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« WOW! Did not see this coming. HP ends Palm/WebOS based smartphones | Main | Why Europe Is So Critical to Nokia in Smartphones: The Symbian S^3 Sales Pattern in Q4 »

August 21, 2011

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Donald

@Kevin

I do weigh things up, but Daniel is a special case...

Daniel has difficulties distingushing himself between the two identities, one being the shareholder, and one be a "jouralist", these are well documented infact. He never says anything bad about Apple, he is basically an unpaid PR team for them.


Donald

@Eurofan

Beware, if you are going to read his documents as a valid history, they will have a strong Apple slant. I own alot of Apple equipment, and are happy to say good things about them when credit is due, but remember, Daniel has a finanical interest in saying good things about them, and will generally always put a negative slant on a competitor regardless of how well they do.

beats by dre store

Daniel has a finanical interest in saying good things about them, and will generally always put a negative slant on a competitor regardless of how well they do.Daniel has a finanical interest in saying good things about them, and will generally always put a negative slant on a competitor regardless of how well they do.

Eurofan

The thing is it's so hard to get any insightful history of Microsoft software. I just finished a bunch of essays in his OS history series, written a four years ago, and I have a much better handle on Microsoft history up to the present, now, so I am grateful to him for putting out the effort to write those. Browsing through some of his postings from the last two years and the present, yes, he's become pretty stridently, sarcastically pro-Apple. I think his current point of view is still valid, though, given what he knows about software and what he has explained about Google's and Microsoft's histories. He just greatly respects the quality of Apple software since OSX, which after all comes from the very high level software engineering work at NeXTSTEP.

Two examples of Microsoft history:

From Wikipedia History of Microsoft:

"DOS (Disk Operating System) was the operating system that brought the company its real success. On August 12, 1981, after negotiations with Digital Research failed, IBM awarded a contract to Microsoft to provide a version of the CP/M operating system, which was set to be used in the upcoming IBM Personal Computer (PC). For this deal, Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called 86-DOS from Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products for less than US$100,000, which IBM renamed to PC-DOS. Microsoft did not have an operating system when they closed the deal with IBM and IBM hadn't done their homework. Due to potential copyright infringement problems with CP/M, IBM marketed both CP/M and PC-DOS for US$240 and US$40, respectively, with PC-DOS eventually becoming the standard because of its lower price."

From http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2007/08/14/sco-linux-and-microsoft-in-the-history-of-os-1970s/

"Microsoft lined up a sweet deal in 1981 to buy the rights to QDOS, an unauthorized clone of CP/M written by Seattle Software Works. Microsoft subsequently licensed the software to IBM for use on its new PC under the name PC-DOS. Microsoft retained the rights to also license the software to other hardware manufacturers under the name MS-DOS.

"Microsoft’s DOS clearly lifted large portions of its functionality directly from CP/M. However, at the time there was little concept of software patents in the rapidly emerging desktop computing market, and even the idea of software copyright was loosely defined.

"Unlike business users, casual desktop users commonly didn’t perceive value in software, and saw little problem in copying it. Microsoft’s Gates wanted to change that; he also argued against the developing idea of free software, despite the fact that the DOS software he was selling was itself an unauthorized copy.

"As its fortunes began to take off with IBM’s PC, Microsoft also worked diligently to shut Digital Research out of the very market it had created with CP/M. While Digital Research tried to sell its original version for IBM’s PC as a product called CP/M-86, Microsoft was able to deeply discount its DOS and compete on price because it had spent very little to acquire its copy."

Maybe you would think the Wikipedia snippet is more valid, but much of the significance of certain actions is lost in wiki's objective language. The two histories together tell a better tale. His history of OSes is four or five essays long, not counting many side branches. It's fascinating.

khim

@Eurofan: He just greatly respects the quality of Apple software since OSX, which after all comes from the very high level software engineering work at NeXTSTEP.

NeXTSTEP was "state of the art" system. 20 YEARS AGO. Today it's ancient. That's why at the same time as Google copied elements of looks and feel from iOS Apple copied elements of core functionality (take a look on new features in iOS4, iOS5 and you'see that good number of them were implemented in Android from the very beginning).

