HP Using Own Software in Phone Wars with Apple, Google

Windows Phone 7 logoIn its bid to take on Apple and Google in smartphones, Hewlett-Packard won't use Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 software.

Instead, HP Executive Vice President Todd Bradley told me that the PC giant will exclusively use its webOS software, which it got when it closed its Palm acquisition three weeks ago. Not that Microsoft is completely striking out with HP—Bradley also said definitively for the first time that HP will build a tablet computer based on Microsoft's Windows 7.

Bradley's comments are some of the clearest signals HP has given about its plans for the high-growth smartphone market. When I first got the call from HP a couple of months ago about its plans to acquire Palm, Chief Strategy Officer Shane Robison made a point of reminding me that HP is Microsoft's biggest customer, and that HP would continue to have a good relationship with Redmond. In his early comments about webOS, HP CEO Mark Hurd talked more about using it in printers than phones. But it seems that HP is betting the farm on webOS in phones after all. In my conversations with HP executives, they sound determined to use HP's heft to make Palm into a top-tier smartphone platform on par with Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

To do that, HP will have to convince wireless carriers to distribute and market webOS handsets, and get application developers who are flocking to iPhone and Android to spend some time building apps for webOS as well.

It would have been easy for HP to try to please everyone and build Microsoft-based smartphones for businesses and webOS smartphones for consumers—but HP seems to have realized that strategy would have doomed webOS to second-tier status. If HP wouldn't even fully commit to its own OS, why should anyone else?

There are implications here for not only Microsoft, but also rivals Apple, Google and Research in Motion.

Microsoft: With HP shunning Windows Phone 7 and Dell already building phones based on Google's Android OS, it's clear that Redmond can't count on its old friends in the PC business to carry the banner for its new Windows Phone 7 OS due this summer. (This might explain why the first phones with Win Phone 7 will come from Asian manufacturers Samsung, LG and Asus.)

That means Microsoft has an even slimmer margin of error in Win Phone 7's first year—it will need to prove its platform is top-notch if it's going to convince top-tier handset OEMs to crank out sexy hardware and lure developers, too.

Apple and Google: Innovation wise, the smartphone platform market lately has been a two-horse race between iPhone and Android. (RIM sells a lot of phones, but its platform needs work.) HP's webOS threatens to complicate things now. Former Apple hardware chief Jon Rubinstein is now heading HP's mobile efforts, and now he's got deep pockets.

RIM: RIM's always been great at e-mail and great at building phones with solid voice capabilities. The company's biggest weakness is probably its OS platform. It's OS 6 platform, which is supposed to address those issues, had better be good—because you can be sure HP will be coming after RIM's core corporate customers as well as consumers.

Tags: HP, webOS, Windows Phone 7

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
You may still be able to download your content
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (16)