HP licenses webOS operating system

Not content with using it on the Palm Pre 3 and the HP TouchPad, HP is now looking to expand the user base of webOS by offering it to other manufacturers.

That's according to Bloomberg, which reported that CEO Leo Apotheker had confirmed discussions over licensing. 'We are talking to a number of companies,' Apotheker said in an interview in Beijing yesterday. 'I can share with you that a number of companies have expressed interest. We are continuing our conversations.'

It's an interesting move, pitching the OS against Windows Phone 7 and of course, Google's Android system. It's already a tough market, but with PC sales declining, it should give HP's income something of a boost if the take up is good.

It seems like some of the big boys are interested too. Bloomberg claims Samsung has already held talks to use webOS in its smartphones, confirmed by 'three people with knowledge of the discussions'. Yes, the same Samsung that already uses its own Bada platform and Google's Android. There is speculation that Google may restrict modifications for phones that use Android, something Google has denied. But it could be a reason for Samsung casting the net a little wider.

It doesn't look like any devices will appear with the OS anytime soon, but it should be one to watch as we get into 2012.

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