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HP killing Windows 7 slate to use Android and webOS?

updated 10:20 am EDT, Fri April 30, 2010

MS may suffer 2nd defeat in tablet wars via HP

HP is about to drop its Windows 7 slate in favor of a better operating system, a major leak may have revealed late Thursday. Despite being championed by Microsoft at the CES 2010 keynote, the slate is reportedly being scrapped because HP doesn't like Windows 7 as a tablet OS. Instead, it could use Android or or webOS.

The contact for TechCrunch suggested HP may even drop Intel chips entirely due to battery life issues, which would rule out any desktop Microsoft OS. Leaked specs for the Windows slate showed it getting just five hours of battery life with an Atom processor, or just half the longevity of an iPad and in many cases half the runtime of a similarly equipped but less expensive netbook.

What prompted the sudden dissatisfaction isn't evident, although it may have come after rapid sales of the iPad, which uses a mobile OS designed for touch. Windows 7 has multi-touch elements, but most of the finger-ready elements on the HP slate were added by HP itself. Most user interface components in Windows 7 still either assume or work best with the use of a mouse.

A switch away from Windows 7 would be the second major setback for Microsoft's tablet efforts in one week, as the company just recently shelved the Courier project at the same time as it publicly confirmed the design's existence. Spurred on largely by co-founder Bill Gates, Microsoft has repeatedly tried to push tablets into the mainstream but has never had success outside of niche markets. The HP slate and Courier together would have been the first two major, mainstream touch-only tablets using Microsoft platforms.

A switch by HP, if true, would also be a symbolic blow to Microsoft's relationships with its partners. HP has been one of Microsoft's most loyal devotees and has made only Windows Mobile smartphones even though the iPAQ line has had largely negligible market share. HP had already signaled its intent to use non-Microsoft mobile software through devices like the Airlife 100 but has never overtly switched a project away from Windows until now.

Neither HP nor Microsoft has commented on the supposed change of events.

by MacNN Staff



  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    HP to WinMo7: you're ugly and your mamma dresses you funny.

  1. appleuzr

    Joined: Dec 1969



    nail in the coffin.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "it could use Android or webOS"

    What? HP purchased Palm two days ago. I'm pretty sure it won't be Android.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Microsoft just killed the one product which actually might have been an answer to an Apple hit product.

    No worries, I bet people will be lining up for a Kin.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    A flying chair alert is now in effect for the city of Redmond. We recommend that you protect yourselves when entering any executive board rooms.

  1. spyintheskyuk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    HP dumped it precisely because it was clear that it was never going to be an answer to the 'Apple hit product', well not this century anyway. A full desktop OS that can't employ most of its advantages while showing all too clearly its major disadvantages hasn't a chance in h*** of competing, would lose HP money it can't afford as it fights off growing Eastern competitors and would only serve to damage the HP name and supposed 'innovative' credentials. Its the common sense decision. Products of this type need an operating system that is built to do the job it is designed for and expand from there, which excludes Microsoft for some time, maybe for ever. I'm afraid that to say it won't be webOS presumes that the product will still ship in the time span suggested but simply using a different OS. No, a new product retaining as much of the design work of the current tablet will have to be designed and now won't be available this year so it may well have a webOS operating system though Android may be used to test the ground a little earlier and to act as a marker for future interest in such an HP product.

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