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HP Operating Systems

HP To Put WebOS On PCs In 2012 200

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-player-in-town dept.
Stenchwarrior writes "Hewlett-Packard's chief executive officer Leo Apotheker announced that WebOS will be on every PC that HP ships in 2012. The move is intended to attract more developers and push the operating system from mobile devices onto desktops. Apotheker made the announcement during a presentation to HP's staff in India, according to a report by Bloomberg. It's not likely that WebOS will supplant existing operating systems on PCs, but rather would run on top of Windows to be able to launch WebOS apps. HP had previously announced its plans to push WebOS onto PCs last month, but, at the time, the company didn't reveal the scope of its commitment to the operating system. We now know that HP means each and every PC it sells starting in 2012 will have WebOS installed."
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HP To Put WebOS On PCs In 2012

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  • by fotbr (855184)

    I guess I don't understand why one would want to launch WebOS applications when they're sitting at their desktop or laptop. Is there an actual desire for this that I'm just too dense to understand?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bloodhawk (813939) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @05:06PM (#35435312)
      I am with ya on that, this move is completely beyond comprehension, not only does it seem pointless but if you have dealt much with HP software over the years the last thing you would want from them is more of it.
      • by Bert64 (520050)

        And the fact it installs on top of windows, its just another piece of bloatware that will annoy users...

        A fast booting splashtop like environment would be useful, or what Dell did where there's a separate low power ARM cpu inside which runs an instant-on os for browsing and media playback with much better battery life etc...

      • by altoz (653655)

        It's not hard to understand their thinking. They saw the amount of money that Apple was making and realized that the key piece to what Apple has is their own OS. They want their own iTunes, app store, etc.

        Not saying it will work, but I can see where they're trying to go. The big advantage Apple has over all the other PC manufacturers is that they control everything from hardware to software. HP took a step in that direction so they can give the user a better experience.

        I mean, Dell's acquiring AMD and that'

        • Dell is not acquiring AMD. It was speculated, but most people don't take it seriously.
    • by yoshi_mon (172895)

      This likely is a boardroom decision that is devoid of engineering input. And given HPs cooperate culture lately it does not surprise me one bit.

      It is however very sad from a company that was founded by engineers.

    • by AdamThor (995520) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @05:25PM (#35435606)

      Everyone seems to be coming up with something like this. And I think it's all to encourage you to stay within the owner's ecosystem where they make the rules and skim the profits of everything that comes through.

      Apple iStore started it.
      Then Steam. GamesForWindowsLive is an obvious ripoff. Apple is offering more and more stuff, Facebook wants to start offering credits or something like that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook_Credits [wikipedia.org] App Stores, Paypal, etc. it's the wave of the future.

      Everyone wants to be the broker through which you do all your stuff. I kinda hope that they all screw off and drop dead. I don't need any more middle men between me and my destination.

      Maybe the marketplaces will proliferate to the extent that none of them can become truly mandatory. Or maybe one day you'll choose between the 300 different app markets that do all sorts of shit and you'll have to be careful to shop out the one with the best terms. Or maybe you'll have to join a bunch of them (that product you just bought requires you to join another one, please generate ANOTHER unique username and password!) and you'll have to manage all 300 digital identities.

      Perhaps you can see how excited I am.

      • I kinda hope that they all screw off and drop dead. I don't need any more middle men between me and my destination.

        Maybe the marketplaces will proliferate to the extent that none of them can become truly mandatory. Or maybe one day you'll choose between the 300 different app markets that do all sorts of shit and you'll have to be careful to shop out the one with the best terms. Or maybe you'll have to join a bunch of them (that product you just bought requires you to join another one, please generate ANOTHER unique username and password!) and you'll have to manage all 300 digital identities.

        Perhaps you can see how excited I am.

        I'm with you on the "store" overload with all of the DRM that comes with it, but I must point out that in terms of middle men, you're usually ahead with one of these stores. There are far more indie musicians/authors/software-devs now, since the chain is usually creator->store->customer, rather than creator->(agent)->smaller label/softwareco/publisher-> multinational parent corp -> distribution chain -> retail store -> customer.

        • by AdamThor (995520)

          Ah, you are correct, I think. Still, these stores drive me crazy. What is it, then? Perhaps it's the marketing that comes along with it. Maybe it's having to run an extra application. Or maybe it's the liberties that they seem to take with my computer.

