And when we say that HP will have both, we mean actual, working products being mass-manufactured for sale, and not just some fancy mock-up or prototype. There is just one little problem though: one of the tablets will not be available for consumer purchase.
It has been barely two days since we posted an article about the rumor of HP not ready to give up the ghost on the Windows-based tablet, and now we have obtained a juicy bit of news confirming the rumor: that HP intends to keep the Window-powered slate around, in addition to the much-speculated PalmPad that will, quite naturally, be powered by Palm’s WebOS.
Except that there seems to be a little twist in HP’s plans: while it still intends to offer both products for sale, only one of the tablets will actually find itself being offered to consumers, either through direct sales or through partnerships with telcos and services providers, while the other will be strictly an ‘enterprise-only’ product. And according to Todd Bradley, Vice President for HP’s Personal Systems Group, the device that will be given the ‘enterprise-only’ treatment is not the WebOS version, but the Windows 7 tablet.
On the other hand, the WebOS-powered tablet appears to be coming along well, as former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein claimed that consumers could expect to see WebOS 2.0 “later this year”. That, and the fact that HP was “aggressively developing new hardware” for the OS.
Needless to say, the decision to sell the Windows 7 tablet as an enterprise-only device might be an unpopular move to some who were expecting some kind of notebook replacement device from HP in the form of a tablet. And we are probably not going to disagree with that, but let’s face it: do we really want(or even need) a desktop OS (like Windows) on a handheld device such as a tablet?