Starting next year, Hewlett-Packard will include its mobile operating system, WebOS, on every PC it ships, according to a story quoting new CEO Leo Apotheker. WebOS will be offered in addition to Microsoft's Windows, not as a replacement.
Apotheker reportedly made the comment in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. The motive for doing that is to augment the reach of the WebOS platform and hopefully attract more developers. There are currently 6,000 apps for WebOS, compared to 350,000 in Apple's App Store, and 250,000 in Google's Android Market. And while WebOS phone sales are far behind iPhones, and Android phones, HP is the largest PC maker in the world, selling more than 60 million units last year.
HP acquired WebOS when it bought Palm last year. WebOS was designed as the operating system for Palm smartphones, though HP has reworked the software to also work with its new line-up of tablets.
HP has said, from the minute it bought Palm, that it plans to expand the reach of WebOS, though few expected the jump to desktop and notebook PCs so quickly. But Apotheker has been trying to put his own stamp on the company since he arrived.
Apotheker is a former chief executive at software giant SAP. He was brought in to replace Mark Hurd as HP chairman and CEO after Hurd was forced to resign last August amid controversy surrounding improper expense reports and an alleged relationship with a female contract employee.
Apotheker is holding a forum with journalists in San Francisco on Monday, where he is expected to expand on his vision for the company. That will likely include more talk about his plans for WebOS, and hopefully details of how he plans to implement the new WebOS-on-every-PC strategy.
This story was updated at 10:50 a.m. PT.