Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not the dreaded lurgy!

News from HP of new tablet PCs and mobile phones running webOS from Palm, suggests HP is aggressively pursuing this exploding marketplace. Expect new NonStop solutions supported with infrastructure from vendors like comForte simplifying the connectivity!

I’ve been hit hard with a solid dose of influenza. Well, in all actuality, more likely just a severe bout of the common cold. Whatever I caught it just won’t let go, and after six days it’s beginning to tick me off!

Had this affliction been something I had caught in Australia, then I would simply call it the dreaded lurgy – an illness that just about everyone in Australia works hard to avoid. “Oh no, not the dreaded lurgy!” This fabled illness has its roots in the BBC radio program, the Goon Show, in the times before the Monty Python Show, where scripts were still heavily influenced by Woy-Woy’s favorite son, Spike Milligan.

However, I’m spending more time reading magazines and newspapers as a result and this time I have to admit, most of my reading is courtesy of my iPad; a tablet PC that now is never far from my side. Paradoxically, it was on my iPad that I first caught the news of HP’s entrance into the tablet PC marketplace. With the acquisition of Palm behind them and the timing looking pretty good as the market waits for news on what’s next from Apple, HP rolls out its newest product offering, the TouchPad.

On paper, the new HP TouchPad looks to be a serious contender. For instance, it does support a camera from day one, but more importantly, it supports the popular Adobe Flash software, a utility, as an iPad user, I have grown to realize is just about the most important software product on the planet!

But will I trade in my iPad on a TouchPad?

In a couple of reports I’ve read, there’s been a reference to comments made by Forrester Research analyst, Sarah Rotman Epps, who suggested that "this product has a chance to beat RIM (BlackBerry maker, Research In Motion) and any individual Android tablet, but not Apple.” She then pushes back a little harder, adding "consumers will consider the TouchPad, and then buy an iPad."

This is the whole point, I suspect. Consumers will buy the iPad; that’s Apple’s declared marketplace. For the moment, I’m keeping my iPad.

But what about NonStop?

The enterprise or corporate marketplace however is another matter, especially for companies relying on HP NonStop servers. If HP can truly muster its resources behind the TouchPad and works hard at getting great connectivity in place, software houses that truly exploit its multi-tasking capabilities, and commit to developing a fully-fledged ecosystem behind the Palm webOS operating system, then the TouchPad stands a chance of being a hit with the data center crowd.

NonStop has a strong tradition in supporting a rich variety of client devices and I foresee tablet PCs becoming the source of many new and different types of transactions – limited solely by the creativity of the clients themselves!

According to one report I read, “HP plans to use its global resources to back the TouchPad along with an entire webOS ‘ecosystem’ consisting of two new smartphones and a line of personal computers built on the platform.” I’m still not sure what Microsoft makes of all of this, but for the moment they’re cool. However, the same report went on to quote Todd Bradley, executive vice president of the personal systems group at HP, in closing with “the California-based computer titan is putting ‘meaningful talent and significant resources’ into webOS.”

comForte is not only a part of the HP ecosystem but with established products addressing terminal emulation as well as support for SOA and Web services, I have the sense that it will not be long before we see NonStop users adding tablet PCs to the list of client devices they need supported out of their HP NonStop servers.

It’s a big gamble and the just announced first offspring from the HP and Palm acquisition has just seen the light of day. Like everyone else involved with the program, I suspect, they too will be watching closely to make sure this delicate infant avoids at all costs catching the dreaded lurgy!

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