Friday, 19 August 2011

A Sad Day for Tablet Competition, Plus HP TouchPad Identification.

I do not like to see one company having too great a dominance in any market. I have long thought small touch screen portable PCs are a good idea; and then after years of negligible success Apple launch the iPad, as though it is a new idea, and make them fashionable. I hate Apple trying to stifle competition using alleged paten infringements, and trying to take extort money from using the iPad (to me if you buy hardware you should be able to do what you want with it). Thus I was pleased when HP said it was going to take Apple on; from my limited experience WebOS made sense.

I looked forward to the launch of HPs first touch screen, and a few days ago went to a PC shop to have a play with the HP TouchPad. My impression was that it was not perfect, but it was a good first attempt, and would be a stepping stone to a better machine. I would have bought one, however, Opera browser was/is not yet available for the TouchPad, and whilst I am happy to buy a tablet which helps open up the market, I do not wish to buy a tablet which will be used mainly for portable browsing, and will artificially inflate Apple Safari browser market share (see TouchPad Identification below). All things considered I decided that the TouchPad seemed a perfectly acceptable tablet, that I would buy when Opera became available.

Alas, this is a sad day because HP have decided to scrap their WebOS tablets and phones, but maybe I will be able to buy one cheap, and put a straight forward Linux distro on it!

TouchPad Identification

I recently reviewed the identification of the Blackberry Playbook by counters, and found it to suggest that Apple Safari browser usage was higher than it actually is, due to both browsers being based on the WebKit browser engine. Likewise, the TouchPad uses a WebKit based browser, and almost universally is counted as Safari:

Linux OS and Safari browser


BeOs (OS and browser)


Mac OS and Safari browser


Default Browser


Browser String:

Mozilla/5.0 (hp-tablet; Linux; hpwOS/3.0.0; U; en-GB) AppleWebKit/534.6 (KHTML, like Gecko) wOSBrowser/233.70 Safari/534.6 TouchPad/1.0