Hardware, Software Programs

webOS To Power Netbooks, Too


Hewlett-Packard confirmed what most tech watchers have been suspecting all along, that webOS operating system will soon power not just smartphones and tablets from the company, but netbooks as well.

And if the company think webOS is well suited to run on netbooks, it could – and we’re taking a wild guess here – one day run on notebooks and desktops, like Google’s Chrome OS will.

HP’s first webOS tablet code-named Hurricane is rumored to be out soon. Note that the image on the right is a mockup of an HP slate running webOS rather than the actual prototype shot.

Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP?s personal systems group, said in a CNBC interview seen below that his company is hard at work creating their inaugural tablet powered by webOS:

We are totally focused on the tablet market, totally focused on enabling that with webOS, which we bought over the summer from Palm. We believe that the tablet is one piece of that ecosystem, one piece of the (always) connected experience that we are going to create.

The webOS is the first truly Web-based operating system that is differentiated from anything that is on the market today. webOS is the only true multi-tasking operating system: we can have twenty different applications working simultaneously. 

According to Gartner, HP was the leading computer vendor in the US in terms of unit shipments during the holiday quarter. HP’s training website for resellers confirms Bradley’s words by mentioning the synergy resulting from smartphones, slates and netbooks all running the same operating system, webOS.

HP is scheduled to host a "broad public show" in San Francisco on Wednesday, February 9, to discuss new webOS version and the devices that will run it. HP, which scrapped its Windows 7-powered slate PC in mid-2010 over poor performance and battery life is adamant to get back in the game.

HP’s $1.2 billion Palm acquisition in April of 2008 was, watchers think, motivated by the smartphone maker’s resource-savvy operating system that’s said to scale from small factor devices like smartphones to regular computers.

The computer maker pledged at the time to put webOS into their high-end peripherals like printers, but this is the first time they’re explicitly mentioning netbooks. On the other hand, a webOS-powered netbook from HP may not be like your regular netbook and could instead file as an oversized tablet with a physical keyboard and a dock to turn it into a portable computer.