Apple under Job always behavied like a tyrant and bullied all the competitors with [mostly bogus] lawsuits. Just like Microsoft always behavied like trickster and played vaporware against real products. Yet Daniel explains that Microsoft's tricks will not work anymore because of the transparence of the internet yet Apple's bullying will not be noticed... Hmmm... you can not have it both ways: either Microsoft's trick will work to some degree, or Apple's bullying will be less effective for the same reason.

But the biggest problem is the amount of spin: Daniel openly laugh on Gartner because it changes it's predictions without ever acknoledging past mistakes but when Apple and Android are concerned he does the same. He likes to compare Google's effert to failed Microsoft forays like PlaysForSure and Zune - and then tries to explains that 0.5% of microsoft and 50% of Android are basically the same. But as I've said: at least he presents facts and THEN tries to spin them. You can take facts and ignore pro-Apple anti-Google spin. You must do this WRT "Tomi and Nokia" too, yet you are still here, right?

It just so happens that "people in the know" are usually biased and you must know how to cope with this bias, that's all. It does not make the real facts any different and you have you or own brain and know how to think :-)

Victor Szulc

"Maybe you would think the Wikipedia snippet is more valid, but much of the significance of certain actions is lost in wiki's objective language. The two histories together tell a better tale."

Which is why Wikipedia is more valid. It's written in an objective way, without colouring the story with heroes and villains and 30 year old hearsay and rumours.

"Any Nokia stakeholder interested in what they're getting into with the Microsoft/Nokia deal should head to this site and click on archives and then history for a series of interesting articles."

What nonsense. Unless you absolutely need to have an anti-microsoft bias reaffirmed, obviously. Not only are we talking about very different businesses: Cellphones vs. priimitive desktop OS's, but Microsoft is also a completely different company now: The worlds biggest software corporation and not a hungry little upstart. Don't forget that many of the key players, except Ballmer, have left the company.

The relevance of todays situation with Nokia is virtually non-existant. Or do you perhaps also refuse to buy Ford vehicles and boycot the company because of its anti-semitism? Hey, Henry Ford was a serious antisemite 80 years ago, so if you want to know about what you're getting into with Ford today, you gotta read up on him!

Victor Szulc

I don't find HP's decision to be that big of a mystery, nor necessarily to be a big mistake...
(Selling off their HW-division, yes stupid, but getting rid of WebOS not so much.)

You can't compare the much more mature smartphone market of today, with the situation when Apple entered it. Smartphones and the smartphone market as we know it today practically didn't exist then, and the time where you could go from a marketshare of 0 or 2% to 5 or 8% in a year is long over.

Here's what HP was probably seeing when they looked at todays smartphone market, and how it'll develop in the near future: There'll be room for definetely two, but probably three OS's in the future. The first two are Apple and Android, and the by far best candidate for the third spot is Microsofts WP7.

In other words, if HP wanted WebOS to be a player and get return on their investment, they'd had to beat first knock RIM's Blackberry out of the competition, and then battle it out with Microsoft and their WP7.

While RIM and Blackberry won't survive in the longer run, the fact remains that they have a vastly bigger number of users as of right now, and while RIM don't have a real ecosystem today, they are much more popular with developers, and the number of apps available is 4-6 times bigger than on WebOS.

As for Microsoft and WP7, who'll most likely become the third OS/ecosystem on the market, they're supported not by just one manufacturer like WebOS, but by a whole handful. One of whom is Nokia, the biggest producer of cellphones (and until recently also of smartphones) in the world. And unlike HP and WebOS, Microsoft already has a pretty solid ecosystem for their platform, and is vastly more popular with developers, having one of the biggest app-stores and 4-5 times as many apps available.

In other words, for WebOS to become the third ecosystem would take a major effort, take a couple of years and cost HP billions and billions of dollars. Success and victory would be far from sure, and as a matter of fact, compared with Microsoft and WP7, WebOS is an outsider to the position and far from a safe bet.

HP could choose to go for the fight, lose billions of dollars in the process and most likely lose, or to cash their chips now and leave the table with a relatively minor loss of 2-3 billions dollars.
HP's former management wanted to bet and go for the first option, Apotheker wanted to play it safe, and stick to what he knows, and in that light it makes sense.


