HP has had a very troubling tablet history.
They bought Palm’s WebOS and then created the TouchPad, a tablet made for WebOS and then they killed the TouchPad just a little over a month after it went on sale. If the TouchPad did anything good for the tablet industry, it showed how fast $99 tablets can sell.
When HP wanted to get rid of the TouchPads as quick as possible, they lowered the price to 99 bucks. The TouchPads were soon unavailable and HP soon shipped a lot more. People were just buying tablets like crazy! Some people decided to buy one tablet for themselves, one for their son or daughter, and one for a relative.
That would be little under $300 dollars which is still less than what you would pay for a regular tablet today. Some people are saying that HP’s decision was what made Amazon decide to make the Kindle Fire so cheap at just $200.
Well no matter what the TouchPad did, it’s dead now and HP has moved on to a new project. On Monday October 17, HP confirmed that they are making a new tablet built for Windows 8.
They plan to release it along side Windows 8, whenever Windows 8 is released sometime in 2012.
Marlene Somsak, a spokesperson for HP’s Personal Systems Group, (Which HP also seems to be trying to kill off.) said that they “…already make a Windows 7-based tablet, the HP Slate 500, so you could probably guess we’ll continue to work with them.”
The HP Slate 500 isn’t really a consumer product, it’s mainly used in hospitals and some corporate environments. Somsak wouldn’t comment on whether the new HP tablet would be similar, but I highly doubt it.
I’m pretty sure HP wants to get itself in the tablet market, and like Dell who might also be making a Windows 8 tablet, Windows 8 provides a new platform on which to do so.
I don’t think that a company like HP would make a tablet with and operating system as flashy and consumer oriented as Windows 8 just a corporate device, they would obviously market it towards consumers, or even both consumers and corporations.
She did say, though, that HP would continue making tablets even after the TouchPad setback, “We’ve definitely said we’ll continue in the tablet market, though we have discontinued hardware with webOS.”
Of course, there were reports that HP was already working with Microsoft to build a Windows 8 tablet even before the TouchPad came out, though the new CEO Meg Whitman seems to want to get out of the consumer market even more now after the TouchPad incident, so I don’t know for how much longer HP will continue to make consumer products.
All I do know, is that Windows 8 seems like a new platform that can help traditional computer companies like Dell and HP to get into the consumer electronics market along with companies like HTC and LG.
These traditional companies have worked with Microsoft for a long time and will still be working with basically the same operating system, so it maybe easier to develop a tablet with a better compatibility between hardware and software than let’s say Android.