updated 11:15 pm EDT, Mon May 23, 2011
Toshiba said scrapping Chrome OS, Windows tablets
Toshiba has reportedly scrapped plans to support Chromebooks and Windows 7 tablets based on PC business leaks. The company's roadmap has supposedly eliminated the two altogether and has left just the Android 3.0-based Thrive tablet on its immediate schedule. The Windows model had been shown at CES in January, but Digitimes heard that the hardware might be delayed, presumably for another platform, or else scrapped altogether.
A Chrome OS notebook had been dropped mostly because of hands-on experience. Toshiba's AC100 smartbook is now said to have been a flop in the market. Having been burned, the PC builder is being "conservative" and sees Google's web-only OS as a repeat.
Tips had the Thrive being produced this month by Pegatron for a ship date that would meet the original June target, set five months earlier. The claim likely refers to the initial Japanese batch since at least some areas won't get the 10-inch Android slate on the originally promised timetable. Toshiba UK has already pushed it back to late summer and may be joined by other countries.
None of the roadmap drops have been confirmed so far.
For Microsoft, Toshiba dropping a Windows 7 tablet would show a developing pattern at once-loyal Windows tablet makers. HP started the trend after the Slate 500 was celebrated as a potential Apple tablet rival at CES 2010 but, after the iPad was made public, was eventually and quietly relegated to business sales. Dell had promised a 10-inch Windows 7 tablet of its own but, unofficially, is believed to have moved it to the fall and once again minimized it by turning it into a work-oriented model. Viable Windows tablets aren't expected to show until Windows 8 is ready in late 2012.
Google has been trying to line up supporters for Chromebooks but so far has only had Acer and Samsung publicly detail plans. ASUS has been on the fence.