And as for the future of WebOS, sorry, but it's dead and HP pretty much knows it already. If it WAS possible to license it, they would have done it already, but what's the point? If a manufacturer needs an OS, they can get Android, a fairly mature one, for free. Heck, they can get Meego for free as well, but despite that Meego got the backing of Intel, you don't exactly see a tidal wave of phones, tablets or netbooks running it.

Who in their right mind would choose WebOS over Android and Meego (or the other OS's like Qualcomm's Brew), with WebOS's anaemic support among developers, and the fact that it has now failed TWO companies in a row. Nope, sorry. For all of WebOS technical brilliance, it's dead and buried, just like OS/2, another technically brilliant OS, before it.

Victor Szulc

@Khim @Eurofan

"It just so happens that "people in the know" are usually biased and you must know how to cope with this bias, that's all. It does not make the real facts any different and you have you or own brain and know how to think :-)"

Biased? Yeah, you can say that again! The articles at roughlydrafted carefully and joyfully use any opportunity possible for a snide swipe against Microsoft, and rather than of a historical nature, shall we just say that Daniel serves up HIS interpretation of history. I sure remember the 90'ies, Cairo, Windows 95, 98 and XP a completely different way then he does. Oh, and of course in his retelling of what happened, Microsoft always steals and copies. Apple of course always invent and reimagine. Even when they copy some of Microsofts inventions, lol!


"That's why at the same time as Google copied elements of looks and feel from iOS Apple copied elements of core functionality (take a look on new features in iOS4, iOS5 and you'see that good number of them were implemented in Android from the very beginning)."

I hear this sometimes, that Google copies elements from iOS, but it doesn't make sense... What elements? Icons? Swiping? A square setup for icons? I really fail to see what Google might have copied from iOS, beyond elements like the above. Elements so vague and broad that the word "copying" is meaningless.

And in Apples defence, since they also periodically get accused of copying (Which they do, like everybody else!) Features such as cut-n-paste are really so common, and can only be implemented in one or two ways, so saying that Apple copied it really stretches the meaning of the word.

Likewise with notifications. Yes, they implemented it pretty much the same way as Google did in Android (As opposed to Microsoft, who really innovated them in WP7!) But how many efficient ways of implementing notifications are there? Because if you want to have a functional and simple system, you'll end up with something that looks more or less like the notifications in Android.

kevin

@Tomi: The obvious 2 things that changed (between buying Palm and last week's news) is the CEO and HP Board Chairman. Both have long histories in enterprise software.

@SoVatar: Both Personal Systems Group (PCs including laptops) and Printers are sold to both consumers and enterprises. For PSG, I believe it's about 50-50. For printers, HP sells twice as much to enterprises as consumers. In total, over 75% of HP revenue comes from enterprises. And most of the consumer revenue is from low-margin, commodity PCs, which are seeing a "real effect" from tablets (iPads). If mobile is the place to be for consumers, why hang onto PCs? Plus on the enterprise side, IBM has already shown that the synergy of being able to package their own PCs with consulting services makes little difference.

As for mobile, we are in year 2 of the bloodbath (according to Tomi). The lack of success of webOS phones and tablets revealed to HP that 1) HP is lacking in leveragable parts and staffing to quickly build such an ecosystem around webOS partly because of HP's predominant focus on enterprise and not on consumer, 2) HP is too late to build a competitive mobile ecosystem as Android and iOS are already established with WP7 also ahead, and 3) the financial risk-reward is greater to go down this path is far greater than concentrating and building on enterprise software.

Finally, see Marc Andreessen's (HP Board member) op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on software to possibly understand the influences on the HP board.. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903480904576512250915629460.html

Eurofan

@khim: Anyway, thanks for citing roughlydrafted. I hadn't heard of the site before. I learn something from every article there. And yes he is certainly biased against Microsoft and Google. A Google-sceptic position is hard to find on the web but you can find it at roughlydrafted.

@Victor Szuic: "Oh, and of course in his retelling of what happened, Microsoft always steals and copies. Apple of course always invent and reimagine." Very fair summary of roughlydrafted's take on software history. Still I like the site and learn from it.

