Results tagged “hp”

Sufficiently Padded Influence

By Michael Mulvey on September 10, 2012 1:13 AM

Most people have been focusing on how shameless Samsung has been in copying Apple's product design given the recent Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit.

We shouldn't overlook HP, who just announced their Spectre One desktop:


Just in case you forgot, this is Apple's iMac and the Magic TrackPad, 2010:


Last Call

By Michael Mulvey on August 17, 2012 5:08 PM

Engadget: HP creates Mobility division to focus on consumer tablets, taps ex-MeeGo maven Alberto Torres to run it

Hey HP, you're a little late to the tablet computing party. Like getting-close-to-3-years-late (I'm not counting that fling with the TouchPad). The bouncers are turning the house lights on and the bartenders are announcing last call.

You might be able to find someone to go home with your tablet, but almost everyone has found one already and they're getting in their cars to go home.

Easy As Pie

By Michael Mulvey on March 23, 2012 10:46 AM

From Electronista:

HP's 2012 shareholder meeting on Wednesday saw Apple become a centerpiece of its conversation. During the question and answer session, most questions centered around why HP was not more like its fellow Southern Bay Area counterpart, which had a tenfold larger market worth even though it spent less on research and development. When asked if she had a vision like the late Steve Jobs, CEO Meg Whitman argued that the company had to place more bets on "disruptive" innovation like Apple, creating categories or fundamentally changing them instead of the mostly "evolutionary" approach HP used.

Sure, HP just needs to be disruptive like Apple.

And I just need to be musical like Thom York to be a great musician.


I'm Tired Of Writing About Apple

By Michael Mulvey on November 27, 2011 7:37 PM

I'm not a sports guy.

I love going to live games in big stadiums but following football, baseball and basketball on a day-to-day basis is not my bag. My sports are technology and design and Apple is my team. I love when they win.

Apple wins when they create awesome products I love to use, products better than any other company can make.

Apple wins when they show the world that while consumer electronics products are impossible without the brilliance of enginners, you need designers to make them so fun and intuitive to use, you don't even a need a manual.

I won't lie, though. Apple also wins when they kick Microsoft's ass. It was a great, symbolic moment last year when it was announced that Apple was worth more than Microsoft in market capitalization. It also feels good to know how successful the iPhone has become, especially after Steve Ballmer laughed at it in 2007. Oh, Steve. You big, bald dummy. Hold on while I do my touchdown dance in your face.

Apple wins when they own a small fraction of the mobile market, but taking home two-thirds of the profits. It adds insult to injury when they take all this money in the face of all their competitors copying the smartphone paradigm they established with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. Hey guys, you're copying my team and you're still losing (They still don't understand Design is not skin deep).

Speaking of shamelessly copying, it seems Samsung never bothered to make their own playbook, they decided to just copy Apple's.

But I have to be honest - I'm really tired of writing about Apple.

I want to write about other amazing competitors. It's fun when your team wins, but it's even better when they win against a worthy adversary. Would you rather watch your favorite football team score touchdown after touchdown, against a team with a horrible defense? Sure, the first few are fun, but it gets old. What's great is competition. Real competition.

What's great is when your team wins, but in the last 5 seconds of the game. Triple overtime. Sudden death. Winning against a rival who fights until the end and who you can look at and say, 'We might have beat you, but you played awesome.'

In the last few years, there have been very few moments where it looked as though a company besides Apple was going to start making consumer electronic devices people would love to use.

The first one I got excited about was the Palm Pre and webOS. Jon Rubenstein left Apple as senior VP of the iPod devision in 2007 to join Palm. When he unveiled the Palm Pre running webOS in 2009, the Apple DNA was obvious, but webOS was fresh brought a unique perspective to mobile operating systems. 'Yes,' I said to myself. 'Apple has some real competition.'

Then HP bought Palm in 2010 and things got bumpy. The Pre was a solid smartphone but when the time came for HP to create a tablet to compete with the iPad, it wasn't all it could have been. I wanted to love the TouchPad, but it was clear HP blew it. Then HP's CEO, Leo Apotheker, gets ousted by HP's board of directors Now it's not even clear if HP wants to play the mobile computing game anymore.

Then there was news RIM was launching a tablet called the Playbook. The preview videos made it look as though RIM had executed things well. Oh, but then they shipped it without an email client. Not to mention providing no good way to get content on to or off of the device.


