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HP returning to tablets with Windows 8, 'evaluating' webOS

updated 05:55 pm EDT, Thu October 27, 2011

HP leans on Microsoft again for tablet strategy

HP during its conference call discussing a decision to keep its PC group dashed hopes of a webOS tablet revival. CEO Meg Whitman wanted HP to compete against the iPad, saying the company needed to "be in the tablet business," but put the hopes for the company's Personal Systems Group strategy back on Microsoft. The company was "certainly going to be there" when Windows 8 shipped sometime next year, she said.

The PSG group's head Todd Bradley also rejected the idea that HP would be a latecomer to truly mobile tablets. It was the "beginning stages" of a new category of personal computing, he said, and a "couple months" wasn't going to be too late. While he wouldn't divulge hardware plans, he believed that work with Microsoft so far had been "extraordinarily compelling."

Whitman acknowledged a consumerization of technology, where staff were bringing in devices like iPhones and iPads to work, and saw HP as trying to take advantage of it even while assuaging "leery" CIOs and CTOs who had to manage them. HP would make devices that were "highly desirable" to both employees and CTOs alike, she said.

A small element of hope was given to webOS supporters. The company was still "evaluating" what it would do with the team and would decide in about two months, according to HP. With no mobile device plans and tablets only returning with Windows, its position nonetheless hadn't changed.

HP has had a rocky experience with Windows tablets. Its Slate 500 running Windows 7 was once held up by Microsoft as a preemptive iPad killer and was focused all on home use but, within months, was quietly relegated to enterprise users in favor of the webOS-based TouchPad. Windows 8 will be much more oriented towards tablet use with a truly finger-optimized interface and slimmer, longer-lasting designs through the use of ARM processors. Without a release until mid-2012 or later, however, it will leave Apple several months to go without a Microsoft answer.

By Electronista Staff


  1. dashiel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2001


    As if you needed confirmation

    HP is being run by morons… you *own* an amazing tablet/phone OS, you control your destiny with it why the h*** would you want to rely on someone else.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006



    HP Slate = HP's late to the tablet market

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008



    HP...go ahead and fall in love with MANGO. You cannot have Mango. Windows 8 will be Mango in the future.

  1. davidlfoster

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    Sometime next year...

    Yes, right... after everyone in the world already owns an iPad. Whatever Windows appears on tablets sometime next year will have to complete with an iPad 3 that has an absolutely killer display (imagine the resolution of the iPhone 4 blown up to iPad dimensions). Oh, yes - iOS 6 will likely already be on the horizon by then. Windows-good strategy. Not.

  1. JDCov

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2010


    "beginning stages" "couple months"

    The "beginning stages" were all the unsuccessful Windows tablets touted by Microsoft. So the iPad is close to its second birthday. The third generation iPad is on the horizon and this guy says that being a "couple months" late won't matter. The only way he could be right is if they, like Apple, innovate and come up with a truly new and usable design that offers people a better experience than what is on the market. A look at history makes me think that won't happen. However, a "couple months" late with a me too product that competes with last years iPad will never find success.

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