HP could license webOS to other companies, says CEO

As HP prepares to launch its first major products using the webOS operating system that it acquired when it bought Palm, many questions remain. Will webOS make a dent in the market that already has Android, iOS and many other smartphone-based systems to choose from? Will HP's plans to release notebooks and even desktops with webOS installed be successful? We don't know the answers to that yet but we do have the answer to another question about HP's webOS plans.

According to a report over at Venture Beat, HP's current CEO Léo Apotheker said today during the D9 Conference that HP was looking to license webOS to third party companies like Google has done with Android and Microsoft has done with its Windows Phone 7 and indeed, all of its operating systems. Apotheker is quoted as saying, "WebOS will be more than just running inside or on top a particular piece of hardware that HP would make."

While he didn't mention specific deals, Apotheker did say that the operating system could be use for a number of products, some of which are not targeted at the consumer market. We are talking about things like small business and enterprise companies who might use webOS for its internal network. But what about a smartphone maker who might want to use webOS inside? Apotheker didn't talk specifics but did say, "That is certainly something we would entertain."

HP is apparently close to launching its webOS powered tablet product, the TouchPad. Current rumors have the product launching as early as June 12. HP notebooks and PCs with webOS installed might show us as early as this fall.

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