On the same day, CEO Leo Apotheker was also quoted as saying "HP has lost its soul."
He wasn't talking about WebOS. He was criticizing previous CEO Mark Hurd, who not only sexually harassed a female contractor, but also managed things so badly HP couldn't develop its own intellectual property, according to the man whose previous company admitted stealing software and other materials from Oracle.
That's mostly irrelevant, though still funny.
My question is whether putting WebOS really could be a serious bid to move beyond Windows and at least make room for a different interface (if not replace the core operating system) on standard PCs.
HP has been Microsoft's biggest, bestest partner -- except for Intel, which is also hedging its bets on Microsoft's future -- for more than a decade.
During most of that time, before Microsoft's market power was worn down by Android and iPhones and the iPad and Windows Phone 7 and Windows Vista, Steve Ballmer could reliably be expected to have flown out to HP to punch out any HP CEO who hinted the company would be any less aggressive about promoting Windows than Microsoft was.
Now Microsoft is pretty quiet, even in the face of an announcement that appears to mean HP wants to date other people (well, itself, because WebOS is its own OS, but you get what I mean).
Is it a realistic possibility?
Not that WebOS would flat-out replace Windows. No Version 1.0 operating system is going to displace another one right out the gate. PCs that ship with an option of operating systems will be a new thing for many consumers and mid-sized companies, though.
Is it realistic to think some of them will think about switching, this time around or maybe during their next big hardware refresh? Is WebOS more compatible with the ways users and companies work now
Will it get them thinking about whether they really have to remain standardized on Windows, or maybe they can go do something else?