          • My guess is that it is all back to the DRM: Software to prevent you from copying (that is buggy), logins and passwords to forget, etc...

        • dunno, when the store becomes mainstream and full of offers you may be better off setting up a website and a shopping cart instead.

      • by Lennie (16154)

        I run my apps on a 'private-cloud', a small Soekris box in the corner with an encrypted backup in the 'real cloud'.

        And life is good again.

        I'm just waiting for the 'freedombox' to be ready and easy to install to replace it.

      • by Linegod (9952)

        Steam came before Apple iStore. So did Games for Windows Live.

        You're right, screw the Apple iStore.

      • Everyone seems to be coming up with something like this. And I think it's all to encourage you to stay within the owner's ecosystem where they make the rules and skim the profits of everything that comes through.

        Naturally. It's much easier and cheaper to add worthless (and costless) crap to your product than it is to actually lower the price.

    • by jejones (115979)

      As a happy Palm Pre user, I'm very interested in whether WebOS's UI can be well-mapped to a {desk, lap}top. IMHO it's far more intuitive than Android's, and I'd be very happy with a WebOS tablet. I refuse to buy hardware contaminated with Windows. If I can get a WebOS computer without having to buy Windows, I'm willing to give it a look.

      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Martin Blank (154261) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @05:54PM (#35435932) Journal

        I'm also a happy Pre user, and looking forward to the Pre3/Touchpad combination. I'll be happier if WebOS for the desktop will be available for installation on other vendor hardware, as a lot of people like or are locked into Dell, Lenovo, or Toshiba, or build their own.

        Those who question the installation of WebOS on HP systems in large part haven't seen what HP is trying to do with it. The concept is closer to consumer cloud computing than anything else that I've seen. While certain services will allow you wide access to one type of data (Box.net for files, webmail for e-mail, etc.), HP is going for total data availability from any device (at least if it's running WebOS). You can have local copies if you wish, but the data will be synchronized across a wide variety of devices. In the future, if it pans out, then I'm sure we'll see WebOS TVs, tables, walls, or refrigerators (or maybe even toasters) to make it so we never have to do much more than turn around to access our data.

        Personally, I'd love to have the option of synchronizing it with my choice of hosts, or with my systems at home if I choose to keep things out of someone else's hands. The options are important, and if it means paying a few bucks for it, I'm OK with that.

        I don't know if WebOS will be the platform to make this happen the way that it needs to. It may be that Apple will come up with something similar by utilizing their new data center. Google, of course, has been pushing to become the world's data repository. Some other party could come up with something that does it better. Everyone is pushing everyone else, and it makes it an interesting time to watch it all unfold.

      • I would be interested to see if they can create "Minority Report" style integration on phones, tablets, laptops and desktops by using the same OS at all levels and writing the shell so that running applications can be moved between individual devices.

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      I think I didn't get it before, but WebOS is a hit/miss in Spanish speaking countries as it's an homonym with "Huevos", which is slang for "balls".

      As in "Tienes WebOS?". Ah, yes... I don't see a good future launching WebOS either.
    • There is virtually no desire for this. I'm guessing a buyer a senior buyer at HP found WebOS at rock-bottom liquidation prices so low he couldn't pass it up. This is despite the fact that HP have no use for it and their customers either haven't heard of it or don't give a crap about it, nor should they. Maybe they'll have to learn the hard way not to go into a dollar store with a full wallet - when you do, you're guaranteed to buy crap you don't need just because it appears to be cheap. Not such a great dea
      • You do know that WebOS is the successor of PalmOS, and was acquired by HP when they bought Palm and replaced all the HP and Compaq handheld devices, right? What they're doing is saying "Guess what... all those apps you have for your mobile device will now run on your HP desktop as well -- and have full access to the same data pool."

        WebOS is no discount OS -- it's version 2 of the first successful handheld OS out there (NewtonOS doesn't count), updated to take advantage of the latest and greatest technologi

        • Im glad someone knows what they are talking about. All I see in here are Apple fanboi's taking every opportunity to bash something they clearly know nothing about.
        • Where there is a http://opensource.palm.com/ [palm.com], I don't know to what extent they're opening up the entire OS.

          Could WebOS be the Great White Hope for geeks now that Nokia has gone to the dark $ide?

