HP envisions webOS on every HP PC by 2012
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?
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