MAKER OF EXPENSIVE PRINTER INK HP will be dropping Windows 7 for WebOS in its future phones. However, HP will stick with the Vole for its upcoming Slate tablet.
Development rumours since HP announced the Slate and acquired Palm have been all over the place. The world and his best girl knew that HP wasn't stopping at WebOS email printers with its shiny new intellectual property.
After an eon of speculation limbo, HP killed two rumours on Slate and its future phones in one swoop. According to CNBC, HP EVP Todd Bradley confirmed that HP will stick WebOS on its future phones. Bradley also said HP is going to use Windows 7 for the Slate.
First, it was rumoured that HP wasn't happy with Window 7 for the Slate tablet and might use WebOS instead. Then Slate went completely off the radar, probably seen off by a great white known as Apple's Ipad. Then we reported a couple of weeks ago that the Slate had resurfaced at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference.
While the easily excitable Steve Ballmer didn't actually name HP, it was acutely obvious that HP's Slate would be included in its Windows 7 tablet line up. Then just two days ago a top HP exec let slip that Slate is heading for the enterprise rather than Joe public and will use Windows 7.
Now flogging a Slate to enterprise customers with WebOS on it would have been a hard sell. It's not a new OS but it would mean HP trying to sell an OS into an entirely different market that is set in its ways. Windows 7 makes more financial and business sense.
WebOS on a HP phone is a necessity. HP has to back its own horse at some point before its out of the gate. The company is also better off with a completely HP smartphone product, from the OS to the hardware.
What we are still unclear on is what HP will name its new mobile phones. The company trademarked the Palmpad name a few days ago, which suggests that it will use its WebOS for an Ipad-killer device. We also think it hints that HP potentially might bin the Ipaq name and use the Palm name for its smartphones. Watch this space. µ