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Could HP rejoin Microsoft in 2013? Maybe.

Yesterday, Fox Business has a recent interview with HP CEO Meg Whitman where all aspects of the business were discussed. HP has had a very interesting history these last 10 years and while we don’t want to focus on the changes, it’s on again/off again foray into smartphones is highly relevant.

To that issue, Whitman was asked directly "So a smartphone is not if, but when, for Hewlett-Packard?" to which Whitman replied:

"[HP will] have to ultimately offer a smartphone, because in many countries in the world that is your first computing device. You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a PC or desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We're a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor."

That’s a smart analysis of the mobile industry but also a tough problem to solve.

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Yesterday, HP's CEO Meg Whitman made the public announcement about the future of WP7's competitor webOS, and that announcement set the world into a downward spiral of emotional charges, cheerleading, Nostradamus-like predictions and opinionated blog posts (though the only ones you need to read are those at our sister-site PreCentral.net *ahem* WebOSNation.com). Still, we haven't tackled the issue that stands in front of us today as a result of this decision - how will an open sourced webOS affect Microsoft's rising efforts with WP7?

As Derek Kessler has stated,

"Open sourcing is the middle road between killing webOS outright and selling it. In essence they’re giving it to the community that has cared about it and ensured that it continued to exist to this point. But how long webOS will continue to exist and be relevant after this point? That all depends on the almighty hardware."

As of right now, HP's decision to open source webOS has very little affect on WP7, if any at all. The affect that it could have is completely dependent upon the "almighty hardware"; hardware that has yet to be designed and built with OEM's that have yet to decide whether they want to use the platform. Also considering that it will still take time before webOS is actually open sourced (legal issues, you know), WP7 fans should have no worries about what could happen within the next year, or longer.

That said, webOS would be joining Google as one of two major open source operating systems (the term "major" meaning released worldwide to several million users). In some parallel Universe, and possibly this one, webOS will someday make it into all popular manufacturer's hands and dozens of smartphone handset models (which would turn into millions of users worldwide). But there is also the possibility that HP will just let webOS squander in the shadows before finally kicking the bucket without a single care from the world.

Bottom line is, we just don't know what will happen, and saying otherwise is only speculation. Of course, an open sourced webOS could bring some positive things to the WP ecosystem as well; we all know that friendly competition and technological innovation is good for everyone, no matter which side of the court they're playing on.

Read more about Open Source webOS at WebOSNation.com

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Free US Windows Phone Camps

We have more camps being listed so be sure to get your calendars out and insert events. The array of Windows Phone developer camps will be freely available for all. Developers from other platforms are recommended to visit one of the days should they wish to expand their reach onto Microsoft's platform.

We've bolded the two special days in Boston (12-13 October) where the second day will be a hands-on for developing apps and will feature successful developers providing advice and support.

  • 9/20/2011 - Charlotte NC
  • 9/22/2011 - Alpharetta GA
  • 9/27/2011 - Malvern PA
  • 9/29/2011 - Reston VA
  • 10/12/2011 - Cambridge MA (Day 1)
  • 10/13/2011 - Cambridge MA (Day 2)
  • 10/18/2011 - Chevy Chase MD
  • 10/19/2011 - New York City
  • 10/25/2011 - Tampa FL
  • 10/27/2011 - Burlington VT
  • 11/2/2011 - Raleigh NC
  • 11/4/2011 - Ft. Lauderdale FL
  • 11/8/2011 - Orlando FL
  • 11/10/2011 - Coral Gables FL
  • 11/10/2011 - New Paltz NY
  • 11/15/2011 - Blacksburg VA
  • 11/17/2011 - Washington DC
  • 11/29/2011 - Atlanta GA
  • 11/29/2011 - Pittsburgh PA
  • 12/1/2011 - Hempstead NY

Be sure to check out the announcement article over at MSDN (link below) for more information and links to register at each event.

Source: MSDN, thanks minibeardeath for the tip!

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Nokia to learn from HP and webOS

Seems Nokia is taking what happened with webOS and HP into account with their devotion to Windows Phone. The handset manufacturer plans to avoid the sort of trouble that now plagues webOS and will ensure that teams are taking extreme measures to reach perfection.

Gary Chan, head of ecosystem and developer experience at Nokia Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, spoke to ZDNet Asia about why he felt webOS failed with HP. He explained that the market which webOS was targeting wasn't large enough and the platform didn't provide the means for developers to monetize their apps.

