Palm and HP Teaming up to Put webOS on Everything HP

Palm was purchased by HP earlier this year for just north of a billion dollars and HP has some pretty ambitious plans for its acquisitions webOS platform. Correction, that’s HP webOS now. Former CEO of Palm—Jon Ruinstein—now heads up the Palm division at HP and according to his comments at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, HP has quite a bit in store for the lovable OS.

Besides those rumors claiming that five to six new Palm devices are coming out in 2011, HP has plans to put some version of webOS on its printers in the near future. Some other webOS powered stuff is also in the works. According to Ruinstein, “You’ll see multiple devices and HP in the middle of all this. Our objective is to deliver a unified HP experience with tablets next year and webOS printers in the future and other ideas I’m not ready to talk about.” Interesting stuff.

While I am not exactly thrilled about a webOS printer, HP’s coming PalmPad tablet is definitely something I want to check out. So is the rumored Palm ‘Mansion’ touchscreen only smartphone that we have heard almost nothing about lately. But what could these “other ideas” Ruinstein spoke of?

I’m really happy that Palm has managed to get itself back on its feet, even if its Pre 2 isn’t exactly selling like hotcakes at the moment. However, I don’t want to see Palm end up being regulated to building operating systems for printers, dishwasher or whatever else HP decides webOS will be a good fit for. At least he did reaffirm that HP believes in building both the hardware and the operating system for its smartphones. That means webOS will not end up being sold off to manufacturers as another alternative to WP7 and Android for them to put on their phones.

Anyone interested in an HP printer with a webOS interface? Sometimes even I can’t figure out how work some features of modern printers without the user manual. How about webOS applications for BlueRay players? The possibilities are endless. I just hope that Palm keeps making solid smartphones and start to get back some of its market share. Remember back when the only two smartphones were BlackBerrys and Palms?

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