HP’s webOS event was mostly about launching the TouchPad, their dual-core iPad clone that runs Palm’s webOS operating system. During the interminably long event, however, there were a few gems about the rest of the company’s strategy, including the news that webOS – a touch-oriented OS from the ground up, would be coming to desktops.
Of course, we’ve discussed this previously, in covering the launch of the TouchSmart 310. Still, it’s good to get official confirmation, and HP seems happy to dole it out. In addition to having two phones and a tablet (the HP Pre3, the HP Veer and the HP TouchPad) running webOS, the Palo Alto-based company plans to spread the cloud-centric love to desktops, notebooks and printers.
Printers may seem surprising, but it’s an obvious choice; as touch becomes the preferred mode of interaction for these devices, it will be increasingly important for manufacturers to make them easy to use. Since webOS is lauded by most critics as the most user-friendly mobile OS on the market, it seems like a wise decision.
That same touch and user friendly architecture is what will make webOS a welcome addition to more powerful computing devices, like notebooks and all-in-one desktops. It’s unlikely that HP will do much to put the OS on devices that do not have a touchscreen of some sort – Windows would still be a vastly superior operating system for keyboard and mouse interaction.
Touch, however, is something that Microsoft has always had a problem implementing (aside, of course, from the Microsoft Surface project). In fact, while HP’s TouchSmart units are fantastic design partnered with solid hardware, it’s the OS and the interfact that lets them down.
Putting webOS on there can change that. It’s easy to use, stores your data in the cloud and is designed from the ground up to spread your data across all of your devices.
HP’s vision of the future is simple: one phone, one tablet, one PC. One company: HP. End-to-end, from software to hardware – Apple may have beaten them to it, but if today’s event shows anything, it’s that HP is ready to fight.