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Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 03/ 2/2011

HP accuses RIM of ripping off WebOS for PlayBook

By Hayley Tsukayama

With the BlackBerry PlayBook reportedly set to launch on April 10, HP has raised concerns that the RIM tablet's operating system looks a little too much like HP's TouchPad.

Laptop Magazine was the first to notice the similarities between the two operating systems. For example, both systems open apps as cards that users can swipe through and quit with a swipe off-screen.

Laptop Magazine approached both companies about the similarities.

Here's what HP's director of product marketing for the TouchPad, John Oakes, had to say:

From what we've seen in the market, there are some uncanny similarities. It's a fast innovation cycle and a fast imitation cycle in this market. So we just know that we have the creative engine here to continue to build on what we have, and we'll keep innovating, we'll keep honing, and those guys hopefully will continue to see the value in it and keep following us by about a year.

RIM vice president Jeffrey McDowell responded to that statement, saying there was, "no intention and no preconceived notion" for the design, adding that QNX had the design ready before RIM began working with the company. He went on to say:

You know, cars over time end up looking a lot alike because you put them through a wind tunnel, and when you're trying to come up with the best coefficient to drag ratio, there's one optimized shape that gets the best wind resistance, right? Well, when you're trying to optimize user experience that juggles multitasking, multiple apps open at once and on a small screen, you're going to get people landing on similar kinds of designs.

Do you think HP is right to call foul, or is it just intuitive design as RIM argues? Most important, do you care about a tiff between HP and RIM -- and their anticipated devices -- at all?

Related stories:

Report: RIM's PlayBook to launch April 10?

HP debuts Veer and Pre3 phones, TouchPad tablet--and will ship webOS for PCs

By Hayley Tsukayama  | March 2, 2011; 11:23 AM ET
Categories:  BlackBerry, Gadgets, RIM, Tablets  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Report: RIM's PlayBook to launch April 10?
Next: Report: Suppliers say Apple to ship 6.5 million iPads in first quarter of 2011


If WebOS wants to wave the Open Source flag, then HP shouldn't be freaking out about imitators, real or perceived. It violates the spirit of openness.

Posted by: hesaid | March 2, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

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