Just because Hewlett-Packard is busy searching for a new CEO and fighting with Dell over the acquisition of 3PAR, doesn't mean that it's not working on beefing up the mobile WebOS that it picked up in the Palm acquisition.
The challenge at this year's TechCon - HP's in-house competition - was to build webOS apps, HP's CTO, Phil McKinney, told the precentral blog earlier this summer. In a tweet this week, McKinney updated the blog with some details. The number of apps came in at about 500 and the company is in the process of selecting the "best app" winners. Remember, it is a competition.
Now, of course, there's no way of knowing how practical or useful these apps are - or whether they would ever generate any interest among visitors to the webOS marketplace. Still, 500 is nothing to laugh at when you're far behind in the mobile phone and mobile app game.
After all, with all of the app attention focused around the other players - iPhone, Android and even Blackberry - HP will need all of the help it can get to get itself into this game.
For a short time, I owned a Palm Pre when it first came out. I wasn't a big fan of the device itself but I remember really liking the user interface and the OS, in general. I ended up returning the device and jumping feet-first into the Blackberry/Android/iPhone debate, kind of putting that Palm experience behind me - but never really forgetting that the OS had some value.
I still like to think that HP picked up a golden nugget with WebOS and am excited to see how - and where - they put it to use. Giving HP engineers a competitive reason to develop for it is a good start at beefing it up.