Monday, May 24, 2010

HP and WebOS

So, after acquiring Palm just recently, HP seems to draw a more clear picture[1] about its intentions with Palm.

Or should I rather say "with webOS".

Two headlines from the past two weeks or so that caught my eye... the more recent and more obvious from the Register:
HP exec confirms WebOS tablet • reghardware:
"According to Monty Wong, VP of PCs at HP's Taiwan operation, WebOS will be used in smartphones and tablets, but not in netbooks, DigiTimes reports."

and the more surprising one where Ars Technica quotes Mark Hurd:
When we think of printers, you’ve now got a whole series of web-connected printers that, as they connect to the web, need an OS.
in their article "HP: introducing the webOS... printer?"

webOS for printers? Does make sense... doesn't it?
  • you need an OS that is capable of a proper rich user interface on a small screen/LCD
  • you are still connected to at least a local network, quite likely to the internet as well
  • you can have a market for (3rd party) apps that handle output, connectivity, etc, etc directly on the printer
So HP was actually looking for an app-ready operating system for their series of connected gadgets and devices, rather than for yet another hand-held (HW-) manufacturer...

This now makes a lot more sense[2].

As Ars Technica sums it up quite nicely:
In other words, webOS gives HP its own lightweight, Web-savvy client operating system for all of its consumer-facing gadgetry up through netbooks.
Don't mind that Ars Technica and The Register contradict each other regarding netbooks... that's beside the point I think. Every device that has the size and hardware capabilities of a netbook will run Windows and/or Linux anyway. The more exciting area here is tablets / pads / printers / gadgets.

Can't wait to see if they manage to get that done properly...
[1] at least more clear to me, sorry, if this was all obvious to you ...
[2] Ford and Microsoft are already going for an app-ready OS for cars... the Ford SYNC.

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