I applaud you for the decision to forge ahead with webos and to launch your own Desktop strategy. Unlike your other competitors (*cough* Nokia *cough*), you’ve decided to build your own platforms and with that your very own eco system.
You realize, of course, that you won’t be able to compete with Apple. The reason is simple: you don’t have the razzmatazz that Apple has or the 30+ billion cash position on the balance sheet. Don’t get me wrong, you have excellent engineers (or at least you had them at some point) and I’m pretty certain with this move, you’ll attract talent – but you don’t have a Steve Jobs, a Zuckerberg, an Ellison or the google trio (duo?). In other words, the years of producing me too clones have dragged down your global image as an innovative company and the acquisition of Palm will be a footnote in your corporate history. You need to change this perception radically – it is not enough to have great software and hardware, nowadays you also need a rock star – or at least, a rockstar image. How else, do you think will the cool kids chose you over Apple?
What you have in ambition, you lack in leadership. What you have in determination, you lack in vision. It’s good to think beyond the tablet and re-focus on the desktop, but again both Apple and Google are already doing this and they had their OS’ fined-tuned over the last several years.
HP was once a trailblazer; you produced engineering marvels in the 1970’s. Your contribution to medical technology among other niche industries is well known. It does then make no sense to go against Microsoft, Apple, Nokia and Google – all of which have more experience in the consumer and mobile space.
Find your niche or webos will die a gruesome death within 18 month (unless you keep it alive artificially). No point, in going head to head with much bigger players in this field if you’re not twice as good.