Earlier this month, Amazon enveiled their new lineup of Kindles, including the top-of-the-line Kindle Fire. The Fire uses a custom build of Android, has a color, multi-touch screen and an integrated marketplace to buy applications and movies and books and music. And a web browser which caches frequently visited sites for faster loading. Yes! Now we're talking!

Then I got my hands on the Fire and was let down. Like the HP Touchpad, so close, but so very, very far from winning.

Now, most recently, John Paczkowski over at AllThingsD reports that Apple, with help from Sharp, is cooking up some Apple TVs -- actual televisions -- not what Apple TV is in it's current incarnation.

It's the logical next step for Apple's goal of a fully-integrated entertainment ecosystem. These plans are not surprising. The question really is, why wouldn't Apple redesign the television experience?

This is exciting news. Imagine a television experience that doesn't involve convoluted remote controls and overly complex on-screen menus.

What isn't exciting is this piece from Paczkowski's post (my emphasis):

But what form it will take remains a mystery -- one that the entire TV industry is evidently eager to solve. "Based on our discussions, interestingly other TV manufacturers have begun a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do," says Misek. "They hope to avoid the fate of other industries and manufacturers who were caught flat footed by Apple."

What would be great is if these other TV manufacturers weren't 'scrambling' to cobble together something half-assed, but had a clear vision for a fun and intuitive television experience. Something they personally would love to use in their own homes.

It brings to mind a great quote by Steve Jobs (in his biography by Walter Isaacson):

The older I get, the more I see how much motivations matter. The Zune was crappy because the people at Microsoft don't really love music or art the way we do. We won because we personally loved music. We made the iPod for ourselves, and when you're doing something for yourself, or your best friend or family, you're not going to cheese out. If you don't love something, your not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.

History keeps repeating itself and it's getting annoying. Apple introduces a new product, the industry reacts, they copy, but by the time they turn their enormous ships in the right direction, it's too late.

Repeat ad infinitum.

It's getting old.

Bad Artists Copy

By Michael Mulvey on November 17, 2011 9:40 AM

HP Launches Redesigned Envy 15 and 17:


Honestly. What the fuck.

It's almost too ridiculous to do an influencer/influenced comparison.

The TouchPad - The Sleeper Hit That Never Was

By Michael Mulvey on August 24, 2011 3:50 PM

NYTimes: Sell Big or Die Fast

These days, big technology companies -- particularly those in the hypercompetitive smartphone and tablet industries -- are starting to resemble Hollywood film studios. Every release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer over time.

This is unfortunate. As I've mentioned before, HP's TouchPad has had a lot of potential and could very well have been one of those 'sleeper' hits. A cult favorite, if you will.

As I mentioned in my mini-review, there's a lot to like with TouchPad, even though it's not on par with the iPad. But all the bugs and missed details are clearly fixable.

Remember all the shit the iPhone was missing in the early days? Multi-tasking, video recording, front-facing camera, MMS, third party app development, GPS. Remember how they took baby steps each month of each year for the last 4 years releasing updates to address all the bugs and deficiencies?

As John Gruber said, once leadership changed at HP, the TouchPad had no chance of surviving.

Getting Out of the Truck Business

By Michael Mulvey on August 18, 2011 2:03 PM

Ars Technica: HP to follow IBM, ditch its PC business

Hewlett-Packard is scheduled to hold its third quarter earnings call later this afternoon, but if a report from Bloomberg is to believed, dollars will be the least interesting topic of the call. Bloomberg is saying that multiple sources are indicating that HP will spin off its PC business to focus on enterprise services. As part of that change in focus, it will be acquiring the Cambridge, UK-based data analysis company Autonomy for about $10 billion, a healthy premium over the company's current market cap.

What was all that bullshit Steve Jobs was spewing last year about post-PC era and PC's becoming trucks?

Man Steve, you're crazy.

I like you, but you're crazy.

The HP TouchPad

By Michael Mulvey on August 18, 2011 8:07 AM

I'm not going to write an enormous review of the TouchPad, A good handful of reviews have been written already, covering all the bases. What I do want to do is briefly give give a short list of observations.

Please take into account this is coming from someone who's owned multiple iPhones for 3 years and an iPad for about 9 months:

No magnifying glass when tap-holding on input/text fields
You don't appreciate something until it's gone. While I probably only use this feature a fraction of the time I spend on my iPad, not having it, or something like it on the TouchPad feels like a major tool in my tool belt is missing. It makes editing URLs, email or notes extremely difficult.

