Microsoft's list of confirmed Windows Phone 7 partners saw HP conspicuously absent, and now we know the reason why. In an interview with CNBC, HP Personal Systems Group VP Todd Bradley confirmed that the company intends to push ahead solely with webOS rather than develop handsets using Microsoft's latest mobile platform. "Our intent" Bradley explained, "is to focus those resources and really make webOS the best OS it can be."
Q: Can you make webOS successful with developers when you're selling Windows Phone 7, maybe Android or Linux at the same time?
A: We continue to be Microsoft's biggest customer, and we continue to believe we will drive innovation with Microsoft. At the same time, I think it's clear to say, that we're very focused on the customer, and giving the customer the experience that's important to them. We won't do -- will not do a Linux / Android phone. We won't do a Microsoft phone.
Q: So no Windows Phone 7?
A: We will continue to more broadly deliver the webOS-based phones that are in the market today, and Jon and his team have driven a strong roadmap for the future.
Q: So does that mean you're going webOS only for phones?
A: For smartphones it does. Our intent is to focus those resources and really make webOS the best OS it can be.
webOS is obviously fresh to the HP stable, and it has been previously suggested that motivation for the company's acquisition of Palm was primarily for the OS IP. They've since dropped multiple hints about the future of the platform, promising an "exciting" new year with an "amazing roadmap".
As Bradley makes clear, HP's involvement with Microsoft isn't over: the company will continue to use their mainstream OSes, and the on-again-off-again HP Slate has recently been tipped as an enterprise model using Windows 7. For consumers, though, a webOS-based tablet - believed to be the PalmPad - and the possibility of Palm being maintained as a sub-brand is likely of more interest.