Could the DuoPad be HP’s dual-booting webOS device? 13
HP’s Todd Bradley announced toward the very end of the press conference that the near-term roadmap for webOS would include distribution in PCs. Bradley pulled no punches in noting the potential impact to developers considering webOS: With HP selling personal computers and printers at a rate of two per second, developers will see a rapid and significant expansion in the size of the installed userbase. Bradley noted that this will easily allow for webOS to be in the hands of “over a hundred-million” users in the future. While this presents a real opportunity for HP to rapidly expand webOSes footprint and lure developers into the fold, the question remains of how will end users see webOS on a personal computer? After all, it doesn’t make a difference to a webOS developer if PC users never launch webOS on their device.
Now that we have some solid facts about the future of webOS, it’s revealing to look back at some of our earlier news and try to make sense of it again. Going through the information we’ve gleaned in the past few months, one potential indicator of HP’s plan comes from the patent office application we listed at the end of January. Along with filings for TouchSlate and TouchCanvas, HP also filed for the more peculiar name of DuoPad. Now that we’ve heard Bradley’s call to developers that webOS will see massive growth through PC distribution, it isn’t a far leap to imagine that the HP’s “Pad” line could include a dual-booting Win7-webOS device. This would allow for the instant-on experience of a mobile OS, with all the newness we saw featured today, along with the backup of a desktop-class OS for heavier lifting when it’s needed. Bradley also mentioned that this was but the first webOS announcement of the year, and there were still form factors for webOS yet to be seen, so the idea of a convertible webOS notetbook seems less far-fetched by the minute.