Really suprised I haven't seen anybody make these points on the front page yet, much less post on this in the forums:
WebOS is developed on ARM, but almost all of our PCs are x86. I'm shocked that nobody asked HP how they intend to bring it to PCs despite this. Just because they say they'll do it doesn't mean they'll do it in the way you expect them to:
To me, their announcement could actually mean three different things:
1) They are starting from the beginning and actually writing an x86 version of WebOS, then maintaining the OS on two different architectures. This seems to be what everybody thinks is going to happen but what is the usefulness of this beyond being relegated to a glorified fastboot OS?
2) They'll embed ARM chipsets into future PCs specifically to be able to run WebOS. Many benefits like huge battery life if they do this...and it would be far less work on their part. But guess what? You can't install a version of WebOS for your current computer. And if they make an ARM nettop? No dual boot to Windows...
3) They're expanding ARES beyond a development platform, making a version of the WebOS desktop that you can access from a browser (similar to the Jolicloud distro). This seems the most useful, most "synergistic", and is what I think they're doing...but the OS will not be able to run many applications this way and it's much different than people are thinking.
2 and 3 seem obviously more likely to me than 1...