          And how open (rooted) are HP current or future WebOS handhelds to be?

          Is there any HP analogue to the N900?

      • WebOS is by all accounts great software, which was hobbled by poor hardware and half-hearted support from Palm. In concept and execution it is superb, so much so that Apple have started poaching former developers (for notifications for example).

        If HP had the guts and wherewithal to fully back WebOS, drop Windows for consumers, and convert all their offerings to WebOS, they could really create an ecosystem to rival Apple or Google's, and win over a lot of consumers to a simpler method of computing (most peop

    • Presumably it would be an instant-on OS you can use instead of Windows. I actually like the idea. Furthermore, HP has touchscreens on some of their laptops now so I suspect they may take advantage of this feature. WebOS is supposed to sync up and partially control all your mobile devices (SMS texting, emails, facebook, twitter, etc) even if you don't have your phone right next to you, so I don't see why this is a bad thing. You can have a tablet, phone, and laptop all in sync without thinking about it.
    • I guess I don't understand why one would want to launch WebOS applications when they're sitting at their desktop or laptop

      I would like to be able to run iPad apps on my windows laptop. If I could run iOS on my laptop I could do that.

      Same deal here.

    • It looks to me more like a way for HP to phase in a product without taking too much of a risk (burning their bridge to Microsoft before they've erected their skyway to the cloud).

      Remember how for the longest time Microsoft continued to developed DOS while they were trying to perfect their Mac System clone called "Windows"? Until Win 95 came out, Windows was one mess of a barely good enough graphical interface.

      Ditto for Google and their seemingly perpetual "Beta" offerings.

      I suspect HP's first goal is to

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      I think they are gonna try to pull that "Quickboot Linux" crap like some did with the "instant on" ROM chips in motherboards. My dad has one of those, know how many times he's used it? Never. not a single time. Because while having an instant browser is nice it won't run his messenger or his QB or any of the little Windows apps he likes, so he never bothers.

      I think that is kinda the problem most people don't get about the desktop, the simple fact It is NEVER Windows and Office that bites you in the ass and

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @05:03PM (#35435268)
    ...Yet they will not take even consumer friendly Ubuntu seriously. IS the idea of Linux as a consumer friendly OS a dead end?
    • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @05:06PM (#35435314) Homepage Journal
      Well, um, webOS is Linux [wikipedia.org]. Does that help?

      Also, there's this thing [wikipedia.org], which you may have heard of.
      • It's still a crippled OS even compared to Windows.
      • by rssrss (686344) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @07:05PM (#35436876)

        Only on /. would a bunch of computer nerds be complaining about a big OEM installing a Linux variant on their PCs. Goes to show you. Some people can't be made happy, no matter what you do.

        • by Microlith (54737)

          Only on /. would a bunch of computer nerds be complaining about a big OEM installing a Linux variant on their PCs.

          Because it's all "oh it's our custom Linux that has all sorts of proprietary elements that you can't replace, but that makes it User Friendly, unlike all those terrible open source bits."

      • by Microlith (54737)

        Both of which are beset by either proprietary or NIH elements that break them away from Linux as a whole.

        What value is there in a kernel when the user space and environment are wholly dependent on elements you cannot access, and have no ability to influence?

    • ...Yet they will not take even consumer friendly Ubuntu seriously. IS the idea of Linux as a consumer friendly OS a dead end?

      Consumer friendly would mean at least as easy as Windows (you'd think it's not a high bar), and to have all apps users would want/need.

      On this basis, I'd say the closest to consumer friendly Linux has ever gotten is Android, and their app market is doing worse than iOS / Windows Phone 7 right now (amazing for WP7, didn't expect that in mere 4 months).

      And that's mobile, nothing on the desktop. So if you see such an animal as a consumer friendly Linux on the desktop, let me know.

      Maybe Chrome OS. Maybe. Looks

      • by Reapman (740286)

        Worse then Windows Phone 7's market? Seriously?

        I've read a few places that the Windows Marketplace just hit 9000 apps.

        http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/09/technology/wac_wholesale_applications/ [cnn.com]

        According to that they have 9500, which is a far cry from Android's 200k+ and iPhone's 300k+

        • by DeadboltX (751907)
          Obviously having plenty of choices and options is a good thing, but there is such a thing as too many. iPhone may have 300k apps in their store, but that just means you have to sift through 80k poorly named fart noise apps, 30k calculators, etc, etc..
      • Consumer friendly would mean at least as easy as Windows (you'd think it's not a high bar), and to have all apps users would want/need.

