Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker, today announced that begining next year, all PCs sold by the company will include webOS, the mobile operating system acquired by HP when it bought Palm last year. The operating system will ship alongside, not instead of, Microsoft's Windows.
That HP had ambitions for webOS on the desktop was revealed in February at the company's event introducing the TouchPad. What wasn't clear then was the scale of the plans. webOS willn't be a niche offering, but will become enormously widespread.
The move is designed to give webOS greater reach and make it more attractive to developers. Apotheker wants to create a "massive platform," and wants to use more than just phones and tablets to achieve this. With HP the largest seller of PCs in the world, the move should mean that by the end of 2012 there'll be tens of millions of systems with webOS installed.
Since its release in June 2009, webOS has struggled to attract third-party developers. Its application store, the Palm App Catalog, has about 6,000 applications, a figure that places it far behind Apple's 350,000 iOS applications and Google's 250,000 Android applications. It even lags behind newcomer Windows Phone 7, which has over 9,000 applications already.