HP acquired WebOS last year following its purchase of Palm for $1.2 billion. Apotheker said that WebOS will be offered on HP PCs in addition to — and not in place of — Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The move is in intended to help WebOS become a multi-platform operating system that runs on devices from smartphones to tablets to PCs.
It’s not likely that WebOS will supplant existing operating systems on PCs, but rather would run on top of Windows to be able to launch WebOS apps. HP had previously announced its plans to push WebOS on to PC’s last month, but, at the time, the company didn’t reveal the scope of its commitment to the operating system. We now know that HP means each and every PC it sells starting in 2012 will have WebOS installed.
The move could be crucial in extending WebOS’ viability as a platform. Its major weakness right now is a lack of software supporting the platform. For comparison purposes consider that Apple’s iOS currently has around 350,000 apps, Android has more than 250,000. WebOS has around 6,000.
Expect to hear more about HP’s plans for WebOS on March 14 at a company event in San Francisco.