HP Willing to License webOS

Posted by at 2:47 am on June 2, 2011

HP chief Leo Apotheker in his guest appearance at the D9 expo hinted that his company might license webOS in the future. Even though all initial webOS devices in the post-takeover era were HP-made, the CEO said it was “not correct to believe” that the platform would be limited just to HP hardware. He wouldn’t say to which companies or when, but when asked about HTC said he “would entertain” the idea if it came up.

Such a move could radically alter HP’s position in the market and make it a more direct competitor to Microsoft. The Windows developer has mostly left Apple, RIM, and other platform developers alone when their platforms are integrated, but it has been aggressive whenever a competitor arrives that follows the licensing model. Microsoft has most recently been engaging in a shakedown campaign against Android trying to artificially hike the price of Google’s OS and could theoretically find pretext to target webOS as well.

Microsoft was still a good partner, he said, and he added that he didn’t expect Windows to “fade into irrelevance.”

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