Rumor has it that HP is looking into building its own version of Linux, according to OpenSourceProPortal.com. The writer suggests PC makers' dissatisfaction with Windows Vista is pushing them to opt for alternative operating systems, noting that IBM and Dell have already launched such initiatives, "with relative success."
This story at BusinessWeek apparently started the rumor, but in the same article, HP execs are denying it. The company's Personal Systems Group CTO, Phil McKinney, responded:
Is HP funding a huge R&D team to go off and create an operating system? [That] makes no sense. For us it's about innovating on top of Vista.
However, he does acknowledge that the subject could have come up among lower-level management.
According to BusinessWeek:
[S]ources say employees in HP's PC division are exploring the possibility of building a mass-market operating system. HP's software would be based on Linux, the open-source operating system that is already widely available, but it would be simpler and easier for mainstream users, the sources say. The goal may be to make HP less dependent on Windows and to strengthen HP's hand against Apple.
A very interesting development, indeed...