Feeds

HP lays cuckoo egg in Microsoft nest

webOS among the Windows

Seven Steps to Software Security

Is it safe? Is it safe?

Microsoft's business relationship with HP is probably safe, at least on the traditional PC and notebook form factor side of things. The same cannot be said of tablets or phones. Here, HP is joining Dell and others in putting non-Windows operating systems on phones and tablets. In every other case, the non-Windows operating system is Android. Dell, for example, is working on a roadmap for tablets featuring eight Android fondleslabs and just two Windows machines by early 2012. One of those is Windows 7 and the other the yet-to-launch Windows 8.

Buried in Businessweek's article is the real reason HP is making greater use of webOS. It's also a reason why Microsoft's traditional PC OEM business shouldn't be sweating too much. According to HP, there are just 6,000 apps for webOS, compared to 350,000 for Apple's various mobile devices available and 250,000 for Android from Google's market.

A scroll through the Palm Market reveals that HP, like Apple and Google, has web apps for music, social networking, gaming, and business and finance services. There are no web-based personal productivity apps from Microsoft or anyone else - just more web widgets.

The Palm Market is therefore just another app store, less broad and not as popular as the others. HP knows this and realizes it must make something of the assets it spent $1.2bn buying last year.

HP clearly hopes to attract coders to webOS by giving it instant ubiquity thanks to its PC market share. The devs it wants are those using HTML, Javascript, and CSS used to build for webOS.

Apotheker admits in the piece he wants to make better use of webOS, but this isn't necessarily an Apotheker strategy. Before he arrived, in May 2010. HP was talking webOS on printers.

The sale of PCs sold pre-installed with Windows remains solid, and HP won't jeopardize that for business, consumers, or channel partners. HP's decision to put webOS on millions of PCs is designed to help finally make something of last year's purchase of Palm. If HP is successful, its Windows PCs will simply become more webified.

In this way, HP is just the latest Silicon Valley tech company chanting "developers, developers, developers" - hoping to those who build the apps people download and use will now build for their hardware, thereby increasing its appeal and saleability. HP has been trying to convince world+dog - and itself - for years that it's one of the world's largest software companies when - even by its own numbers - it is a tiny player. HP made more on sales of printers, ink, and paper during its most recent fiscal year of 2010 - $25bn - than it did on software, $3.6bn.

It's around the edges – in new markets and on new devices, away from the traditional PC - that things between Microsoft and HP are starting to crack. And here, HP is no different to companies like Dell embracing non-Windows operating systems, primarily Android, for tablets and phones.

It was HP after all - Microsoft's biggest partner on Windows - who wasn't in the first wave of OEMs making phones installed with Windows Phone 7 during 2010 and who bought Palm with webOS instead. Also, HP dumped Microsoft's Windows Home Server on its home media centers to "put additional resources on webOS initiatives" according to HP marketing manager Allen Buckner.®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.