Wednesday, March 9, 2011
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HP claims all its PCs will ship with the WebOS mobile operating system in addition to Microsoft’s Windows sometime next year, according to a report.
That’s an ambitious plan, considering that HP hasn’t even announced a ship date for the WebOS-powered TouchPad tablet yet.
The purpose of the expansion to PCs would be to entice software developers to build apps for the WebOS ecosystem, according to Bloomberg, which originally reported the story. If WebOS is on HP PCs in addition to tablets and smartphones, third-party developers would have a bigger audience for selling apps.
“You create a massive platform,” Leo Apotheker, HP’s new CEO, said in an interview buried deep inside a wordy Bloomberg story.
In terms of apps, HP’s WebOS definitely has some catching up to do. Apple’s iOS is nearing 400,000 apps in the App Store, and Google’s Android has about 250,000. HP’s WebOS has 6,000 apps.
HP acquired Palm last year for the WebOS smartphone operating system. Last month the company introduced the first tablet running WebOS, dubbed the TouchPad. The 9.7-inch tablet is very similar to Apple’s iPad. HP has not announced a price tag or a ship date for the TouchPad.
It’s no surprise that HP has plans to roll WebOS into PCs as well. Research firm DisplaySearch found that in the fourth quarter of 2010, Apple surpassed HP for the No.1 spot in the “mobile PC market,” when you combine sales of Mac notebooks with the iPad. So with the iPad included, Apple sold 10.2 million, or 17.2 percent of, mobile computers during the fourth quarter of 2010. HP shipped 9.3 million notebooks.
Apple is taking a very similar approach with its PCs. Steve Jobs has said the next version of the Mac operating system, OS Lion, will blend traits of iOS into OS X. Ahead of OS Lion’s release, Apple has launched an App Store for the Mac.
In other words, HP is basically mimicking Apple’s verticalized mobile strategy by cultivating and expanding on an in-house mobile ecosystem rather than solely relying on Microsoft, which has not yet announced a credible tablet strategy.
Original Source: HP Says WebOS Will Land on PCs in 2012
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