KPO'M

@Victor Szulc, I agree. WebOS was clearly going nowhere. They had a massive ad campaign. I saw the Manny Pacquiao and Russell Brand ads for weeks on prime time, and still they managed to sell only 25,000 or so before this past weekend's fire sale. It might have a future as an OS for ATMs or in-car systems (like Ford's Sync). Even HP says it will still use it for printers, but I doubt that any other manufacturer will pick it up for use as a general platform. HP will probably keep it for the IP and perhaps license design elements that Google, Apple, or Microsoft want to copy. But we're talking revenue in the millions, not billions of dollars. HP saw that there is only enough room for a limited number of mobile OSes, and that Android and iOS have taken the biggest and most lucrative slots, respectively. They are dumping PCs because they don't want to sell commodities, and as far as WebOS is concerned, it was a product that would have required significant investment to even achieve commodity status.

We don't know what third major mobile OS will be (or if there will even be one), but clearly HP didn't want to devote the effort required. If we look at the consumer PC era as a guide, we started with various flavors of DOS, Windows, Commodore, Apple II, Mac, and Linux, among others, and whittled down mostly to Windows with Mac a distant second, Linux being relegated to the server market, and the rest fading out of existence. We may easily see the mobile market heading along a similar path.

Unlike HP, Microsoft has no choice but to keep on investing in WP7 and Windows 8. They are a software company so intertwined with the PC that they can't afford not to compete in the "post-PC" market. That's why WP7, despite its low market share, has some appeal to a company like Nokia. Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility just strengthens that even further, since other Android OEMs may take another look out of fear that Android becomes the next Symbian (an ostensibly open OS that is more like a proprietary OS for one company with "most favored nation" status).

kissmyass

I don't care what you guys are talking about, seems you have a lot of time during work googling around and copy-pasting text.

I just want two of 99$ HP Touchpad right now!!! Hehe

victor szulc

@ Eurofan

Yes it IS interesting reading, though he plays fast and loose with the truth.
(Like the accusation that qdos, the ancestor of msdos, was a copy of CP/M.

AND he never mentions the fact that the creator of qdos went on to work at Microsoft, and was in charge of msdos development for awhile. Something that doesn't mesh well with the insinuation that Microsoft more or less stole qdos/msdos.

Anyways, if you want to know more, the original creator of qdos/msdos retells the story on his own site here: http://www.patersontech.com/Dos/Byte/History.html

volt

As you say, moving from computers to smartphones might be the Apple-inspired way to do it, but it seems that smartphones aren't the only thing HP is giving up on. It also says that HP is considering leaving the PC market. In that light, it's just the "old" and the "new" variant of the same market; they're considering quitting computers inclusive smartphones. In light of that, it makes more sense, don't you think?

I'm surprised though, HP is doing well concerning market share.

Eurofan

@victor szuic: Thanks for the tip, I will check it out.

BPaul

@Tomi T Ahonen
------

"http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2011/08/15/google-moves-android-from-a-playsforsure-strategy-to-zune-strategy/"

Do you really think that the person that wrote that deserves any credibility. Are you willing to give him any?

That article is not biased, it's pure propaganda. Not mistakes, misinformation or errors, but lies. He's a professional liar.

By reading the comments here and there i'm saddened by what people choose to accept as truth. An advice to all of you: use your grey cells, apply critical thinking, just don't accept everything as gospel. If you apply this, not only here, but in your everyday life, the chances of more just world increase. Don't let you be fooled by dishonest people, professional liars.

@Tomi T Ahonen
Choose your sources carefully, if you don't you'll see your credibility go down the drain.

kevin

@BPaul: Intrigued by your comment, altho we are venturing off topic (Tomi's post was about HP, not Google).

Dilger's column is just his opinion on Google's motivations and what he expects to be their future actions, which is what all analysts and pundits are still trying to figure out. In fact, South Korea's government response is to start funding the creation an open mobile OS for Korea just in case Google tries to squeeze Samsung and LG, something previously strongly opposed by Samsung, but not anymore.

So I'm wondering which of his statements have already been proven to be "lies"? Or is this just your opinion?

em

This was just a business decision. Risk vs. reward was simply too low. And note the following blog written last year: http://galileo-gamesandmobile.blogspot.com/2010/05/hewlett-palmcard-negative-approach.html

Jerry

Good post.

Jerry

Something can't be bought by money.

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