HP Windows Slate PC May Not Materialize; Company Could Make WebOS Slate Instead

June 18, 2010, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

HP CTO for Personal Systems Group Phil McKinney’s refusal to comment on the Windows 7-based slate PC from HP during the Untethered conference held in New York has fuelled rumors of HP abandoning its plans for the Windows-based device. He said that the company would not talk about the device till it completed its acquisition of Palm OS, leading to rumors that HP may replace Windows 7 with WebOS as the operating software for its new slate.

Phil’s entire presentation about publishing and tablet devices at the conference did not include any mention of Windows. However, the company has talked about the product in the past, generating a lot of hype in the process. But the company’s sudden refusal to comment on the Windows-based device has strengthened rumors of removing plans for the HP Windows slate PC.

It was also reported earlier that the HP had acquired Palm with an intention to acquire WebOS and use the software in devices other than mobile phones. A rumor about HP working on a tablet codenamed Hurricane running on the WebOS has also been circulating online.

Changing the operating software from Windows 7 to WebOS would require a change of processors from an Intel to an ARM processor. It would also include lower requirements for performance and storage and also reduce the overall price of the device.

However, the recent rumors and developments do not confirm the end of the HP Windows 7 slate PC. The company could manufacture both the Windows slate and the WebOS slate as well. There have also been counter-rumors stating that the HP Windows slate device is still being developed by the company.

If HP does officially drop plans for its Windows 7 slate device, then it could affect Microsoft badly as it had showcased the HP slate at the CES 2010 event as an example of Windows 7 OS’ efficiency in tablets.

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