I view WebOS as a foundation for a different interaction with computing than what we’ve seen from operating systems in the past. To think of it as an “Operating System” may be a bit too limited. HP has already demonstrated the movement of work activities between devices running WebOS, where you may start something on your work computer and move it to your phone for your commute and then move it to your home computer when you get home. Visionary business folks mental gears begin to churn when they see this.
HP has also committed to having it running on printers, mobile devices and in some way on PCs. It may be in a different manner than what we’re familiar with for an “operating system”. Unfortunately, our perspective of the future is many times limited by what we’re familiar with. When the installed base of WebOS moves to millions of machines across multiple platforms but with common software platform capabilities, the creativity of the developer can make the old OS view of the future – obsolete. Developers take notice of numbers like that.
I am not saying that it will be everything to all people on all platforms. I can just imagine it enabling a quite different view of what’s possible than we’re comfortable with – especially for the enterprise class organizations/consumers. Fortunately, that comfort level can be addressed profoundly and effectively, since HP understands enterprise class clients. We’ll need to wait and see as it comes to light.
By the way, I was on an AA flight when I wrote and posted this, HP was for flyers to access free-WiFi on the flight. Blogging in the air – what a concept. Fortunately, the guy in front of me didn’t put his seat back too far.