First off, a tip of the fedora goes to Bloomberg for its interview, which confirms some speculation that webOS would move beyond the mobile arena.
If you missed it, check out HP's Touchpad tablet, featuring the latest version of webOS. If indeed users will be able to sync their webOS phone, webOS tablet and webOS computer together, there's a union that rivals Apple, making the Touchpad the first real contender to the iPad. Meanwhile, signs indicate Apple is trying to incorporate iOS into Mac OS X, but it hasn't put full-blown iOS on Macs yet.
HP's move also has implications regarding adoption levels. For example, the Android OS seems confined to mobile devices and tablets and Google has decided to push Chrome in favor of Android for the netbook/notebook arena. That messes with the ubiquitous nature of both an OS and Google's brand. HP's plan is more ambitious, since it is offering both a consistent user environment and platform. Now, users of any 2012 HP PC (and there are a quite a few) will have this newfangled webOS to play with. Users who like it can buy the tablet or phone. If they don't love it enough to buy a phone or tablet but like it enough to use it daily on their PC, that's also great for adoption. Even if users hate it, that one-time exposure to webOS is still worth it, in HP's opinion.
The move also gives developers an instant audience of sorts that is equal to the amount of HP PCs being shipped. This is where The VAR Guy starts to feel the ripples of a post-PC world -- or, at the very least, a post-Windows world.
Such a move also fully blurs the line between PC manufacturers and mobile device manufacturers, a trend Apple started with the introduction of the iPhone way back in 2007. If HP's move pans out, the ripple effect will move well beyond hardware vendors into corporate IT departments and even mobile service providers, The VAR Guy believes.
Of course, it's pure conjecture, but The VAR Guy also has a sneaking suspicion that if webOS on HP desktops uses the x86 architecture, there may arise a small community of people who run webOS on non-HP hardware, much like hackers did with Mac OS X.
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