Microsoft could be irritated by HP's plans to port webOS onto PCs, even if those PCs continue to also run Windows.
reported intention to port its recently acquired webOS onto its PCs could be a
smart move for the company, according to analysts. But it also risks
antagonizing Microsoft, which until this point has been a major software
A March 9 Bloomberg report
quotes HP CEO Leo
Apotheker as saying the move would create "a massive platform," with HP
computers apparently running webOS alongside Windows in a dual-boot
webOS when it purchased Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010. While Palm had limited
use of the operating system to its smartphones, HP's intentions are much more
broad-based, with designs on installing the OS on smartphones, tablets and now,
laptops and desktops.
market responds to HP's efforts, the company likely faces something of an
uphill battle in audience adoption. According to the latest Net Applications data
, market share across
all versions of the Windows franchise stands at 89.69 percent, followed by
Apple at 5.19 percent. In addition, Google plans on launching a Chrome OS that
will also compete for its piece of the market pie.
said, some analysts regard HP's move as a beneficial one for the company.
"WebOS is HP's Trojan horse to marry Cloud, Mobile and Social," Ray Wang,
principal analyst of Constellation Research, wrote in a March 10 e-mail to
eWEEK. "It's a smart move in leveraging an underused asset."
webOS would allow HP to create Apple-style synergy between products in
different categories. Unlike Apple, though, HP risks alienating a crucial
"I have little
doubt this further soured the relationship between HP and Microsoft, who likely
wasn't given any heads up on this and has undoubtedly had to explain it to board
members, financial analysts and a number of customers by now," Rob Enderle,
principal analyst of the Enderle Group, wrote in a March 10 e-mail to eWEEK.
"HP remains Microsoft's biggest seller of Windows PCs, and anything they can do
to weaken the franchise-and this does that on paper-is a problem for them."
dual-loaded with webOS will apparently begin shipping in early 2012. In the
meantime, a more immediate challenge presents itself to HP and the operating
system: the tablet market. On Feb. 9, HP unveiled the TouchPad tablet, which
features a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 16GB or 32GB of built-in
memory, and integration with any webOS smartphones.
hardware specs put it roughly level with other rivals in the space, but it
nonetheless faces substantial competition from the likes of Apple's bestselling
iPad and a rapidly multiplying number of Google Android tablets. HP also hopes
to reinvigorate the Palm line of smartphones, which have attracted critical
praise from some quarters but a generalized drubbing in the