I edited HP World Magazine for a couple of years, and I know how HP thinks. There's a lot of internal political wrangling inside HP over turf.
Many in HP's Enterprise Mobility group are thrilled that the TouchPad is such a warm-and-fuzzy consumer play, because they believe it protects their existing products and future plans.
And many in HP's consumer groups are happy that they finally have a hot consumer tablet they think can compete against the iPad and Android tablets.
Im glad theyre all so happy. While the suits at HP are expending all their energy protecting their little fiefdoms, Apple will be running away with most of the market and Google will be claiming the rest.
The brilliant, billion-dollar move on HP's part would be to take this fantastic consumer tablet with no apps and make it safe for the enterprise.
Push enterprise app development. Build in security, management and all the rest. Transform it into a presentation machine for executives, a data center clipboard for IT and a point-of-sale device for retail.
The reason Apple dominates the consumer electronics market, by the way, and has transformed itself into the most valuable company in the world is that it has a visionary dictator like Steve Jobs who can just force the company to make exactly this kind of tough decision and steamroll over the internal silo-mongers.
If HP cant overcome its fantasy of competing against Apple in consumer electronics, or its internal silo politics, then the company will squander yet another incredible opportunity to dominate.
The TouchPads appealing usability makes it great for consumers. But without apps, it hasnt got a prayer in the biggest market. But by building in the business and enterprise features lacking on all other touch tablets, HP can own the second biggest market. And thats pretty huge.
Congratulations to HP on launching a great product. Now dont blow it!