Will HP's plan to bring WebOS to the PC make life better or worse for IT?

HP has announced plans to launch WebOS on the PC. Are they trying to become the next Apple? Will yet another PC OS make life better or worse for IT?

During today's WebOS event in San Francisco, HP executives announced that beyond releasing a tablet (the TouchPad) and two new smarphones (the Veer and the larger Pre) running the operating system, the company would soon be shipping PC with running WebOS.

Beyond the actual announcement, HP executives didn't provide much detail about this potential bombshell. But as ZDNet's Sam Diaz wrote:

"But the message was loud and clear - and I can't help but think that it was so loud that it sent shockwaves through some glass offices some 800 miles away in Redmond, Washington."

It seems that HP may be trying to become the mass-market Apple--blending its own hardware and software into a seamless experience.

Unfortunately, it's not just Microsoft that should be concerned. IT departments will now have yet another desktop operating system to support, or at least consider supporting. Developers will have yet another platform to build for. And, malware creators will have yet another system to target.

I realize it may be too early to know whether WebOS on the desktop will be a positive or negative for IT. Who knows, it many not even happen. But if it does, IT won't be able to ignore it.


Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

Realvdude 1 Like

As far as business goes, is it going to run the business apps needed. Same goes for personal use too. If the only thing it does is create a new platform for development and maybe run some HP apps, it will likely fail.


I guess before that happens, they will need to prove that they can make it work. I was a Palm user for a long time, but could never get comfortable with the Pre/Piixii. Palm's bulldozing in of their user base was a disaster. I don't see a WebOS desktop being anything other than a thin client in the workplace. Then, assuming it is 500% better running that it was on a phone, it is not a big deal.


HP was incorporated in 1947 and had the world's first marketed, mass-produced personal computer (ok - large calculator) in 1968. Apple was established in 1976, after Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, originally designed the Apple I computer while working for them (they turned it down). Could you clarify your thought here? Later you mention "blending its own hardware and software into a seamless experience". HP has been known to offer clients what they required on their machines (BASIC loader, DOS, Windows, Linux, etc.) while Apple has consistently offered only one option: theirs. It seems to me HP is simply adding another option to satisfy another customer preference, which Apple demonstrated exists (some would argue "created").

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler 1 Like

HP has announced plans to launch WebOS on the PC. Are they trying to become the next Apple? Will yet another PC OS make life better or worse for IT? Take the poll in the post above and let me know. Original post and poll:


Won't effect IT at all. Thanks for including a link to the original article. Though I didn't need to this time, I often like to reference the article as I'm reading posts or replying.

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