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HP to host app store for enterprises

Today’s HP Summit has been heavy on buzzwords and light on details, but there is now some verification that Hewlett-Packard plans to build a “cloud-based” (what else?) store for enterprise applications.

HP, which already launched Infrastructure-as-a-Service for enterprise customers will offer public cloud infrastructure in the future, said Leo Apotheker, HP CEO on Monday afternoon.

HP will offer an “open platform, trusted by both consumers and the enterprise [which will enable them] to build, test and deploy services. It will support multiple languages, it will be open to third parties and will be a combination of our own software and services [working with] trusted partners and ecosystems,” he said.

The app store will feature enterprise and consumer  applications and services. “We will vet the applications for security and interoperability” so the store will be both open and secure, he said.

HP will offer “an open architecture from the data center through the cloud to consumers.”

A few thoughts: This will mean a more competitive  relationship with Microsoft and its  Azure, no? Apotheker also repeatedly stressed the importance of the Palm WebOS on smart phones and other devices, another fissure in HP’s well-worn relationship with Microsoft which is pushing Windows 7 phone with all its might.

Also, as one partner said upon hearing Leo’s app store words: “That sounds like a very direct model to me.”

Of course the devil is in the details and there were precious few of those, although I would love to have had the concession on the words “open,” and “seamless” and “synergy” from this event.

The panoply of HP execs kept stressing how forward thinking they were and how it was lucky they did not have a huge software legacy to protect. HP CFO Cathie Lesjak said HP is “skating towards the puck” with this strategy. Some might say that there’s a fine line between “skating towards” and “chasing” the puck.  One tactic is proactive, the other is reactive and HP’s verbiage today sounds largely reactive–not much different from what it, and a half dozen other IT companies, have said in the past year. Not sure that’s the impression HP wanted to leave.

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