HP set to shun Windows Phone 7, use webOS for mobiles

Although HP is gearing up to produce a tablet based off Windows 7, Executive Vice President Todd Bradley has told CNBC that they will "exclusively use its webOS" software for their forthcoming line of new smartphones.

With HP's purchase of Palm in April of this year, many have speculated on just what HP plans to do with the former mobile giant. WebOS, found on the Palm Pre, made waves when it was introduced and was seen by many as a last hurrah by Palm before fading into potential obscurity. When the company was put up for sale, HP snapped up assets and IP and has yet to produce anything from their quick purchase.

Previously, HP has explained that it had planned on using webOS in a line of smart-printers and that they would potentially maintain their current mobile relationship with Microsoft. Instead, HP has Apple and Google in their sights and is aiming to also be a top-shelf competitor in the continuously developing smartphone market. 

Hardware giants Dell and HP have typically utilized Microsoft's offerings on their previous line of mobile devices. With Dell hopping on the Googlewagon and HP insistent on not allowing webOS to fade into obscurity, Microsoft will rely on its Asian hardware partners (LG, et al) even more. 

iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, webOS and even RIM with OS6, are all fighting for dominance in an already crowded market. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft has any tricks left in those perpetually long sleeves to shove WP7 into the spotlight, rather than slipping into the second tier.

Also interesting, this announcement completely reverses HP's earlier stance on smartphones. From CEO Mark Hurd:

"We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. And I tell people that, but it doesn’t seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment…We have tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices…Now imagine that being a web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition."

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29 Comments

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I don't think this makes any sense for HP. Unless they plan to make themselves another Google, there are two many variables missing, same issue Palm had in the first place. The software and the phone were great but no cloud presence. Nothing has changed with HP involved. HP needs a cloud presence that rivals Google and Microsoft's current platform and Apple I'm sure is heading there as well. HP has no search engine, no email service, no map service. They can't rely on other companies to provide these cloud services if they want to start their own smartphone os.

I guess the next thing we're going to learn is that Apple won't make Android or WP7 phones.

Seriously, HP spent $1.2 BILLION dollars on acquiring Palm. You don't spend that kind of money and then turn around and make phones with competing mobile OSs on them.

I thought HP said they had no intentions of going back into the smart phone market with webos when they bought palm?

neufuse said,
I thought HP said they had no intentions of going back into the smart phone market with webos when they bought palm?

Money talks, no intentions walk.

neufuse said,
I thought HP said they had no intentions of going back into the smart phone market with webos when they bought palm?

They have lots of intentions, actually. Over a billion if I remember.

gosh..this day phone market competition is getting even more crowded than we expected,but the computer operating system won't have much competition anymore..imagine one day phone bussiness completly bigger and can do more stuff than a usual computer...maybe at least 2 more decade!!!

lol... cant stop laughing. No one wants to jump into the 7 nightmare in phones. And its obvious why.
With a lil of luck microsoft itself might release a phone with their "magical" OS but remember kin? Nobody does. LOL... cant stop laughing... again.

ThePitt said,
lol... cant stop laughing. No one wants to jump into the 7 nightmare in phones. And its obvious why.
With a lil of luck microsoft itself might release a phone with their "magical" OS but remember kin? Nobody does. LOL... cant stop laughing... again.

Right... ignorance is bliss I guess, it's easy to laugh then.

There are many things that still need to play out before any such statements can be made. Tablets are all the rage now, cool. Netbooks were few years ago. Let us remember: when netbooks started shipping, Microsoft OS was not to be found on majority of them. Today, they ship on 95% (or close) of netbooks. Let's just see what happens tomorrow. Because - HP has been known to switch their plans in the past, no? After all, it is the partnership with Microsoft that made HP the company that it today is. They have no experience in shipping an in-house OS and dealing with the whole support infrastructure themselves.

It's funny when people's hate for MS makes them well - make silly comments. If you have been around IT industry for a while, you'd know this.

Absolutely, ThePitt. HP is totally avoiding WP7 because it sucks, and not because they spent over a billion dollars on Palm. Yup, you're absolutely correct.

/go back to whatever youtube comments you spawned from

Only Microsoft remembers Kin, and how it tremendously failed.
WP7 brings nothing new to the market, and it comes really late. Another fail is what's expected. Not even Microsoft believes it will have good reception. UI sucks, features are lacking.

Matt Hardwick said,
in other news the us president is black!

Did you just woke up from two thousands and eight? You have a lot of news catching up to do.

rtire said,
Does this mean that there will be no more Palm branded devices?

I read somewhere it will be kept as a sub brand, like Dell has Studio and Inspiron we could so HP Palms possibly.

rtire said,
Does this mean that there will be no more Palm branded devices?

Most likely. Usually when companies get bought they take the IP and some properties and fold the whole thing. There are exceptions and I still hope the Palm brand survives in some capacity but that might not happen.

rtire said,
Does this mean that there will be no more Palm branded devices?

Probably not, and the Palm devices I have won't work anymore because there is no 64-bit software.

Uhhh, duh!! They bought Palm and are using their OS on their own phones. Would be stupid to support or endorse another platform.

Makes sense to use assets you just bought but does not make sense when you think webOS has been out for over a year and it has made very little inroads in the mobile space. HP would be able to sell a lot more phones if it simply jumped of the Android band wagon.

and in other breaking news Sony won't produce Xbox accessories but will continue to make PCs that run Windows.

At least HP will produce Android phones..oh wait.

Well, this makes sense. Would have been kinda stupid to basically buy a mobile os, then not use it on mobile devices. If they want to go exclusive, that's there choice, it's not like hp is a huge player in the phone business.