I can remember back to the first time I heard about webOS. Along with most other tech enthusiasts, my inner nerd was excited beyond containment. Then along came Android to rain on its parade – and pretty much every other platform out there, worldwide. Not long after, Palm took a dive and HP's buyout saved them from the crash at the bottom. Since then, they both (though the Palm brand is no longer in use) have been hard at work, trying to breath life back into the still young mobile platform.

Over the past year, things have grown rather stagnant for webOS. The released devices are lacking in luster and differentiation. Even in the upcoming batch, little has changed externally, while the innards and OS itself have experienced some pretty nice upgrades. Many were hoping for a candybar-style form factor from HP, but they appear to favor the vertical sliding QWERTY. Luckily, 2011 is just starting and there is still plenty of hope for those of us interested in webOS.

HP has a hectic schedule for webOS in 2011, and an even more rigorous schedule for the platform in 2012. It was first rumored that they would be releasing webOS not only on smartphones and tablets, but on netbooks, too. It now appears as if HP plans to equip every PC they release in the year 2012 with webOS. Buyers will have the option to dual-boot between Windows and the mobile OS.

I wasn't exactly sold on the idea of webOS as a standalone platform on a netbook. It's still in early stages and lacks a lot of utilities that many people need in a computer like a full web browser. Now that we know the plan is to have it installed side by side with a full OS, things have changed.

As a heavily gesture-based platform, webOS would be difficult to use without a touchscreen. Meaning, the normally cheap netbook might experience a hefty price increase due to the addition of a touchscreen. Considering we now know that netbooks aren't the only target hardware and PCs have been thrown into the mix as well, its safe to say that HP has implemented a different navigation method, likely by touchpad, mouse, and/or keyboard. This means it's merely an add-on without a large bump in price. Honestly, HP has a golden idea, if they can market it right.

At first, all of the current mobile platforms were intended for use with smartphones. Things have completely changed in the matter of a year. As these platforms mature, we're seeing their reach grow beyond use in just phones and tablets. The uses of Android, BlackBerry, and iOS are expanding to integration with our in-car lives. It's only a matter of time before these platforms make another leap. I'm glad to see HP recognizing that, and giving webOS the jump on other platforms.

I have always loved webOS, and I would love nothing more than to see it succeed. It's Achilles' heel right now is the lack of application support. Sitting at just over 6,000 applications, it's already fallen into the shadow of Windows Phone 7, which isn't quite 6 months old yet. As the OS matures and better hardware comes our way, I expect only good things to come from HP and webOS. Especially if they're slowly leaking it into the computer world. That's sure to entice at least a few developers, and every one counts.

More important than applications though, is HP's strong push for cloud storage and the tight-knit ecosystem between different webOS devices. Booting a PC up to webOS could be a much easier way to manage or share content on your phone or TouchPad. It all depends on how they utilize the platform on PCs and how they market it, but they've definitely got my attention just my mentioning it.

I've always been a fan of HP computers, and the ability to dual-boot between Windows and webOS would be a priceless selling point for many. Would you be more prone to buy a computer with the ability to dual-boot to webOS? Or do you think it would be a useless novelty?

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41 Reactions to this post

"Should HP pre-install webOS on every computer?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Hugo Dahl Why not just have WebOS for the "Quick Boot, use this computer/notebook/netbook to play media?"
Darren Tyrrell Seriously people Android FAILS on desktops/notebooks. I personally think if they try a OSX approach they might do well or as a skin on top of Windows.
Ali Okatan have it avalible as an alternate OS. perhaps dual boot?
Zac Hooper palm suuuuuuuuuuuuucks. i'd be ok with chromeOS though...
Jordan Mosley Sure, it will be better than Windows!!!!
Benjamin Padilla Yes. That would get webOS to the masses and then people will will want to buy their phones and tablets.
Joseph Wells Sure. As long as you can still install Windows, Android, and Linux.
Jeremy Mahon No!!!!!
Radu Tanasescu It's a pity that Palm had to sell and will eventually disappear as a company just like compaq did. Palm is one of the most innovative mobile devices company out there, Palm OS is still superior to many mobile os's and is responsible for things like threaded messaging. Too bad palm devices always had hardware problems. But even so I would have bought the Palm Pre, for years I had used and owned nothing but Treos, but for some strange reason palm devices are no longer available in my country (Romania) the pre never came, not even unlocked. I waited and waited untill my aging treo 750's audio jack failed and bought a Hero, I wonder why the pre never sold?
Johny Alvarez Google would see this as a excuse to manufacture a chrome OS and android powerd computer...
Joseph Portillo Hell yeah!
Anh-Tuan Le They should if they are a believer in webOS. Most people don't know what webOS is. But that doesn't mean that they won't appreciate it or prefer it over Android or Windows. It's up to HP to do its market research to figure out, not what the consumers SAY they want, but what the consumers REALLY want.
Robert Salender Choice of OS. But I want Linux pre-installed.
Paul Drake Nah, just Android and keep costs down with no windoze-tax
Jon B I think a WebOs skin over Windows on the touchscreen desktops would be very interesting and would help them sell the touchscreen desktops.
Henry Prz Nope..
Mj Williams Yes. They should. I think it should dual boot with windows based PCs as well =)
Alex Simmons Hells Yea!
Ed Hauser i partitioned a web OS on my laptop used it once and erased it. Web OS stinks! but mix windows and android and id be happy
Gabriel Fernandez It would be smart in terms of OS sales but I think they should give users an option or make it dual-boot.
Ross Silva I just want HP to pick up the pace on this whole webOS deal, we can only wait for so long especially now that Windows Phone 7 has entered the ring too! and for all of y'all that say "webOS sucks"...go eat shit and die u damn crApple fanboys; I'm an evo user and used to own a Pre and I admit despite Android being an outstanding OS, webOS is superior and much easier to use and understand; the only downside is the low number of applications compared to the rest
Ewelina Baginska no, do not do that!
JJ Johnson hell yea. it will help there sells
Thy Heng Android better
Dushyanthan Devadoss No... But it would be interesting to have an OS option other than Windows.. including some free Linux options
Thy Heng Ehhhh....
Noel Gil webOS > Android. Except the apps part.
Luis Montoya A hybrid windows n android with a hint of chrome!!!! wait..... Google should do this instead!!!
Victor Rios No they should run their laptops on Android :)
Michael Molyneux IM THE FIRST TO COMMENT!!!!

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