three advantages:
  • Easy to get started for web developers. But that also means that HP will (eventually) have to be selective about what apps they accept.
  • You can use much of the same code to run your app on the web. WebOS apps already run in Webkit-based browsers.
  • Future possibility – desktop apps. You would only need to bundle a browser engine with a WebOS app and it could run on all major platforms.

Related reading

  1. Jon Rubinstein sends message to HP staff; Addresses TouchPad reviews