Hewlett Packard wants WebOS on printers and tablets

Hewlett Packard plans to adapt Palm’s WebOS for use on web-connected printers and tablets.

“In order to enhance our intellectual property…in the connected-mobility space…We expect to leverage WebOS into a variety of form factors, including slates and Web-connected printers,” HP CEO Mark Hurd said during an earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

“When we think of printers, you’ve now got a whole series of Web-connected printers that as they connect to the Web, need an OS. [So], we prefer to have that OS in our case to be our IP where we can control the customer experience as we always have in the printing business and that’s a big deal to us.”

However, Hurd emphasized that HP was not ditching Microsoft in favor of Palm’s WebOS. 

According to Hurd, HP had “committed” itself to the design and manufacture of a Windows Phone 7 smartphone. 

“Microsoft is probably one of the best relationships we’ve got in our company, and they’re still extremely important,” he added.

Meanwhile, “Sumocat” of GottabeMobile noted that printer interfaces haven’t changed much over the years and are all currently “pretty much garbage.”

“Sorry, but we haven’t evolved much from the days of ‘PC load letter.’ If HP wants to equip printers with capacitive touchscreens and the webOS ‘card’ interface, more power to ’em…As we go more mobile and wireless, we need simpler yet smarter ways to print,” wrote Sumocat.

“Hooking up to a local network and installing print drivers is fine when you’re in your own home or office, but it’s cumbersome if you have to print something in someone else’s office. The ability to send documents to a printer over the web would simplify that. No drivers needed. Just email or ftp the document over, then view and confirm on the printer before printing.”