Vlasta Berka, general manager for Nokia Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei moved onto say that the breakdown between webOS and HP won't help Nokia and Microsoft since it doesn't matter how many platforms are competing in the market. For the consumer, the more ecosystems available, the better. The amount of effort required to be poured into the partnership remains the same.

"The party who suffers from a number of ecosystems being readily available are developers", Vlasta continued. "They may face a more challenging time deciding which platform to focus their projects [and resources] on".

Nokia will understand this more clearly once their Windows Phone handsets are in the field as they'll then be supporting three platforms - Symbian, MeeGo and Windows Phone.  As for MeeGo, Vlasta said the company has no plans to launch a second device this year and will more than likely leave it up to how popular the N9 becomes and what demand there is.

Source: ZDNet

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With the future of webOS still being anyone's guess, transitioning to a Windows Phone might be an attractive alternative for the webOS crowd to consider. We've touched on transitioning from webOS to a Windows Phone and now we thought we would toss together a quick round-up of the Windows Phones that are currently available.

Mango is set to be released later this Fall and will bring a handful of new phones to the market. Understandably some may decide to hold off and wait a few months for the second generation of Windows Phones to become available.  However, without official specifications available, we'll keep this roundup focused on Windows Phones you can get your hands.

We've got them broken down by carrier and to see what's available, slide on past the break.

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While Brandon Watson is offering an alternative to webOS developers in the form of transition support, AdDuplex is offering a little help of their own. The offer is simple, port your app to Windows Phone and AdDuplex will give you 20,000 ad impressions.

As with most free offers there are rules (to prevent anyone from taking advantage of the deal) and they are as follows:

  • Have an app published in the official application store on other mobile platform before August 22, 2011.
  • Port and publish it in Windows Phone Marketplace from August 22, 2011 to December 31, 2011.
  • Request your 20,000 ad impressions coupon by sending links to your app on the other platform and Windows Phone platform to info@adduplex.com

While this will help webOS developers get started, the offer is also being extended to Android, iOS, and Blackberry developers. It's nice to see the Windows Phone community offer alternatives to webOS and other developers.

Even if webOS finds a way to survive (which we hope it will) these offers will give developers a means to diversify their lineup.

source: blog.adduplex

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Looks like Microsoft's Brandon Watson got more than he expected when he Tweeted about webOS devs switching to Windows Phone. In a follow up Tweet, he notes the overwhelming response:

"...I have >500 emails in just the last 22 hours. Had to rethink the algorithm for responding to all."

Watson goes into more detail in the letter to soon-to-be-former webOS devs who expressed interest in the Windows Phone developer system:

"First things first. Thank you so much for reaching out to the Windows Phone team to signal your interest in bringing your talents to our platform. To be honest, we didn’t expect this level of response, so we were caught a bit flatfooted. It took a few days (on the weekend) to pull all the mails together into one place to allow me to respond in a smart way and not retype every mail by hand. Consider this a first step in building a relationship with the Windows Phone team. We are psyched to have you aboard and to see what your imagination can do on the Windows Phone canvas."

As the news and ramifications of HP dropping hardware development for webOS sinks in, it will be interesting to see where webOS customers and developers head--Android, Windows Phone or the iPhone. So far, it seems like many have expressed interest in Windows Phone due to its elegance and lets face it, superior developer support. Either way, good job on Watson for seizing the moment and giving hope to devs who may need some work ASAP.

Related: see our guide for consumers switching from webOS to WP7

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While the aftershocks from HP showing webOS hardware the door continue to ripple throughout the smartphone industry, Microsoft is extending a hand to webOS developers. Brandon Watson has extended an offer to any published webOS developer to provide them what they need to successfully transition to Windows Phone.

According to the tweet that includes phones, development tools and training. At last check the tweet has been re-tweeted 100+ times and has received several positive replies and interest from webOS developers.

Personally, I hope webOS finds a way to survive for sentimental reasons. But it's nice to see Microsoft extending a hand to the webOS community to give developers options.

source: @brandonwatson via: thenextweb

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HP made their quarterly fiscal report today and announced that they planned to discontinue operations for webOS devices including their TouchPad and webOS (formerly Palm) phones.  Wow.

