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HP is taking a cue from Apple and phasing out Windows on a portion of its consumer PCs in exchange for its own proprietary OS, webOS.  (Source: Seattle Pi)
HP will be airing desktops and laptops powered by webOS, will continue to ship Windows PCs to business customers

Amid all the Windows Phone 7/Nokia merger excitement, buzz surrounding Hewlett Packard Co.'s big webOS announcement of upcoming devices, including the Pre3 has largely died out.  But last week HP made headlines not for its smartphones or tablets, but for an unusual announcement -- it would be putting webOS on PCs.  A slide from last Wednesday showed both desktops and laptops sporting webOS.

And just like that HP and Microsoft's relationship headed into Apple-Google love-hate territory.  And that's pretty significant, given that HP is the world's largest manufacturer of personal computers.

In an interview with the Seattle Pi, Phil McKinney, (left) chief technology officer of HP's personal systems group, offers some insight into why HP is giving Microsoft Windows the boot on a number of its devices.  

Asked if HP is "dumping" Windows entirely, Mr. McKinney remarks, "No, there's a huge user base that still wants the PC. The key is that even on their PCs, people want to have it integrated with their devices. We have our PCs, you have your pads, you've got your phones. How do they work together? In today's world they all act as individual information islands. What WebOS does is bring all that together."

Asked whether the webOS PCs would merely be virtual machines within Windows, Mr. McKinney denied this.  Apparently the webOS PCs will be exactly what they sound like -- a full-fledged webOS operating system on a personal computer.  Mr. McKinney comments, "No, it's not virtualization. It's an integrated WebOS experience we're looking to bring."

Asked why HP didn't merely work with Microsoft to include the missing features it wanted in Windows 8, Mr. McKinney replies, "We have a great partnership with Microsoft. You think about the number of PCs we sell, we're Microsoft's largest customer. We have a huge installed base of Microsoft platforms. We're working with Microsoft on the future of Windows and we're very optimistic on what that future is, but what we think is we can bring an enhancement to that."

Asked if the introduction of webOS tablets and other mobile devices in the consumer market will cause confusion among business purchasers, Mr. McKinney states, "With WebOS on a PC, you won't have to make that choice. You can develop your WebOS app that'll run on your phone, your slate and your PC."

Overall Mr. McKinney's talk makes it clear that HP is taking webOS PCs seriously, and hints that the company may be moving away from Windows.

That leaves Microsoft and HP with a pretty awkward relationship.  In the IT market HP will sell Windows products.  But in the consumer market, it will be pushing webOS competitors to Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 products.

At the end of the day, one of the interesting things about this development is that it represents the personal computing/mobile computing industry's division into two camps -- one who makes an OS and shares it with a number of hardware partners (Google, Microsoft), the other who makes both the OS and the hardware on a single proprietary platform (HP, Apple, RIM).  Both strategies are backed by some of the tech industry's biggest names.  Time will only tell which prevails.



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By Cerin218 on 2/15/2011 4:40:22 PM , Rating: 1
Best system I have ever used. It's simplicity is almost poetic, yet it's incredibly powerful. Cards are a brilliant way to multitask. Most things are intuitive. The only problem I have had with it this far is that you can't transfer files wireless without modifying the phone. But that's when you see even more brilliance, you can modify the linux base in order to do amazing things. I can terminal, script, get, home brew, ssl, ssh, etc. I also like they encourage development and home brew.

The basic idea is that the iPhone is as popular as it is because people want to use their greasy sausage finger to mash an icon and have their system do what they want it to do without thinking about how to do it. Windows is becoming too complicated for the simple things people want to do. Tablets and simplicity is the future. WebOS does both. Simplicity and power is it's brilliance.




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