I was always a sucker for Palm and HP’s little mobile operating system that couldn’t — for all its faults, webOS brought with it some features that put it ahead of the curve. It’s sort of a shame then that most webOS phones tended to suck in terms of execution.
The original Pre was light and plasticky, the Pre 2 didn’t improve enough, the Pixi was underpowered, the Veer was strangely small, and the Pre 3 died before it ever made it to our shores. There was another webOS device that was killed before it ever saw the light of day though, and a newly revealed video from design visualization firm Transparent House shows off what would have been HP’s next smartphone.
The first thing you’ll notice about the device in question (codenamed “WindsorNot”) is that it lacks the all-too-familiar QWERTY keyboard that had graced every other webOS phone until then. It doesn’t look entirely unlike a Pre 3 that went on a diet, and the folks at webOS Nation peg its sizable screen at around 3.6 inches — pretty generous considering Palm and HP’s track record.
What’s more, the WindsorNot bears a striking resemblance to a keyboard-less webOS device dubbed “Stingray” that appeared in the wild in April 2011. That original leaked image combined with the fact that marketing materials were already in the works means that the device was likely very close to its launch before HP decided to “discontinue operations for webOS devices” later that year. Interestingly enough, Transparent House posted the video nearly nine months ago, well after HP put an end to the production of webOS hardware.
Unlike other bits of webOS history like the 7-inch TouchPad, no Stringray/WindsorNot units have been seen out in the real world after the company’s mobile hardware ambitions were scuttled. While the chances of someone scrounging one up and posting a hands-on video aren’t zero, for now all we webOS fans can do is watch this video and think of what might have been.
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