HP And “MultiOS”

“PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 4, 2013 — HP today announced its first Chromebook, widening the company’s extensive PC and workstation portfolio and expanding its multiOS approach to offer customers more choices.”
see HP News - HP Unveils Pavilion 14 Chromebook.

Curious about MultiOS, I searched and found that the term is generic and meaning “multiple operating systems”. If ChromeOS is just another choice of OS, can GNU/Linux be far behind?

My search turned up the first use of the term in an HP press-release from 2002:“Today, HP is meeting that need with an open standards, multi-OS approach to software that allows enterprises or service providers to easily develop, integrate, deploy and manage their Web services.” I would guess that was about servers.

In 2004, HP said, “HP Expands Linux Portfolio with Industry-first Linux Notebook, Linux Reference Architectures, Multi-OS Superdome Server and 6,500-person Linux Services Team”

In 2004, HP also said, “HP and Novell deliver customer choice through multi-OS strategy
PALO ALTO, Calif. and Salt Lake City (BrainShare ® 2004), March 24, 2004
HP and Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) today announced a joint agreement to certify and support the Novell® SUSE® LINUX operating system on select HP Compaq client systems. Today’s announcement expands HP’s multi-OS strategy across servers and PCs, offering customers unprecedented choice to run alternative applications with global support, training and consulting from HP.”
Good for them…

In that same post they also said, “Starting from a modest position in the overall market, IDC’s forecast for paid Linux client operating system new license shipments call for a 2002-2007 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.4%.”

Then, they waited until 2013 to say anything more about MultiOS on client PCs… That barrier to retail shelves for GNU/Linux was deadly. It kept all but the computer geeks from enjoying the benefits of GNU/Linux and other Free Software. How much did M$ pay you to bow out, HP? How grim a job was it to skip innovation to foist Vista and IE on customers? Is that why you killed WebOS? You never gave it a chance. Your lack of courage gave us a decade at least of evil in the client space. As the leader in client PC shipments, you should have done better.

Well, it’s water under the bridge. The whole world knows Android/Linux and GNU/Linux can do the job. There are just a few hold-out retailers yet to see the light when it comes to all kinds of personal computing.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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