HP Wants Everyone To Feel the webOS Love... but They Won't
A webOS tablet from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) made a surprise appearance at the Computex trade show in Taipei. One of HP's vendors, SanDisk, had one at its booth. With snappy responsiveness and good layout, it's unlikely that the advance version of the device was accidentally put only the floor.
HP wants attention for its acquired operating system because it wants the software to show up everywhere: phones, tablets, PCs, industrial controllers, and every other bit of hardware imaginable. In short, HP wants webOS to replace Microsoft (MSFT) Windows and Google (GOOG) Android and Chrome OS. But wanting and getting are two different things. Supplanting currently standard software will be a tall order, as it requires cooperation from companies that will see HP as an enemy.
HP will have a big hurdle to make webOS a standard choice for hardware vendors and customers. From the moment it acquired Palm, it's been clear that HP wanted to turn webOS into an intelligent infrastructure platform for big corporations.
Most large companies are wary of tying their fortunes to a single vendor. Windows may seem like an exception, but even there, other companies make the hardware. Executives want to spread their risk. That's why there should be no surprise HP CEO L?o Apotheker said that licensing webOS to other hardware vendors was "certainly something we would entertain."
Entertain? More like pounce on any opportunity. No business will standardize on all HP-branded smartphones, desktops, tablets, servers, printers, networking equipment, and operating system ... other than HP, perhaps, and even it likely uses products from other companies. HP needs other vendors to use adopt webOS to turn the software from an HP curiosity into something that can really permeate large corporate customers.
However, HP isn't Microsoft or Google. It eventually will be in competition with each and every hardware vendor that could adopt webOS. And none of them will want to become dependent on a rival.
- HP's Twin Problems: New Strategy and New Management
- Dell, HP, and Microsoft's Pathetic Anti-iPad Strategy: Whining
- HP Says Goodbye to Microsoft and Rolls Out Its webOS Walled Garden
- HP Will Use Palm To Make a Killer Enterprise Infrastructure Play
- Why HP's Acquisition of Palm Will Upset Microsoft, Google, Apple, and RIM
Image: Flickr user new35168, CC 2.0.
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