The TouchPad is rumored to be bombing at retail, but that isn’t slowing down HP’s plans for webOS. Much like Google’s Android ambitions, HP is hoping to embed webOS in smart appliances, gadgets, cars, and just about anything else that has a screen. HP’s new head of webOS, Stephen DeWitt spoke with the WSJ (via CNET) about the potential of the company’s smartphone platform, noting that there is an “enormous amount of interest” in webOS as a platform.
This stance mirror’s Google’s approach to Android. At its Google I/O conference this year, Google revealed that it is working to integrate Android into smart appliances and a variety of other electronics. HP has been hinting at an expanded future for webOS since it revealed the TouchPad earlier this year. The computer maker plans to integrate webOS into all of its computers by 2012 and is actively looking at licensing partnerships.
“I happen to believe that WebOS is a uniquely outstanding operating system,” said HP CEO Leo Apotheker during the D9 conference. “It’s not correct to believe that it should only be on HP devices. There are all kinds of other people who want to make whatever kind of hardware they make and would like to connect them to the Internet.”
We are fans of webOS, but if HP hopes to expand the platform, it will have to deal with the performance issues we’ve seen on the TouchPad and Palm Pre devices and work to drum up more interest from the developer community. Currently, webOS is a distant fifth place competitor in the smartphone race, ranking behind Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform.