The netbook wars?

Well, this is interesting. Since PC giant HP bought up smartphone company Palm last year, it was certain they were planning at least one tablet running the company's signature software, WebOS. Indeed, we're expecting the first WebOS tablet to be launched just next month.

But it seems that might not be all. HP just released a training video for shops selling new WebOS products. And what's this? Is that a laptop we see in one of the slides?

Sure looks like it, for on another slide there's a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?-style multiple-choice question. 'In the future you'll find WebOS on multiple devices like: Phones; Slates; Netbooks; All of the above.' And guess which is highlighted in green? You guessed it, all of the above.

So it seems certain: there'll be a WebOS netbook out at some point soon. Presumably it'll have a touch screen, which laptop manufacturers have so far eschewed. WebOS will be the first OS designed for touch-screen devices put into a netbook by a major manufacturer, though a few Android laptops have been made to general indifference.

This looks like a big bet on HP's part. We doubt this means they'll stop making Windows laptops, but it's another sign manufacturers are eagerly looking for alternatives. Tune back in on Feb 9th for all the goss from HP's big meetup...

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