Todd Bradley, HP’s executive vice president of the company’s Personal Systems Group has announced that webOS is coming to HP PCs, too, at the company’s San Francisco event on Wednesday; after announcing the HP Veer, Pre3 and TouchPad webOS devices.
Although the big cheese failed to actually tell us when, or how, the announcement does emphasize that HP is serious about webOS, hoping sheer scale and numbers will bring in developers.
“Our goal is to extend the webOS footprint as the year progresses, taking webOS to other devices including printers, some form factors you haven’t seen before, and our goal is to extend webOS experience across broadest range of devices for our customers and creating the largest install base possible for our developers,” teased Bradley before dropping the news that it will be shipping webOS on PC’s later this year. “With this in mind we will bring webOS to the HP that has the biggest reach of all - the personal computer.”
“Across HP we have people working hard to enhance customers experience of the PC to add a rich set of apps and services that only webOS offers. And as we intro webOS we will clearly expand the reach for our developers as well.
“Do the math on two PCs a second, two printers a second... We will easily exceed 100m devices with webOS deployed annually,” boasted Bradley.
HP may never ditch Windows entirely (think of the corporate market) but with it already dabbling in Instant On offerings, and even Android, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine PCs running a simplified OS such as webOS having great appeal for casual or first-time users, who are happy to sacrifice the infinite choice of the Windows world for a simpler interface and apps that only do what they want to do.
Today could be the start of something big, a new chapter in the history of HP and home computing, but equally, it could be the biggest cockup in HP’s recent history - we all saw what happened to the first Pre after an impressive CES launch.
Either way, the company is taking on the mighty Apple at its own game, with its own eco-system, and its own hardware, and for that you have to take your hat off to them.