A recent post by ZDnet's Matthew Miller touched a raw nerve, when he asked whether there was any reason to purchase the HP Touchpad given that the iPad 2 perfectly fulfils its role at a price that, although quite high, has enticed tens of millions of users already.
Miller's take (opens in new tab) on the question revolves around one argument, the fact that the HP TouchPad, although a perfectly capable piece of hardware, is let down by the lack of apps and services for the WebOS platform.
To make things worse, HP has priced the TouchPad at the same level as the cheapest iPad 2 although, to be fair, HP isn't making much money given the relatively low number of tablets it is likely to sell.
As with Windows, the key to a platform's success is developers, and Apple and Google, despite being the last ones to come to the OS party, managed to be extremely successful within a couple of years.
HP for once needs to focus on the ecosystem rather than on the hardware itself and somehow differentiate itself from Apple's iPad.
Failing this, HP will have to exit the tablet market (they don't want another white elephant) or embrace the only other alternative, Android, which might, after some thought, be the lesser of two evils. Though once iOS 5 really takes off, it might then be too late.