That was fast. Less than two months after jumping into the tablet market, HP is bailing out sans parachute.
The HP TouchPad thus blows past the Microsoft Kin for the fastest introduction/termination of a product in recent memory. The Kin was available for 56 days before MSFT pulled the plug. The TouchPad managed to last just 50.
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Nice goin', guys. I bet if you really put your backs into it, you could launch and kill your next product in under 40.
There are other similarities between the TouchPad and the Kin. Microsoft purchased Danger, the inventor of the beloved Sidekick, to build the Kin. It then proceeded to drive out most of the Danger people who had any talent.
HP acquired the people behind the beloved Palm. Then HP took its sweet time building out a wimpy tablet based on the WebOS. I'm betting a similar brain drain occurred along the way.
The problem here isn't the underlying technology. The problem is the culture that produced things based on the underlying technology. Microsoft and HP are lumbering dinosaurs trying to catch mice. If they occasionally manage to kill one, it's only because they stepped on it by accident.
They need to leave the game to smaller, more nimble competitors -- or at least big companies like Apple, Samsung, and LG that know how to act like smaller, more nimble competitors.
That's why HP spinning off its PC biz is a smart move. It simply can't react with the speed necessary to survive in today's consumer market. It's not in the company's DNA. At heart, HP is an enterprises services company, like IBM -- so is Microsoft. Get out of the consumer game, guys, before you get seriously hurt.