(below is a screen grab from my iPhone)

No temporary scroll-location bar when scrolling
On iOS, when you flick to scroll page, a temporary scrollbar appears on the right side of the screen, letting you know how far down the page you are. On the TouchPad I've found no scroll bar in any of the core applications (Internet, Mail, Messages, Photos, Calendar). It's not a deal-breaker by any means, but it's another detail missing.

UPDATE: I discovered the Instapaper app, Paper Maché, does have an iOS-like scroll bar. I'm willing to bet it's creator, Ryan Watkins, knows a thing or two about iOS.

No jumping to the top of a page by tapping the time/status bar
I've come to rely on this a lot on iOS, and like the magnifying glass, it's something I didn't realize was so important until I found it missing on the TouchPad.

Overrides fonts on websites and emails with webOS system font (Avenir)
This is obviously a gripe from a designer and won't bother the average user, but holy shit this pisses me off. Why should I even bother with my style sheets if webOS is going Avenir-ize all content?


Can't render my unicode 'exhaust' puff (it's fucking UNICODE)
While I'm on designer gripes, why can't webOS render Unicode characters? Visiting Alan Wood's great Unicode resource site shows the TouchPad has some serious holes in it's character rendering.


Overall choppy feeling to the OS, as if it's underpowered
Lastly, the whole operating system has a choppiness to it. Web pages don't scroll nearly as smoothly as they do on an iPad (hell, even a first generation iPhone). I also find myself waiting for things to load, even simple things like a new email message window.

I was really planning on liking the TouchPad. They've done some nice work but the nice work is overshadowed by all the details they missed. They've clearly copied many of the conventions Apple introduced, but I wonder why they didn't adopt all of them, like the tap-the-header gesture to return to the top of a page, or the magnifying glass?

By Design

By Michael Mulvey on July 1, 2011 5:24 PM

So HP says Apple is not TouchPad's target.

So says Richard Kerris, HP's vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations, to The Loop's Jim Dalrymple:

HP acknowledged Apple's dominance in the tablet market, but said Apple wasn't its target with the TouchPad.

"We think there's a better opportunity for us to go after the enterprise space and those consumers that use PCs," said Kerris. "This market is in its infancy and there is plenty of room for both of us to grow."

John Gruber over at Daring Fireball agrees:

Smart. Reminds me of that Steve Jobs mantra from the late '90s: "We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace the notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job."


HP is a company who's senior Vice President and General Manager of the Palm Global Business Unit (formerly the CEO of Palm, replacing dipshit Ed Colligan) helped develop the iPod at Apple as a senior vice president. Apple's influence at HP, through Rubenstein, can be seen all over HP's product design, advertising and marketing. Rubenstein knows the important parts of Apple's business to copy and he has.

HP even based the price points on TouchPad models with the iPad. I can't find the link, but I believe it was Gruber who also pointed out even the name, TouchPad, contains the names of two of Apple's most popular products.

As Sherlock Holmes said, "No, Watson, this was not done by accident, but by design."

Aside from the part about not going after Apple, the other point of bullshit in Kerris' statement was about the "better opportunity for us to go after the enterprise space and those consumers that use PCs". If the iPad has proven anything, it's people in the corporate space love the iPad.

HP is clearlying being smart about webOS. They're focusing on what matters to people - the experience, the software, the Human Experience, but make no mistake, not only are they watching Apple's every move, but Apple's and HP's target markets for tablets very much align.

The HP TouchPad is available, but not really.

By Michael Mulvey on June 21, 2011 4:37 PM


I just got an email from HP announcing the ability to pre-order.

Aside from the phone number at the top, there is nothing clickable, save for the tiny 'Learn More' link buried at the bottom.

Honestly, who calls to pre-order their computers, or phones, or anything in today's world?

If you click on the 'Learn More' link, you're taken to this page:


And once you click on 'Reserve Now' you get this modal overlay:


I chose 'Reserve Now From HP' and I was taken to this product page:


This is what you call a complete, dead-end and the worst consumer experience you can have.

It's very evident former Apple exec Jon Rubinstein has had a huge influence on HP's product design. Experiences like this show where he hasn't had influence.

I keep rooting for HP and webOS, but Im not convinced they'll succeed.

Infinity × Infinity

By Michael Mulvey on May 25, 2011 8:15 AM

The Telegraph: HP talks up forthcoming Touchpad tablet

Speaking at a press conference in Cannes, Mr Cador said that "In the PC world, with fewer ways of differentiating HP's products from our competitors, we became number one; in the tablet world we're going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus." Apple's iPad is currently the best-selling tablet around the world.

One plus?

What are we, five years old?

Just put something on shelves already.


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