HP envisions webOS on every HP PC by 2012

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Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) intends to incorporate the ability to run its webOS operating system in every PC that it ships from 2012 onward, according to a recent report that quoted CEO Leo Apotheker on this matter. The motivation behind this move is to "create a massive platform" to entice software developers into developing software that will eventually differentiate HP-branded products from that of rivals, he told Bloomberg this week. HP gained webOS when it acquired Palm last year as part of a $1.2 billion deal.

To be clear, HP intends to continue offering the Windows operating system by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), with webOS running alongside. As the largest PC maker in the world with more than 60 million units shipped in 2010 however, such a comment carries a significant amount of weight, though it isn't clear how HP will persuade PC users to the merits of its webOS. Clearly, Apotheker is eyeing the huge software ecosystem out there--such as the 350,000 apps for iOS tablets and smartphones from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), and the 250,000 apps for Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android platform.

HP unveiled its own webOS powered tablet and smartphone earlier this month, for which it currently has only 6,000 apps. Some analysts are understandably skeptical; pointing out that HP derives just 2.2 percent of its sales from software at the moment. What do you think? Does HP have what it takes to reinvent itself?

For more on this story:
- check out this article at Bloomberg
- check out this article at eWeek
- check out this article at Seattle Post Intelligencer
- check out this article at CNET News

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