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SAN FRANCISCO—In his first meet-the-press-and-analyst conference, new Hewlett-Packard chief executive Leo Apotheker on March 14 laid out in both general and in specific terms where he wants to take the IT giant in the next two years.

In the process, Apotheker revealed that HP is about to roll out a new platform-as-a-service business for cloud system building, it is planning to open a new applications store during the next year, and it intends to continue doing business as usual with Microsoft—even though it will be installing its own WebOS in numerous new devices.

The latter point was especially interesting following the announcement Feb. 9 that HP is using its Palm-created operating system not only in tablets and smartphones, but also in new fleets of desktop and laptop PCs to come out later this year and beyond.

HP, the world’s largest producer of PCs of any kind, has sold a high number of Windows-installed PCs and servers in the last two decades. Thus, the WebOS announcement at the TouchPad and smartphone launch on Feb. 9 appeared to cloud the future of the longtime relationship between HP and Microsoft.

"The WebOS is an unbelievably attractive piece of technology in that it can interconnect seamlessly a number of various devices. It is simply an outstanding Web operating system," Apotheker (pictured, left, with CFO Cathy Lesjack) said in response to a question from eWEEK.

"We’ll be shipping this first on the dedicated devices—the smartphones [Pre3 and Veer] and the tablets [TouchPad and Slate]. From that day forward, there will be wave after wave of technology coming out for the WebOS platform.

For more, read the eWEEK article: Cloud Computing, Analytics, WebOS Top HP’s Market Strategy: Apotheker.