HP announced today that it was discontinuing operations for devices running on WebOS, including its recently launched TouchPad and smartphones. The news was disheartening, though maybe not surprising, to WebOS fans who saw the operating system's promise early on. What happens from here remains to be seen, but it's clear that at last for the time being, we won't see another WebOS device. So on this sad occasions, we take a look back at the WebOS devices that have come and gone.
The device that started it all, the Pre debuted to great fanfare at CES 2009. Truly, it was nothing we had seen before and it went on to win CNET's Best OF CES award (to date, it's the only cell phone to do so).
Unfortunately, after that event, Palm did a bit of a retreat and kept the Pre very close. We knew the carrier was Sprint, but Palm had little to say about when we'd see it in stores or what it would offer. In fact, it got so bad that Palm even refused to let Bonnie Cha touch the device a few months later at CTIA.
Yet, once we finally got it in our hands on June 3, 2009, we found that there was a lot to like. The WebOS interface offered "unparalleled" multitasking and notifications capabilities. The multitouch display was sharp, the Web browser and multimedia integration were excellent, and call quality delivered as well. No, we didn't enjoy everything--the keyboard was cramped, battery life was short, and the handset could be a bit sluggish--but it was promising start to what we hoped would be a long line of devices.
CNET review bottom line: Despite some missing features and performance issues that make it less than ideal for on-the-go professionals, the Palm Pre offers gadget lovers and consumers well-integrated features and unparalleled multitasking capabilities. The hardware could be better, but more importantly, Palm has developed a solid OS that not only rivals the competition but also sets a new standard in the way smartphones handle tasks and manage information.
August 18, 2011 5:52 PM PDT
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CNET
| Caption by: Kent German
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