(image credit: AllthingsD)
Earlier today, Wall Street Journal technology columnist Walt Mossberg interviewed HP CEO Léo Apotheker at the 9th "D" conference in Los Angeles.
They covered a range of subjects, but one of the most interesting exchanges came during the audience Q&A portion, when former Engadget editor Joshua Topolsky pressed Léo for detail about what the future might hold for webOS.
"I happen to believe that webOS is a uniquely outstanding operating system. So there's no reason to believe that the only hardware that can run it is HP's," Leo said. "By the way, they don't have to be 'hardware makers' in the classical IT sense. There are many people who make all kinds of control devices, why wouldn't they want to use webOS for that? Appliance makers can use webOS to create connectivity between their appliances and the Web."
"There are all kinds of other people who want to make whatever device or piece of hardware they make connected to the Internet," he continued. "And therefore, we'd like to make webOS available to these people, as we are going to make webOS available to enterprises, or indeed to SMB's who want to create whatever kind of environment within their own firewall."
"So from that perspective, yes, webOS will be more than just running inside or on top of a particular piece of hardware that HP will make."
Watch the full exchange in the video below:
UPDATE 6/2/11: More video from an earlier part of the interview: