HP during the call discussing its latest quarterly results provided the surprise that it would use webOS in printers. While the company had previously said it would use the Palm deal to make webOS tablets, chief executive Mark Hurd added that "web-connected" printer hardware was coming. They need an OS to get online, he said.
The strategy would represent a relative first in printers, as the use of mobile operating systems is virtually non-existent to date, but would be in step with HP's own printer strategy. A year ago, it introduced an Internet printer with apps. Palm's platform would not only give HP a ready-made framework but a less proprietary environment that could see apps written for phones and tablets modified for printing duties.
Synergy, a key feature of webOS, could help add social networking such as Facebook or LinkedIn as well as synchronize changes across multiple devices and services.
The first fruits of HP's takeover of Palm could come this summer, as the rumored Hurricane tablet may ship in the summer and provide a major challenger to the iPad.