I am in receipt of two HP TouchPad tablet computers, both as part of long-term reviews.
One of them was given to me by a very high-level contact at HP – thanks, B.H., while the other was from a team working on TouchPad
I am also expecting another one, and possibly two more devices for a review regimen I am in the process of developing.
In the meantime, I will use one of the TouchPads exclusively, and I have given the other to a medical provider to use instead of her iPad.
The use of any Unix-based OS is something I do not do, and using a Linux-based operating system has been an anathema to me. Always.
Simple: it is a direction being traveled by HP
For me at the day job, HP is an essential strategic partner. More importantly, as we attempt to move further up the food chain to the upper midmarket and larger companies.
As a result, HP’s decision to ship webOS on all computers, starting at the end of this year regardless of what the primary operating system is on the system, requires a response from us.
The response: we need to know more about webOS. Period.
In that vein, I have tried to immerse myself in all things webOS, and devour all the information I can get. I have had the opportunity of aligning myself with two of the most knowledgeable people on webOS outside of HP, and I have even registered on their website.
For a couple of days, I tried to use a Palm Pre2, which runs webOS v2.0.
As a Windows Phone 7 user, and with several years’ experience with Windows Mobile, I found the device lacking.
While powerful, it was not as user-friendly as I was used to on Windows Phone, and it required an intimate knowledge of the device. I was not ready to invest the time or effort, so I returned the device to its keeper.
When BH offered me the opportunity to review a TouchPad, I jumped at it. It runs o webOS 3.0, which promised to be a huge leap forward in usability for the device.
Furthermore, I believe that when the dust settles, there would be three tablet platforms left standing, especially in and for the enterprise: Windows 8, webOS, and the iPad. I will try not to dismiss Android devices out of hand here, but I don’t see enterprises buying them, and having to support several variants of the same OS on several devices, of which quite a few will be running dead-ended revs of the OS.
With that as the baseline, TouchPad takes on a new importance.
Right now, the enterprise tablet space is a greenfield. The current pretenders are simply clueless about the true needs of the enterprise. With TouchPad, HP has an opportunity to establish a foothold in the enterprise before its primary competitor there – Windows 8 tablets – materialize.
For IT professionals, especially all of you Connect members, this is a great opportunity.
Even as I write this, divisions within HP are trying to help you get the best out of your use of a TouchPad. Case in point is the excellent StorageInfoTab. This app allows you insight into a myriad number of HP storage arrays, from the HP 3Par boxes to the EVA. Additionally, it is F-R-E-E!!! The excellent MagCloud service, which I use to publish The Interlocutor, is also close to releasing a TouchPad app as well.
This is only the beginning. For those of you with knowledge of CSS and HTML, Enyo, the development environment for webOS, awaits.
Straight, no chaser
Over the next few months, I shall continue to bring you my experiences with TouchPad.
My experiences, however, will remain independent.
I am a hard taskmaster, and I need devices I work with to just work. While passionate about the products I use, my primary need is for them to be user friendly, and not need me to crack open a manual or escalate to a guru to perform mundane tasks.
The good thing here is that I expect to be able to get my feedback become actionable at very high levels. And I will provide them.
You should, as well.
I will stand by my words, and you would be given the unvarnished truth straight up.
If you do not seem to be getting heard, do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com, and I will advocate to HP on your behalf.
John Obeto is CEO & Chief Technology Officer of Logikworx. He blogs at AbsolutelyWindows and tweets as @johnobeto. These are his independent opinions.
He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Connect.