Skip to main content

HP claims great relationship with Microsoft, cryptic about WebOS PC plans


Yesterday, HP unveiled a solid WebOS product lineup and revealed that it plans to bring WebOS to regular PCs and laptops as well. Naturally, this news had us all wondering what will happen to Windows. Well, Windows lovers, this may still be a bad dream, but it isn’t your worst nightmare. In a clarification video on HP’s TheNextBench blog, Phil McKinney, HP’s chief technical officer, laid to rest any fears that HP would abandon Microsoft.

“HP’s got a phenomenal relationship with Microsoft,” said McKinney. “We’re the largest OEM shipping Microsoft’s platforms. Microsoft is HP’s largest partner from a technology partnership perspective, so we’ve got a longstanding, great relationship and nothing in the announcements today changes that. We’ve got, you know, our PCs and our laptops going out with Windows operating platforms; we’ve got teams working together on future versions and giving feedback to Microsoft as they continue to work on future iterations of the operating system. So nothing about the announcement today changes what we have as a great relationship with Microsoft.”

Regardless, putting a new operating system on a laptop or desktop computer is something that just hasn’t happened in years. It is a shakeup, no matter how you spin it.

Bridging the PC with other devices

Speaking with PC Mag, Steven McArthur, senior VP of consumer applications at HP, spoke of WebOS as a way to connect the PC and other devices. “The way I would think about it in the vein of what a couple of the other majors are trying to do – Apple and Google,” said McArthur. “They have a world where they’re bifurcated between their mobile apps, with thir portable systems and their desktop systems. We think it’s possible to do that in a much more elegant way, and deliver this ecosystem on a PC.”

This, of course, leads us to wonder if HP will simply preload all of its PCs with WebOS as a pre-booting OS (WebOS starts up with your computer and you can launch Windows from there if you’d like) or if it will sell some PCs with Windows and some with WebOS.


McArther clarified his statements a bit and talked a bit about synergy between devices, something HP began mentioning yesterday.

“We think about [synergy] very much – and I don’t think we’ve talked about this before – HP is very focused on creating compelling and very consistent language to interact with customers with,” said McArthur. “WebOS affords us the opportunity to do that. In the past HP has done stuff like TouchSmart, with overlays, and very frankly the attach rate, the usage rate has always been disappointing. But think about an ecosystem…now combine that interface with the set of services that makes all your information available to you instantaneously, whatever device you’re on. All of your content, all of the various other pieces of the puzzle that are there, i.e. your home PC, available to you in a seamless way and available to you a way that any changes you make on an endpoint, like a smartphone tablet, instantaneously sync back to your home portfolio. Nobody else can do that, by the way.”

Hopefully, HP will more clearly outline its vision in the near future.

Editors' Recommendations

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
HP unveils WebOS HP Veer, Palm Pre 3, and HP TouchPad tablet

At its WebOS event a few moments ago, HP announced three new Palm-centric products: one small, one medium, and one large. The HP Veer is a miniature touch smartphone, the Pre 3 updates the existing Palm Pre line of smartphones, and the HP TouchPad is a full-fledged 9.7-inch tablet. Better, all three devices can sync up contacts, data, and calendar events with one another. Details below, courtesy of CNET.

Small: HP Veer

Read more
HP planning webOS netbooks?
hp planning webos netbooks carrier training

Eschewing this month's CES show in Las Vegas, technology giant Hewlett-Packard announced it would be holding its own webOS event on February 9—and while all speculation centered on likely tablet devices running Palm's well-regarded webOS, training materials available from HP suggest the company is looking to bring webOS to netbooks as well.

According to  PreCentral, materials posed to a webOS carrier training site strongly imply that HP intends to bring not only webOS smartphones and tablets to market, but also netbooks. The materials offer no clue about capabilities, price points, or any dates of availability; however, the materials do focus on smartphones rather than tablets (which HP is calling "slates") or netbooks, noting "tomorrow will come soon enough."

Read more
HP announces webOS event for February 9
hp announces webos event for february 9 feb annc

The Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas might be the center of (most) of the technology universe, but technology giant HP is eschewing the chaos and glitz, sending out invitations to its own webOS event scheduled for February 9. HP doesn't say what it plans to reveal—although all expectations are for the company to roll out the first significant fruit of its acquisition of Palm, hopefully including promised webOS-based tablet devices.

The invitations put to rest the notion that HP was preparing a surprise unveiling for new Palm-based technology at CES, which were widely dismissed by industry watchers since there would be no way for HP to marshall the resources for a big announcement at CES and keep the activity under wraps. The February announcement date may indicate that HP needs a few more weeks to get its webOS reveals put together…or the company may simply be taking a page from Apple's playbook: the Cupertino company has historically skipped CES (and more recently backed out of Macworld) in favor of hosting its own one-off events and announcements.

Read more