As a step to expand WebOS market beyond smartphones and tablets, HP is working to bring its WebOS mobile operating system to major appliances and cars.
Honestly, WebOS is still a stumbling platform for Hewlett-Packard, now that its TouchPad went through a price cut as well as an ongoing threat by Best Buy to send back the unsold tablets - as many as 200,000 of them.
The penetration of WebOS into appliances and automobile could mean a big advantage for manufacturers as the Internet could add intelligence and differentiate their products.
However, according to the Wall Street Journal, analyst Thilo Koslowski thinks the chances for HP to excel in the car business seem slim, since carmakers are unlikely to invest in a new technology with existence services in place.
"The automobile industry has no interest in changing suppliers every year," Koslowski told the Journal. Trying out a new operating system is too risky for automakers, and the product cycle is also too long for a vehicle.
Appliance makers also have reasons not to implement WebOS. One hurdle for WebOS is the short-lived nature of the digital platform, which does not suit appliances that are designed to last for a long time.
The road ahead of WebOS seems to be as harsh as it's been.
In July last year, HP acquired Palm, Inc., for $1.2 billion. Palm was a smartphone manufacturer responsible for products such as the Pre and Pixi as well as the Treo and Centro smartphones. Palm's devices ran on its own operating systems platform, the webOS, which replaced the Palm OS in 2009.
"This is a great opportunity to take two Silicon Valley idols and put them together," Brian Humphries, HP's Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development told Tech Crunch. "WebOS is the best-in-class mobile operating system. Our intent is to double down on webOS."
HP has brought WebOS to its line of smartphones and the TouchPad tablets.
HP indicated its plan to license its operating system to other mobile-device makers.
"I happen to believe that WebOS is a uniquely outstanding operating system,"
HP Chief Executive Leo Apotheker said during an interview at the D9 conference in June. "It's not correct to believe that it should only be on HP devices. There are all kinds of other people who want to make whatever kind of hardware they make and would like to connect them to the Internet."