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HP open to idea of licensing webOS, use on TVs

updated 03:40 pm EDT, Wed June 1, 2011

HP may license webOS to other PC builders

HP chief Leo Apotheker in his guest appearance at the D9 expo hinted that his company might license webOS in the future. Even though all initial webOS devices in the post-takeover era were HP-made, the CEO said it was "not correct to believe" that the platform would be limited just to HP hardware. He wouldn't say to which companies or when, but when asked about HTC said he "would entertain" the idea if it came up.

Such a move could radically alter HP's position in the market and make it a more direct competitor to Microsoft. The Windows developer has mostly left Apple, RIM, and other platform developers alone when their platforms are integrated, but it has been aggressive whenever a competitor arrives that follows the licensing model. Microsoft has most recently been engaging in a shakedown campaign against Android trying to artificially hike the price of Google's OS and could theoretically find pretext to target webOS as well.

Microsoft was still a good partner, he said, and he added that he didn't expect Windows to "fade into irrelevance."

On device types, Apotheker also suggested that webOS might be good for TVs and hinted that work might even be underway. "We are trying to see if we could make some things happen," he said. So far, only Apple and Google of the major OS developers have tried making dedicated TV operating systems and have had limited success, with Apple TV boxes having a dominant share relative to Google TV.

Tablets were an equal focus with the imminent launch of the TouchPad. He claimed to have learned from the lesson of the BlackBerry PlayBook and wouldn't rush his tablet into market just to say it had a competitor on the market. Most expect it to ship in mid-June but with a full suite of apps intact, including native e-mail and others still not present on the PlayBook.

"The one lesson I have learned from this, and I'm driving my engineers crazy with this, is that we will not release a product that isn't perfect," he said.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. brainiac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Thinking about the possibilities...

    As life passes you by.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Always Waiting....

    Things to do while you wait for your new HP computer to create recovery disks:

    Paint the fence in the backyard.....with a toothbrush.
    Build a scale model of the Empire State Building out of Lego....Scale = 1:1.
    Translate Les Miserables from French into English...and then into Klingon.
    Listen to Don McLean's "American Pie"....435 times.
    Watch an Automobile Race....perhaps the 24 Hours of LeMans.
    Mow the lawn....with fingernail clippers.
    Plant your tomatoes in the garden....and then make marinara sauce.
    Play some golf....I hear it is a nice walk to Pebble Beach, from Cincinnati.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Saying all the right things. So far.

    [...] "Microsoft was still a good partner, he said, and he added that he didn't expect Windows to "fade into irrelevance."" [...]

    Mr. Apotheker was just trying to be nice. Microsoft is rapidly fading into irrelevance as I type this.

    [...] "The one lesson I have learned from this, and I'm driving my engineers crazy with this, is that we will not release a product that isn't perfect," he said. [...]

    Wow. He's showing signs of "getting it."

    And licensing webOS is the only way for it to gain market share. As long as HP's hardware partners (that sounds weird, doesn't it?) agree to not mess around with webOS and cause the fatal fragmentation that is Android's biggest, heaviest boat anchor.

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