All HP PCs will come with webOS pre-installed in 2012, the CEO of HP has said.

“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,” Leo Apotheker told Businessweek magazine.

The news is the first time the company has given a date as to when it hopes to roll out the webOS platform on PCs, after HP announced the plans at the launch of its new tablet and smartphones in February.

In a wide-ranging and not massively interesting interview, the CEO also admitted that: “HP has lost its soul.”

Todd Bradley, HP’s executive vice president of the company’s Personal Systems Group, first broke the news that webOS was breaking away from the company’s phones at HP’s San Francisco event in February; after announcing the HP Veer, Pre3 and TouchPad webOS devices.

However, he failed to actually tell us when, or how, at the time:

“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 at the time. “With this in mind we will bring webOS to the HP that has the biggest reach of all - the personal computer.”

The move, claims HP, is aimed at enticing software developers to create a wider range of applications that would differentiate HP PCs, printers, tablets and phones from those sold by rivals.