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Should HP bet big on cloud computing?

Cloud computing will be a core part of HP's upcoming devices.

Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager of HP Palm, introduces the HP Palm tablet, TouchPad, during the WebOS event at Fort Mason's Herbst Pavilion on Feb. 9, in San Francisco.

Kimihiro Hoshino/Newscom

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Last week, HP released several mobile devices running WebOS, an operating system that it acquired last summer when it bought Palm. HP's two new smart phones and tablet computer showed that the company is anxious to get a larger slice of the portable device market. But at the launch event, company executives mentioned that they plan to ship other devices, including PCs and printers, with WebOS installed. As the world's largest PC maker, HP may be in a unique position to promote personal cloud computing—whereby data and applications are accessible from whatever device a person is using.

Google is pursuing a similar vision with Chrome OS, which has gotten a lot of attention as an example of personal cloud computing. This operating system is designed to store almost no files or software. Instead of using programs installed on the computer, users must access all software through a Web browser. Google has distributed a laptop running Chrome OS, the Cr-48, to demonstrate and test the operating system.

RELATED: The basics: How cloud computing works

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