John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Expect webOS Tablet Announcement at HP’s Special Event

If there were any lingering doubts over the focus of Hewlett-Packard’s Feb. 9 webOS event in San Francisco, HP Personal Systems Group Executive VP Todd Bradley has helpfully dispelled them.

Asked recently by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo if HP’s got something in the pipeline that will “blow away” the iPad, Bradley replied, “You and I will talk about that on the 9th.” Which would seem to suggest that we’ll be seeing the long-rumored PalmPad– or Veer or Gyst, or whatever the hell HP is calling it–or at least hearing about it, come February.

Of course, there will likely be other hardware showcased as well. The invitation’s “Think big. Think small. Think beyond.” tagline says as much, and Bradley reiterated that during his CNBC interview. “We are focused on the tablet market and we’re focused on enabling it with webOS,” he said. “But we think of the tablet as one piece of a broader ecosystem, one piece of the connected experience we’re going to create…. As we think about webOS and how it enables everything from smartphones to tablets to PCs to potentially other large-screen devices, we see an enormous opportunity, both for ourselves and for our customers, to get the best Web experience, the best content experience, that they can.”

A heavy-handed sales pitch for webOS, I know, but note the range of devices Bradley conjurs up here and his implication that they are on the way. As I wrote in April of last year:

In Palm’s webOS, H-P has an elegant consumer level OS that it controls, something the company–a longtime Windows shop–hasn’t really had before. And with it, it can begin untethering itself from Microsoft and differentiate its brand in a market in which most devices not sold by Apple are all running some variant of Windows. Remember, webOS is scalable. And while Palm lacked the means to scale it, H-P does not. It’s one of the biggest tech companies in the world, and once it brings its engineering acumen and marketing heft to bear on the OS, my guess is we’ll see it evolve into a much larger platform that extends beyond smartphones to tablets, ultraportables and other connected devices. And H-P, for the first time in its history, will be firmly in control of both its hardware and software.

Here’s Bradley’s CNBC interview in full.