We’ve written previously that HP’s acquisition of Palm will also mean a great deal for the company’s future tablet and netbook plans, particularly since Palm’s WebOS software is well-suited for those types of devices. Now we have even further details on those plans. HP is planning to bring out a WebOS-equipped version of its Slate tablet before the end of the fiscal year in October, and it appears to have given up on the idea of bringing WebOS to netbooks, according to Digitimes.
The site spoke to Monty Wong, vice president of personal computing systems group at HP’s Taiwan branch, who mentioned that netbooks aren’t a good fit for WebOS since they function like typical computers. Netbooks originally debuted running stripped down versions of Linux, but these days they run typical desktop operating systems like Windows XP and 7.
Since WebOS was originally designed for Palm’s Pre smartphone, it would require a significant overhaul to make it suitable for netbooks. WebOS makes more sense in tablet devices since they also use multi-touch displays like modern smartphones, except on a larger scale. It’s also why Apple decided to use its iPhone OS on the iPad, instead of developing something entirely new. Google is currently in the process of figuring out which of its operating systems — the mobile Android OS, or the upcoming browser-based Chrome OS — to push for netbooks, and the outlook doesn’t look so great for Android.
The news doesn’t mean that HP will never attempt throwing WebOS on a netbook, just that it won’t be happening any time this year. HP’s schedule for the revamped WebOS Slate would make it available for consumers by this holiday season, and it will have plenty of company from Android tablets by that point.
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