HP CEO wants WebOS on every HP computer


— 9:26 AM on March 9, 2011

WebOS has some exciting times ahead of it. Born out of Palm's aspirations to compete with the iPhone, the operating system is now slated to appear in not just tablets like HP's TouchPad, but also every one of HP's regular PCs.

Don't take it from me. BusinessWeek brought the plan to light in a piece on HP's new CEO, Leo Apotheker, which clearly states the following:

Apotheker says he also wants to make better use of WebOS, the computer-operating system acquired last year when Hewlett- Packard purchased smartphone maker Palm Inc. for $1.2 billion. Starting next year, every one of the PCs shipped by HP will include the ability to run WebOS in addition to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows, Apotheker said.

While the piece doesn't go into exactly how WebOS will be implemented on PCs, it does provide an explanation as to why: HP needs more apps for WebOS to succeed. According to BusinessWeek, WebOS's third-party application repertoire only counts 6,000 apps, which is small potatoes compared to the 250,000 apps out for Android and the 350,000 available for iOS. Faced with a broader ecosystem of WebOS-equipped products, developers could start to balance things out.

I could definitely see WebOS as a quicker-booting, more responsive alternative to Windows 7 Starter on low-cost netbooks, but I'm having trouble picturing it on regular desktop PCs and notebooks. Even if WebOS gains solid support for touchpad input and HD displays, HP has its work cut out if it wants to draw users away from Windows.

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