HP executives are making it increasingly clear that they intend to license the webOS to other companies. If this comes to pass, then multiple companies will be making devices running this operating system, which was developed as the successor to the Palm OS.
Leo Apotheker, HP’s CEO, told Bloomberg, “We are talking to a number of companies. I can share with you that a number of companies have expressed interest. We are continuing our conversations.”
This isn’t the first time that Apotheker has brought up the possibility that HP is looking for other companies to license the webOS–he make similar remarks at the All Things D conference early this month. Around that same time, Jon Rubenstein, the head of the group that develops this operating system, said HP is “willing to partner with one or two special companies.”
Samsung = Special?
Bloomberg reports being told by multiple inside sources that one of the companies that HP is in talks with is Samsung. If this is true–something that was denied by both HP and Samsung–then Samsung could be producing webOS-based smartphones and tablets.
And it might not stop there. HP has committed to introducing a whole ecosystem of webOS products, including desktops, laptops, and even printers.
More About the webOS
The webOS was developed by Palm, Inc. as the replacement for the Palm OS. However, this company was too late bringing its new operating system to the market, and it was not able to compete successfully against the growing dominance of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS.
HP purchased Palm last year primarily to get the webOS. As one of the premier computer makers in the world, HP has far more muscle to compete against Apple and Google than Palm alone ever did. And now it appears that HP is going to bring in additional allies to help in the fight.
The webOS itself is a multi-tasking, touch-oriented operating system that was designed for mobile devices. It is able to wirelessly synchronize a wide variety of data with online services like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook, as well as Microsoft Exchange.
It includes an on-device app store, and a moderate collection of third-party software is available. HP has made it a priority to bring more developers on board.