HP woos developers with cut-price TouchPads

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HP woos developers with cut-price TouchPads

HP has stopped making the TouchPad, but that doesn't mean it wants developers to stop making apps.

The troubled company has restarted selling the TouchPad at a discount to developers, after HP decided to stop making tablets and smartphones running the webOS platform it bought with Palm, selling them off at a massive discount.

While HP has continued to issue updates for the platform, many are worried about a lack of apps - so much so that some developers have already rooted the device to let it dual-boot Android.

To encourage developers to make apps for webOS, HP is selling the 32GB TouchPad for £130 ($A172) in the UK and $149 in the US. The device was originally priced at £429 and fell to £115 in the fire sale in August.

In order to get one, developers must apply for a coupon for the device by 18 November, and then use that to buy the tablet. The sale is only for registered developers, with even HP employees banned from buying a TouchPad.

Brandon Watson, Microsoft's director of Windows Phone, wasn't impressed. "HP can give their webOS developers the chance to spend $150 on a EOL [end of life] product, or you can build Windows Phone apps and get a free phone," he tweeted, calling it an "easy choice".

Developers who do decide to invest in a TouchPad may be encouraged by HP's recent turnaround on plans to sell off or spin off its PC-making unit, and new CEO Meg Whitman has said she's considering what to do with webOS.

At the time of publication there were no plans for the deal to be made available to Australian developers.

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

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