In the press release, HP did leave the door open stating they will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward. What this means is anyone's guess. As our friends at PreCentral note, HP is discontinuing operations for webOS devices, not the OS itself.

Could we see HP follow suit and license out webOS to, say, HTC? Could HP take advantage of all the headaches/litigation Android is creating and offer manufacturers an alternative? Personally, I just don't see HP giving up on webOS after, only a year ago, spending $1.2 billion to acquire the system. On the other hand, who is interested in licensing an OS that has failed to catch on? Twice.

What does this mean for everyone else? I'm not sure if it will really impact Microsoft, Google, Apple or RIM. While webOS devices have a strong following, they were on a downhill slide when HP acquired Palm and never took off. With Mango just around the corner, Microsoft may be able to attract Pre customers with webOS's future being uncertain.

As a former Palm user (still have my first Palm Pilot) I hope HP finds a way to keep webOS as a viable system. One thing is for certain though, it seems these days the smartphone industry is constantly changing.

You can read HP's full press release on their quarterly report after the break.

Update: The Verge confirms that HP is not killling WebOS as a platform and they are looking for partners and options. In short, they're killing HP's attempt at hardware noting that they need to stop putting under-performing hardware in the market. Still, WebOS's future, even as an OS, obviously remains in dire straits.

via: PreCentral

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Research group, Chitika, is reporting that Windows Phone 7 has gained enough of the smartphone market to bring it on par with HP's (Palm's) webOS.  Since February, WP7 has risen from 0.44% to 0.5%, putting it in a virtual tie with webOS' estimated 0.53%, down from 0.84% in the same period.  While this may not seem very impressive at first blush, it is significant because newcomer WP7 is now even, and set to overtake, an already established OS.  Windows Phone has been slowly gaining ground since its launch, while webOS has been steadily declining. 

Chitika predicts that WP7 will potentially spike once it makes its way over to Verizon, though its arrival has seen more than its fair share of delays.  Verizon has worked wonders for market leader, Android, as it accounts for more than half of all Android devices out there.  The slow growth of Windows Phone 7 seems to be less about quality, as most devices seem to receive high marks, and more about accessibility.  Once Big Red gets in the game, it could mean some substantial gains for Microsoft.

Source: 1800PocketPC; Via: Chitika

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OK, that's singularly the weirdest headline I've every written. But it's true. Our fearless leader is championing Palm's webOS in the third annual Smartphone Round Robin, and its our job (you guys think I'm doing this by myself?) to teach him a thing or three about the latest in Windows Mobile.

You saw our sit-down during which Dieter took a look at the Touch Pro 2 and HD2, right? And you've been to the forums to answer some of his questions about the latest and greatest, right? And you know that anytime you do so you're entered to win a WinMo smartphone of your choice (up to $1,000), right?

C'mon. Let's show the boss the error of his webOS-lovin' ways, shall we?

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Myriad metaphors come to mind when thinking about Palm and Microsoft. David and Goliath. A young upstart fighter who took a couple of punches, versus an aging but still powerful opponent. A young executive overtaking the old man in the corner office. Take your pick.

In the past year, Palm announced and delivered on a new (and some say revolutionary) operating system and a pair of new phones. Microsoft announced and delivered another iteration of its operating system, which has found itself on a number of new devices. Their stories parallel each other, though many say the companies and their platforms are traveling in opposite directions.

After the break, we go in-depth with Palm's webOS from a Windows Mobile perspective, Smartphone Round Robin-style.

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And so it begins. We kick off the third annual Smartphone Round Robin today by going head-to-head with Palm's webOS, the Pre and the Pixi — and one Dieter Bohn, esq., of PreCentral.net.

We've all seen webOS before, so it's the bells and whistles I was really interested in. Does it stand up with long-term multi-tasking? Will the Pre really skip across a pond? Things like that. And I have some of the same knocks as longtime users of webOS. The Pre is great, that's for sure. But will webOS hold up over time? Are the trade-offs made by the Pixi -- speed and WiFi -- really worth it?

So, I've started a thread in the PreCentral.net forums to help sort some of this out. And for our part, we've got video after the break of Dieter learnin' me a thing or three about this newfangled platform. (Note: No Pixis -- or Pixies -- were harmed by the monstrous HTC HD2 in the making of this video). So check it all out after the break, and get ready for more Round Robin coverage to come.

Let's get it on!

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