Dumping a smartphone operating system onto a computing device like a netbook may not be the most sensible thing to do, but it cannot be denied that OEMs have attempted to do so with varying levels of success. And if HP has its way, the next entrant to the netbook game will be powered by an OS which the company spent millions to acquire: Palm’s webOS.
Read on to find out more.
With small, highly portable netbooks running Windows 7 under attack from even smaller devices like smartphones and slate PCs capable of performing basic computing tasks such as sending emails and surfing the Internet, it is little wonder that netbook OEMs are starting to think up of creative ways to ensure the relevancy of the device. After all, chances are users who merely need a means of remaining connected on the move are unlikely to be affected by the choice of operating systems used in such devices as long as it is capable of performing the aforementioned tasks flawlessly.
And while most OEMs would attempt to reinvent the netbook by giving it added features such as loading it with more powerful hardware, adding touchscreens or preloading the device with Android, it appears that HP has got its own idea of how to make its own netbook stand out from the competition. Apparently, a leaked training video from the company (very aptly titled webOS 101) has all but given away what some have been suspecting all this while: that HP intends to somehow dump its recently acquired webOS operating system into netbooks to create a seamless operating ecosystem. In addition, a quiz question posed by HP at the end of the instructional clip claims that webOS will be available on multiple devices.
If one stops to think about it, it should probably come as little surprise that HP is embarking down this route of having most of its devices running off the same operating system. After all, HP did spend a cool US$1.2 billion to acquire Palm Inc and its webOS operating system, and it is also natural that HP will want to make full use of its acquisition by actively developing and promoting webOS as a worthy competitor to iOS, Windows Phone 7 and Android. More importantly, the benefits of having an ecosystem where all devices can “speak” to each other while on identical operating system cannot be underestimated, especially when users are starting to see their devices as being part of a greater network as opposed to functioning as standalone devices.
That being said, the video promises that other devices running on webOS will come soon enough, which strongly suggests that users like you and me will not have to wait long before such devices make their way to retail stores. Of course, the only question is whether we will get to see these new webOS products before the competition takes another step forward and leaves HP behind in its wake.