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The upcoming WebOS ecosystem February 10, 2011

Posted by CK in IT, Mobility.
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I was particularly impressed by the HP announcements yesterday, that in addition to a couple of new phones and a tablet based on WebOS, it is also planning desktops/notebooks with the same OS. The main reason being, HP seems to be the second behemoth in a few days that realizes the obvious: Offering a complete ecosystem attracts developers; and a large range of applications attracts users — given, of course, a decent OS in the first place. Apple did this and has been winning the race so far. Microsoft does offer an ecosystem as such, but it doesn’t seem capable to capitalize on it, presumably because the platform/OS itself is not good enough. Android is apparently managing very well on the mobile world, but Google’s proposal on the desktop, ChromeOS, does not integrate on a development level (even though Google’s services make up for that to a large extent). Although this does not hurt Android-phones sales, I believe it is only due to the fact that Android is an open system, so phone manufacturers feel safe to base their businesses upon it.

I really think that WebOS can remain (become?) one of the big players in the future, given this new strategy of HP, its deep pockets, and the system’s quality. If I was a developer, I would be more than happy to create applications for this platform — especially if they have "write once, run everywhere" properties with as little customization as possible.

Hopefully, Nokia will also build on a similar strategy with Meego — even if it must divert towards Windows/Android for a while, to keep the stock holders happy. It would then have the additional advantage of offering an open platform (like Android is) to attract other manufacturers, but compete on device quality where it shines. Revenue from desktop H/W sales would be a bonus.

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Palm Pre March 15, 2009

Posted by CK in Design, IT, Mobility, Software.
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Since I got started, and also since I mentioned the new sweetness from Palm, the Pre, I’d like to write a few more words about it.

The first thing to say, is that I can’t wait until it’s here. By “here”, I mean Europe. I recently switched from my long-beloved Treo to a Nokia E71 and the switch left me with a very bitter taste. So when the Pre was announced (only 2 weeks after I bought the E71 :(), hope resurrected. Palm is back!

Now here’s my wish list for this phone, and I can only hope that some of them will be there out of the box:

  • Support for Greek. Hopefully, it will just be there. After all, they designed the OS from scratch, so they should have taken into account i18n needs of their candidate users.
  • Offline GPS maps with turn-by-turn voice navigation. Some of us don’t have flat-rate data contracts.
  • Possibility to buy it unlocked, without a contract. I hate how this US thing of operator bundling is starting to be applied in Europe.
  • Message delivery notifications. PalmOS did not have that!

Then there is the issue of applications. A phone which does not have enough 3rd-party apps is pretty much useless, no matter how good the original software is. So I hope that the loyal Palm community will catch up soon. I also hope that Cultured Code will consider a port of Things 🙂