HP CEO Apotheker: All HP PCs will dual-boot Windows and webOS starting in 2012

HP CEO since Nov. 1, Leo Apotheker is “overhauling HP’s $41 billion personal-computer division and says he will use acquisitions to expand in the software market, dominated by rivals such as Oracle Corp. and International Business Machines Corp,” Aaron Ricadela reports for Bloomberg. “Apotheker is reversing Hurd’s emphasis on cost-cutting in a bid to improve product quality and spur home-grown technology, and he’s touring HP’s offices to find ways to get products to market more quickly.”

“‘HP has lost its soul,’ he said in an interview at Hewlett-Packard’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California, offering a glimpse of the vision he will outline in greater detail at an event on March 14 in San Francisco,” Ricadela reports. “Apotheker, 57, resigned as CEO of German software maker SAP AG in February 2010 amid falling sales, clashes with unions over job cuts and a price increase that vexed customers. He takes the helm of a company facing slowing revenue growth and accelerating competition in cloud computing, a fast-growing area of technology that delivers software and storage via the Internet.”

Ricadela reports, “Apotheker says he also wants to make better use of WebOS, the computer-operating system acquired last year when Hewlett-Packard purchased smartphone maker Palm Inc. for $1.2 billion. Starting next year, every one of the PCs shipped by HP will include the ability to run WebOS in addition to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows, Apotheker said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apotheker is saying all the right things. Whether he can get things done effectively is the question.


    1. Absolutely right.

      HP was at its best when it was an innovative force: any competition to the stultifying usage of Windows should be welcomed, although I wish Apple would clean everyone else’s clock by resurrecting the Power Computing brand that it still owns and then creating a “diffusion” line of Mac clones that run behind cutting-edge full-caffeine Macs in terms of hardware and software.

      I’d still rather use a Mac that was two years behind the curve, without iLife and no Thunderbolt than a current machine with Windows 7.

  1. – Higher-quality (and thus higher-cost) hardware.
    – A “different” OS than you’re used to.

    Might as well go ahead and just move your enterprise over to an all-Mac setup.

  2. WebOS on a PC? Let’s take a touch based OS and put it on a PC with a keyboard. Unless they use something like Apple’s Magic Pad for touch input, I don’t see a future for it. Plus, developers for WebOS will now have a lot more hardware to consider when creating apps.

    1. WebOS will be pretty sweet on their TouchSmart PC’s. Way better than Win7 with touch, just a horrible user experience.

      I’m pretty sure Apple’s headed that way for the iMac with OS X Lion.

      1. Ah the future where everyone has tremendous shoulders?

        Who is going to hold their arms out fully all day to type or even work on a touchscreen?

        MY friend bought a 24″ Wacom screen to do his artwork on. He ditched it for a laptop with a flip screen he could sketch, paint on.

        I bring this us because, if you have an artist who is used to working on an artist easel all day, and they are complaining about their shoulders and arms getting tired from working on a touch screen surface on a table, then there is no way this will be a real useful.

        mobile devices work because of the limited size and portability. A stationary touchscreen monitor will never be suitable for more than a few minutes. Hold your arms out in front of you for more than 10 minutes….

        Anyone that works out know that even a 5lb weight will crush the strongest bodybuilder in a couple of minutes.

        How long do people use a computer? more than 10 minutes on average..

  3. So is Apotheker saying that HP is going to grown Palm’s webOS into a mature, full-grown operating system in less than a year? Does HP have any successful experience building an OS? I have doubts but hopefully they can do it.

    1. You forget that HP used to be a minicomputer manufacturer, long before it purchased Compaq which itself had consumed HP’s former competitor, Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC).

      HP had as many OSs to its name as IBM or Data General, with MPE, HP/UX and a few others.

      1. Yeah, and HP abandoned them all. They abandoned DEC’s RISC chip (Alpha) as well as their own (PA/RISC) in favor of the “Itanium”, jointly developed with Intel but never very successful. I used HP/UX long ago; it’s a bit player today. The remaining OSes were dropped long ago.

        1. OpenVMS and HP/UX are still alive. I’m not sure what will happen to the OS when Intel stops making Itanium. May be they will move to ARM….

          webOS is running on Linux kernel, so HP probably has a mature full grown unix operating system with webOS front-end running on ARM and x86.

          I think HP is moving in right direction. They should forget dual boot and run Windows 7 in VM. When the CEO says returning HP to its root, I hope they also reclaim their nickname “High Price (HP).”

    1. I agree. HP should bundle a Zune HD for every POS err HP computer sold. That will increase Zune marketshare by a billion percent and jumpstart “The Social”. 😉

    2. Just stick with Microsoft. It’s never a bad idea.

      Well, not in comparison to a really bad idea – like invading Russia in the winter or drinking orange juice that’s gone fizzy.

      But it’s still like sleeping with a Russian prostitute – a couple of hours of pleasure followed by a nasty little itchy rash.

      1. От куда у тебя столько опыта? Наверное ты знакомый с некоторыми русскими проститутками. 😉

  4. This is could be very big for HP, very bad for RIM and MS. HP has a large sales force with accounts in large and medium businesses. With WebOS they could sell the same OS on a phone, tablet, and PC for a very good bundled price. Their phones look like BB, and have the physical keyboards that BB people love. They could train people on one new OS instead of three, and have a consistent feel throughout their work environment. Having WebOS a closed system like iOS will keep it secure, a big plus to win the IT guys over. They can also support Windows throughout the migration. This will be big selling points to CFO’s and CIO’s. Apple is starting to doing this for small businesses. HP has all the clout for big business.

    HP already has prime floor, and shelf space at every major electronics retailer. They can easily showcase WebOS on phone, tablets, and PC’s. If it takes off in business you will have a people doing the “I use it at work, so I should get one for home so I can do work at home.” like they did with Windows. This could be a death blow to BB and may put them on the auction block; with HP being a buyer. Android would become a toy with little chance to get traction in the business world. Windows could also look like a toy mostly for gaming. Leaving the Android and Win world for geeks who love to tare apart and rebuild their toys.

    At the least it will get people to stop thinking the computer universe is just Mac vs. Win.; phone universe is iOS vs. Android. The new electronic universe will be OSX vs. WebOS vs. MS / Android mess.

    1. WetFX, that was a very cogent post. It is exactly what HP is going to try to accomplish. For years they have watched PC margins shrink to virtually nothing, and watched Apple generate tremendous margins in a closed ecosystem. MSFT got you into the PC game, but MSFT got all your price cutting competitors in the game as well. Survival demands dumping MSFT for something that allows you to differentiate yourself from the price cutting whores. The crap that MSFT has been feeding the world for the past 20+ years is going to make that easier than the disbelievers can imagine.
      If webOS becomes a viable enterprise software, look for a third party “Office” suite to emerge that is cross platform (iOS/MacOSX/webOS). I think we’ll see it before the end of this decade.

  5. This isn’t a smart move by HP. It’s a copycat move. It doesn’t take a genius to play monkey see monkey do.

    Webby OS is simply HP’s lame attempt at imitating iOS. Plan B in progress trying to get a piece of that lucrative ecosystem action.

  6. This is a good move on hp’s part, and reminds me of the time Apple weaned its customers away from Classic and, though Boot Camp, Windows. While it appears hp is competing against Apple in the microcomputer and tablet categories, I think the real battle is hp versus Dell and the other Windows licensees. After all these years, hp is finally in a position to emulate Apple with vertical integration in its products.

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