The Post TouchPad Lesson
How the mighty have fallen! HP kills its Touchpad and its darling WebOS. It is inevitable if you are playing reactive to the market. I personally don’t shed a single tear for HP. Yes, they deserve to fail in the tablet venture.
Why? You asked. Because without HP there will not be iPad. Yes, believe it or not, there is a device that Apple copied, and it is made by HP. It is the reference slate device called HP TC1100.
When HP decided to abandon the slate format in 2005, all of tablet users thought HP was crazy. The tablet was beautiful, a sign of things to come. We started a campaign to have HP rescind on its decision and develop the slate line further, but they refused. They told us the Slate format is dead, they were turning out the convertible format in droves. Go read the history in www.tabletpcbuzz.com if you are interested.
So Apple stole HP’s thunder and released the iPad and broke the tablet market. All HP can do was dust-off the a TC1100 follower they had shelved years ago called HP 500 tablet. A lack luster device that failed miserably. Then they bought Palm and the venture into the WebOS world. The rest of the story is known all too well to you all.
But something wonderful happened at the demise of the Touchpad, there was a clamor for it! Are you kidding me?! Why are people clamoring for a dead device, whose marketplace and development is dead in the waters? Price, yes just the price!
The death of Touchpad showed that people will buy a functional tablet if the price is right! Microsoft and its OEM can learn a lot from this. The touchpad at $99 is just a web-browsing device and people are willing to pay for it. Can you then imagine what will happen if we have tablet that has a good ecosystem behind it, vis-à-vis Windows8, and cheap price. People will buy it in droves!
If MS is willing to take a hit on Windows8 tablets by subsidizing them like they did with xBox, they can stall the onslaught of Apple and take the wind off their sail. This will get people comfortable with tablets on Windows platform. Coupled with the availability of Pen-computing on Windows platform, MS will have a winner on its hand. Lets just hope that the death of Touchpad will bring something beautiful: affordable tablets on the Windows8 ecosystem.