HP has been suggesting for a while that webOS wasn’t just an operating system for phones or tablets, but that the environment would also run on internet connected devices such as printers and even PCs. But that doesn’t mean HP is dumping Windows. Instead, the idea is that developers will be able to write apps that can run on a Windows-based PC just as easily as on a webOS phone.
The Seattle Times sat down with HP Chief Technology Officer Phil McKinney recently, and he explained to some degree how that will work.
You won’t be running webOS on PCs in some sort of virtualization window. McKinney says the company is looking at “an integrated webOS experience.”
That could mean that you’ll be able to run webOS apps in a web browser… or perhaps HP will develop some sort of runtime like Adobe AIR or Mozilla Prism which are designed to let you run web-based apps as if they were native desktop apps. Once you have AIR installed, you can install any app written for the platform as if it were a native Windows app, while Prism lets you create a desktop shortcut out of any web page.
Either way, McKinney is making it sound like you’ll only have to download Angry Birds once in order to play it on multiple devices including your phone and PC, which sounds good to me. I suspect we’ll also see integration of web-connected services. For instance, add an appointment to your webOS calendar on your phone and it will instantly appear on your desktop. Write a note in the mobile version of Evernote, and not only can you find it in any web browser, but it could also show up on your desktop PC thanks to webOS integration.
We’ll probably have to wait a while before we get any real clarification on the matter, since HP has yet to announce any Windows Pcs that will ship with webOS integration.