If, like me, you had high hopes for Palm’s WebOS platform when it was purchased by HP, the sound of our hopes being dashed sounds remarkably similar to the sound of one of HP’s crappy $100 printers revving up to spray some overpriced ink onto some paper.
Last week HP CEO Mark Hurd dismissed the idea that HP bought Palm to get into the smartphone market, stating that Palm’s intellectual property was of more interest to them.
Well, it turns out that the first fruit of the HP/Palm union will be a printer with its own email address. That’s right, HP isn’t looking to compete in Palm’s core market area, the area where it’s hardware and software showed amazing promise, the area where with some investment and a little care and attention, HP could easily become at least the #2 in smartphone and slate devices.
The New York Times’ story explains that using WebOS, HP’s new range of printers will be fully web accessible, allowing easier printing from web capable devices like smartphones and tablets.
Printing is a core market for HP, but isn’t it likely that the more the world becomes web accessible, the less they will want or need printing? The iPad doesn’t include a way to (natively) print and its been selling out across the country. Sure, the paperless office was a bust, but that doesn’t mean we’re on the precipice of a printing revolution.
I’ll be raising a glass to the demise of WebOS. I’m sure email printing will end up being the next big thing.
Source: New York Times