HP: Apps Developers to Get Integrated WebOS for Multiple DevicesBy Reuters | Posted 2010-08-06 Email Print
HP is hoping to lure apps developers to its WebOS mobile operating system by offering them a range of devices on which the OS will run, including smartphones, tablet computers and even printers.
LAKE TAHOE, Calif, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) hopes a new crop of tablet devices, printers and other devices will attract a wave of innovative applications for its recently-acquired Palm software, as the world's top PC vendor company competes with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) in a rapidly shifting technology market.
Shane Robison, HP's chief strategy and technology officer, said it plans to integrate a vast number of products into Palm's webOS platform.
He said that integration will be a key advantage as HP seeks to popularize webOS, the operating system it acquired through its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm earlier this year.
"This isn't strictly focused on the tablet," Robison said during an interview with Reuters at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, California, on Thursday. "We're going to have printers, even some printers that have detachable, smaller slate devices on them."
"And when you think about the number of printers we ship, 50 million-plus a year, that gets the app developers attention," he said.
Enticing developers to create software applications -- from games to mapping programs -- which consumers can use on webOS-based devices is a key plank in HP's strategy.
"We need a rich catalog of apps and we're working hard on that," Robison said.
While HP plans to offer smartphones and tablets running webOS, Robison said that HP would also offer tablets designed for corporate users that run Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows software.
He said Google's Android software was currently "not on the roadmap."
HP is the world's number one PC makers, but it is playing catch-up to companies like Apple and Google in the increasingly popular market for smartphones, as well as the emerging tablet PC category currently dominated by Apple.
"It's very urgent for us to have a good mobility play," Robison said.
Shares of Palo Alto, California-based HP fell 0.9 percent to close at $46.35 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)