HP unveiled its first webOS tablet today, expanding the operating system beyond the smartphone. But the HP TouchPad is just the start. The company also plans to use webOS on printers and other internet-connected devices in the future. And now HP says it even plans to bring webOS to the PC.
It’s not entirely clear at the moment if we’re talking about desktop and laptop computers running webOS as their only operating system. It’s possible that HP simply plans to bring features from webOS to its Windows computers. But during the launch event for the HP TouchPad and the company’s new phones this afternoon, HP spent a fair amount of time talking about the seamless experience it wants to provide between different devices. Using the same operating system on each device would certainly be one way to do that.
For instance, HP showed off a feature that will let users open a web site on a webOS smartphone, tap the phone against a TouchPad tablet and automatically transfer the web site from one device to the other. That would certainly be a nice feature to have on a laptop as well.
Update: As I suspected, it looks like webOS won’t be shipping as a Windows replacement on PCs. Instead, Business Insider reports it will run on top of Windows, providing an HP customized user interface that runs on Windows. I suspect this will let users run webOS apps on PCs, and hopefully it means you’ll be able to get use your PC together with other webOS devices (such as tablets or phones) to do things like transfer web sites from one device to another or access all of your personal webOS data simply by logging in on any device.
Re: webOS “will run on top of Windows, providing an HP customized user interface that runs on Windows.” A perfect opportunity to open this product up to users of other platforms wasted. I suppose this means webOS won’t play with Linux or OSX. Not that OSX is terribly important since anyone running that will almost certainly be rocking an iPhone and an iPad, not HP equipment. But for the rest of us who don’t touch Redmond’s stuff, this stinks. Sorry HP, I guess I’m headed to Android.
That could be a deal breaker for me as well since I’m a Linux user who doesn’t use Windows. Andriod doesn’t do excite me as an OS, but at least it’s integration through Google apps is platform independent.
Great, but when? Next year? The products announced today aren’t coming out till summer. This is a failure on HP’s part–they needed to release an ecosystem now, not this summer or later. This just gives others more time to catch up to this announcement.
I agree, but this is very interesting.
When HP purchased Palm, I wondered if they had thoughts of competing with head to head with Apple. Conceivably the could do it with webOS, but only if they can convince users that they can live without Windows along the way.
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