        I have an Ubuntu PC that runs all of the apps I need...and they were all free. The only place that it does not match up is in gaming and my understanding is that if I were to buy Crossover, that would be solved.
        As far as ease of use goes, I found it no harder to learn to use than it was to learn to use a Macintosh and everybody keeps telling me that a Mac is easier to use than Windows.

    • GNU/Linux? Sure. You just need to get away from the "I am a unix" mentality. It forces the system into the users face. No user wants to know how or why things happen. They just want it all to work. Ubuntu is close as you will get if you keep hanging onto that paradigm.
      • by Microlith (54737)

        No user wants to know how or why things happen. They just want it all to work. Ubuntu is close as you will get if you keep hanging onto that paradigm.

        Then tell all those vendors to stop using crippled OSes like Android and iOS, and to stop using proprietary components (like webOS, which uses a proprietary framebuffer and a proprietary IPC system) and *nix users might adopt them. Until then, all they're doing is saying "please abandon everything that's been done to date and adopt this system that we alone co

    • by Lennie (16154)

      No, the desktop is dead, long live webapps on a Linux kernel and webkit ! ;-)

  • I'm sure this will be a raging success, a truly innovative and high quality product, just like everything else HP has produced in the past decade.

    • It sounds like you're sarcastic, but we still have beter experience with HP than other brands. Maybe using Windows as a step to get more people to use WebOS applications isn't such a bad idea. I mean, most users just use the computer to mail, watch videos on Youtube and stalk eachother on Facebook, how much of a stretch is it to jump from Windows to an OS that only needs to connect you to the internet and run your choice of browser?
    • by zaivala (887815)
      Give this guy irony points. My HP desktop has nannyware built into it that forces me to reinstall the operating system if I install anything that modifies the MBR (e..g, most distros of Linux, as dual boot). Nobody has yet shown me how to disable that, and several attempts have only caused me to, yup, reinstall the software. The only way around this is to install Linux outright, and throw my Windoze disks out.
      • by Rennt (582550)

        Sounds like you keep re-installing the same crappy nag-enabled OEM software. Get a real copy of Windows and you'll be happy (assuming Windows is your thing that is).

  • by pla (258480) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @05:07PM (#35435334) Journal
    Aaaaand... One more reason why my first task on any new OEM PC boils down to "wipe and reinstall the OS".

    I honestly don't know if I "like" WebOS or not yet, but if I want a Windows PC, I damned well want a Windows PC, not a frankenbox designed to push some crack-addled CEO's latest cross-marketing wet dreams on an otherwise unwilling audience.
  • Continue to purchase anything but HP.
    • Caveat emptor!

      I just cleaned up my son-in-law's Acer computer of all sort of shit, purportedly put in by the manufacturer to "help" the consumer get a great experience with their product.

      Mostly useless stuff taking up RAM and processor cycles and delivering usage information to Acer "parteners" (God Bless you Peter Sellers!)

      Nowadays, you have to either live with the bloatware or be knowledgeable enough to know what you can remove safely. Starting with the horrible Norton / Symantec shit...

      A couple of weeks

  • I don't care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shellster_dude (1261444) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @05:11PM (#35435382)
    No matter what a PC comes with, the first thing I do is slash and burn and install whatever I want. There's no way I'm going to put up with all the bloatware and possible malicious software the vendor installed.
  • Do people still actually buy HP computers?
    • by MightyYar (622222)

      Surely you jest? They sell more than anyone else.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Surely you jest? They sell more than anyone else.

        Unfortunately this is true.

        John and Jane Clueless will go down to Harvey Norman/Wallmart/Tesco's and purchase a HP laptop that was sold to them by an equally clueless salesman.

        But to my even greater annoyance,

        John Q CIO will standardise on HP laptops because he golfs with the regional director of HP sales.

    • People? No. Corporations? In droves.
      • Opened my corporate HP. Turns out is is made in the same factory as iPhones (Foxconn)
        • by Compaqt (1758360)

          I didn't quite understand if you meant that as a good thing or bad thing. Even from a single supplier, there are different levels of quality of production.

