updated 07:35 pm EDT, Wed June 29, 2011
HP brass hint at Win 8 tablet, play down Android
When HP bought Palm last year, it made it clear it was doing so mainly for webOS tablets and patents. The $1.2 billion deal will soon result in the HP-badged TouchPad tablet. So it's clear HP doesn't want to license the Android OS from Google, but FastCompany learned the computer maker hasn't totally given up on Microsoft's Windows 8. During a talk with Phil McKinney, president and CTO of HP's personal systems group, and Richard Kerris, VP of worldwide developer relations for WebOS, hints were dropped a Windows 8 tablet may show up at HP.
"I'm limited to what I can talk about with Windows 8," McKinney says. "We're working very closely with [Microsoft], and I'm going to leave it at that or I'm going to start getting myself into trouble."
He then claimed that the Windows 7-powered tablet, the Slate 500, is doing "quite well." Further into the conversation and in response to a future existence of an HP-badged Windows 8 tablet, McKinney just smiled and laughed before changing the subject.
As for Kerris, he was also vague but did say anything is possible thanks to HP's relationship with Microsoft.
"If we have a huge customer base that says we need a Windows 8 tablet, by all means, we'd listen," Kerris added. He also said his group isn't tasked with developing a Windows 8 tablet but his group focuses on webOS only. Both Kerris and McKinney loudly downplayed chances of HP ever dabbling with Android-powered tablets, however.