When HP purchased Palm earlier this month, we talked about why and for what reason the computer and printer retailer wanted a phone manufacturer. It turns out that now we possibly have found a reason for why they wanted the webOS. They want to introduce the multitask-intensive operating system into a line of printers! Yes, printers. That's what HP's Mark Hurd said on their quarterly earnings call:
I think in this case of Palm, and our planned acquisition of Palm, it really has more to do with the intellectual property and the fact that when you look across the HP ecosystem of interconnected devices, it is a large family of devices. When we think of printers, you've now got a whole series of web-connected printers that, as they connect to the web, need an OS. We prefer to have that OS in our case to be our IP, where we can control the customer experience as we always have in the printing business, and that's a big deal to us.
Basically, HP has an operating system of their own on every consumer gadget up to their netbook line. Anything that requires a touch-based OS, whether it's a stylus or a mouse, HP can now fit those products with webOS. Think about the webOS going onto one of HP's digital cameras or picture frames!
Mr. Hurd also talked about HP's plan to launch a web-OS tablet. The question is that when they move forward with this tablet, will it be able to dual-boot Windows and will it be ARM or x86? Hurd did make note to say that they aren't completely doing away with the notion of a Windows tablet, going on to say that "Microsoft is probably one of the best relationships we've got in our company, and they're still extremely important."
We here at the show are big fans of the webOS and look forward to see what plans HP has in store for their newest acquisition.