  • Only 10 years after Apple put Unix on consumer desktops!
  • "Launch on top of Windows" - A.K.A. an emulator app (even if through a virtual machine, nonetheless it will be an emulator for something that allows web OS apps launch seamlessly on windows ... none of whcih I can see as anything close of newsworthy)

  • and I bet there is not a restore disk for either system in the box. here's a nickel, Leo, go buy a clue.

    • ADVENTURES IN GRAMMAR NAZISM: Technically it should be a semicolon after "Leo"; tell all your friends. Save the semicolon!
      • by Xtifr (1323)

        Technically, it should be something other than a comma, but the semicolon is only one of a number of options. It could be a period, an exclamation point, an em-dash, or even (though it would give a slightly archaic feel) a colon. Simply inserting the word "to" before "go" would also fix the problem.

        I'm also a fan of the semicolon, but—unfortunately—the only time it's mandatory in English is in a list of lists.

        • For the new kids, we like to make things simple—after all, the kids would get alarmed: and we shouldn't want to find ourselves with that mess. I, too, am a patron of such alternatives—mostly the colon and em-dash. But syntactically, the semicolon is the most natural, since we're talking about a straight sentence fusion, and an em-dash is merely sugar for emphasis—sexy, wonderful emphasis.
  • by mr100percent (57156) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @05:24PM (#35435596) Homepage Journal

    This brings up several questions. WebOS is a dedicated touchscreen app. Using one of those OSes with a mouse is much less appealing and doesn't feel as productive. Ever tried running the iOS emulator (comes with the SDK) or somesuch? It's just not meant for it.

    Also, wouldn't you have to recompile all the apps? ARM is a different processor

    • HP has touchscreen desktop computers as well as touchscreens on some of their laptops. I suspect this means they will probably make this a standard feature on WebOS devices.
    • by smbarbour (893880)

      All of the apps (except those built with the PDK) are HTML and Javascript.

      While I'm not happy with my current WebOS phone (the Pixi Plus that I had to beg for from Verizon's third-party insurance provider to replace the Palm Plus that had a cracked screen), I love the OS. Even the built-in apps can be modified.

  • My laptop for instance has two power buttons. One brings up the normal OS loader, and the other brings up an instant-on OS to play media files and a browser. I never use it, but its an idea.
    Put WebOS in its own partition. Let them choose it at boot time...or with its own power button. Heck, if its in ROM it could be pretty nifty.

  • I'm gettin' a Dell.
  • 2012 WILL be the year of the Linux (HP) Desktop.
    • 2012 WILL be the year of the Linux (HP) Desktop.

      Linux has been running my home desktops since 1999, and my work desktops since 2003. My wife loves it, and now despises Windows. On those rare occasions at work when I have to run Windows (for short amounts of time, fortunately), it feels primitive and unintuitive.

  • by HeavyAl (695278)

    Recently some of my in-laws brought me their new HP notebook complaining that it was (of course) slow, and that intermittently they could or could not load their pictures onto it. Turned out that it was one of these notebooks HP had shipped with the webos as some kind of pre-boot setup and my less than technically savvy family members weren't able to tell when they were in windows (yes, a nightmare unto itself) or were in the webos. The solution was to backup their data, wipe the machine and install stock W

  • What, all 5,000 of them? Wow ...

    That's gonna attract throngs of developers!

    • by Compaqt (1758360)

      What's wrong with HP computers?

      Granted I haven't been in the market for a long time, but the last time I was, HP computers were quite solidly built, with toolless removal of disk drives, heavy (i.e, high-quality) power supplies, etc.

  • .. glad you showed up.
    At my company you cannot buy Dells. After 5 orders which had 2 to 5 PC's, every order was screwed up in some way. DOA, wrong operating system, no operating system (yes that last is true).
    On our second order from HP we got a computer in and looked at the form factor and called them up and said we would happy with the fan placement. They took it back. Put the RMA tag on it and UPS came by and picked it up.
  • Since WebOS applications is just web apps run in a V8 javascript environment with some nice javascript api:s for notifications, window management aso. my guess is that the PC WebOS will be a layer on top of Windows (and Linux mybe?) that just runs WebOS apps. They have said it will be an integrated experience, so they will probably have ported their notification, window management and other apis to be a gateway to the underlying os.
    I will be surprised if they will be able to run the "native" binaries, like

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