Long time readers here know I was quite the Palm fan for a while. Now you hear my touting my Evo 4G and hear nothing more of Palm. So why did I jump ship? Well the answer is pretty simple. I still believe WebOS is the best of the current mobile operating systems hand down. But Palm itself was in a financial quagmire until recently when they were bought by HP. I didn’t want to purchase a phone that could face irrelevancy due to the manufacturer going bankrupt and hence I decided to go with an Android phone. Now that Palm is in the hands of HP I’m even more glad I went with Android as HP doesn’t have the greatest track record of using acquisitions well.
Let’s look at HP’s biggest fiasco, the Compaq acquisition. This is what I label as the beginning of the end for quality HP products. I had an old HP Vectra buisness computer which to this day is bullet proof (it still runs perfectly even though it’s old enough that it game with EDO RAM and Windows 3.11). We have some of their diagnostics equipment here at work that functions flawlessly even though some of it is from the early ’90’s. The problem is shortly after the Compaq merger the only PCs HP put out were shit. And the only decent thing Compaq was making at the time, the iPaq (Their PDA), was bastardized into oblivion. Likewise it was around this time that their calculator division went into life support (I still love HP calculators, RPN is a great system in my opinion). In the past HP calculators were heavy and well constructed. Now they’re plastic and the buttons have a habit of breaking over time. The bottom line is HP isn’t a company I can trust to do anything well these days.
The other reason I didn’t get a Palm Pre was the hardware. By the time I was ready to get a new phone the Pre was long in the tooth and I was expecting a new model to be released soon. That soon never came and the Pre has been out over a year now without any major upgrades (and since I’m on Sprint I can’t even get those meager upgrades).
Android on the other had has several things going for it. First it’s open source and thus not dependent on a single company for continue existence. The main company developing for Android, Google, isn’t looking to go away anytime soon. Android is also a pretty fucking awesome operating system with good developer support (there are actually third-party applications to purchase for example). The hacker scene is lively as well with custom ROMs being released for most of the popular Android devices. Finally the released hardware is pretty amazing (seriously this Evo 4G is just amazing).
So that’s why I ended up with Android instead of WebOS.