The new CEO of HP Leo Apotheker plans to put Palm’s WebOS, in addition to Microsoft Windows, on every PC HP will ship from next year onwards.
Apotheker says HP’s intention is to entice software developers to create a broader set of applications that would differentiate HP computers, printers, tablets and phones from those sold by rivals.
Programmers have built more than 350,000 apps for devices made by Apple Inc and more than 250,000 for Google Inc’s Android Market. WebOS has 6,000 apps, according to HP.
HP’s Achilles heel
Analysts uniformly agree that software is HP’s Achilles heel. The new CEO says he’s likely to buy more companies with software expertise, following HP’s 14 February acquisition of data-analysis company Vertica for an undisclosed price. He said he’s on the lookout for targets that will help HP beef up security and equip customers to analyse large amounts of data.
“I happen to know something about software,” said Apotheker, who spent more than 20 years at SAP, the world’s largest maker of business application software.