Senior vp and general manager of the Palm Global Business Unit, Jon Rubenstein, sent an internal email to HP staff. It was meant as bit of a picker-upper after the poor reviews the TouchPad received. Most said the device just didn't work well, and that the OS was slow and clunky.
Here's what Rubenstein had to say:
Today we bring the HP TouchPad and webOS 3.0 to the world. The HP team has achieved something extraordinary ‚Äö√Ñ√¨ especially when you consider that it‚Äö√Ñ√¥s been just one year since our work on the TouchPad began in earnest. Today also marks the start of a new era for HP as our vision for connected mobility begins to take form – an ecosystem of services, applications and devices connected seamlessly by webOS.
If you‚Äö√Ñ√¥ve seen the recent TouchPad reviews you know that the industry understands HP‚Äö√Ñ√¥s vision and sees the same potential in webOS as we do. David Pogue from the New York Times says ‚Äö√Ñ√∫there are signs of greatness here.‚Äö√Ñ√π (I‚Äö√Ñ√¥ve included links to David‚Äö√Ñ√¥s review and others below.) You‚Äö√Ñ√¥ve also seen that reviewers rightly note things we need to improve about the webOS experience. The good news is that most of the issues they cite are already known to us and will be addressed in short order by over-the-air software and app catalog updates. We still have work to do to make webOS the platform we know it can be, but remember‚Äö√Ñ¬∂..it‚Äö√Ñ√¥s a marathon, not a sprint.
In that spirit, Richard Kerris, head of worldwide developer relations for webOS, reminded me yesterday of the first reviews for a product introduced a little over ten years ago:
"…overall the software is sluggish"
"…there are no quality apps to use, so it won‚Äö√Ñ√¥t last"
"…it's just not making sense…."
It‚Äö√Ñ√¥s hard to believe these statements described MacOS X – a platform that would go on to change the landscape of Silicon Valley in ways that no one could have imagined.
The similarities to our situation are obvious, but there‚Äö√Ñ√¥s also a big difference. Like David Pogue, our audiences get that webOS has the potential for greatness. And like me, they know that your hard work and passion, and the power of HP‚Äö√Ñ√¥s commitment to webOS, will turn that potential into the real thing.
He explains that one can look at Mac OS X to see how much the operating system has evolved. He's right. We remember how many people had grown so used to system 9 and many of those folks did not like OS X. The transition was slower, and there were dual-boot computers and virtual environments, but it was eventually phased out and OS X has become solid enough to truly be a great operating system.