Confirmed: HP Slate is now the ‘Hurricane’

Two separate and reliable sources confirmed today that the HP Slate will not be released this summer as previously expected. Instead, the company is in a rush to get Palm’s WebOS onto a slate device that will be named the HP Hurricane. The sources, who are about as close to the project as you can get, say that HP sees the device as a competitor to the iPad.

Our sources would not confirm if the Hurricane would have different specifications than those that were previously leaked.

While some HP insiders seem to clearly understand the challenges of competing head-to-head with the iPad and the whole iEcosystem, others seem to scoff at the iPad as a toy.  I’m hoping that all of the folks over at HP  don’t underestimate the power of Apple’s marketing and iEcosystem. Like it or not, there are over 85 million iPhone OS devices out there that people have been using for the past three years. By the time the HP Hurricane ships we may have the second generation iPad in our hands.

I’m hoping that HP will find a way for slate novices to instantly feel at home with the Hurricane. I also hope HP can find a way to meet or exceed the iPad’s battery life.

One thing is clear, the Hurricane is going to be positioned as a companion device rather than a full PC as previously demonstrated. In a video released last month, HP showed a custom UI that ran on Windows 7. Applications such as iTunes were shown on the touch UI. Obviously, you won’t be able to synch your iPhone, iPod or iPad with the Hurricane. Instead, you’ll most likely want to sync a Hurricane with the cloud and/or your PC.

We’re still not clear on what kind of inking support HP will ship the Hurricane with. Based on GBM readers’ outcry over the lack of support for inking on the iPad, I’d  settle for some good old fashion Graffiti.

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Comments

  1. Mike says

    Apple positions ipad the same way.
    They don’t want people to stop buying desktops and laptops either.
    Anyone working in a business that has any kind of responsibility to make decisions and looks at apple as a toy (given what they have done with iphone) should probably just be shown the door now.

    If they actually get out in Q3 then I think they might have a good shot. That gives them time to ramp up before the holiday season.
    I don’t think ipad v2 will be out before the holidays.
    Apple usually likes to milk a whole holiday season out of something like this and then release the v2 with camera or something just after the holidays.

    • Brett Gilbertson says

      Whoa Mike, I better go look for the door. I haven’t touched my iPad in about a week because I can’t get it off the kids… I don’t have much drive to do it either.

      It is an extremely sexy device (then again, that might be NLP hypnosis talking) and I do love it, but I have given up tyring to work with it because I have really come to understand what multi-tasking and good UI is all about (ask Jacob Neilsen).

      From a work perspective, i’m frustrated by it, and it definately has not made me more productive… actually less. Now, back to the Tablet PC…

  2. rwalrond says

    They don’t have a chance. This thing won’t offer anything that the iPad doesn’t or won’t offer soon enough. Windows 7 was HP’s only chance at offering something different than the iPad. Now to go head to head with the same kind of limited Mobile OS? HP has no chance!

  3. Feralboy says

    Stupid move. A full tablet PC implementation, at a reasonable price, would have differentiated their offering. Rushing out a tablet based on a failed OS is just bizarre.

  4. John in Norway says

    This is really sad news. I was looking forward to either the HP Slate or the Hanvon tablet with inking capabilities.

  5. GoodThings2Life says

    Sad day, and I’m extremely disappointed in the news. It’s been demoted from companion extraordinaire to companion me-too-wannabe.

    Oh well, at least there’s still the HP 2740p! :)

  6. Osiris says

    This is the best and smartest move I have seen regarding tablets in a long time. Bring on the webOS, WP7, Andriod tablets. RIP full OS tablets.

    • Brett Gilbertson says

      Maybe for consumers and consumption… Sure. But, the full OS tablet is alive and well, and has actually sold more than iPad this year according to a recent Sumocat article…

  7. Skyjumpr says

    We’ll that pretty much ends my dealings with HP. I had been holding off replacing my old tablet with the slate but it looks like I’ll have to find another tablet. You know, I feel like I was promised a nice fancy computer but when I open the box instead I find an etch-a-sketch. Seriously, what is HP thinking?

    • ericthebikeman says

      @Skyjumpr
      I think HP was working on losing me anyway when they couldn’t fix my 2710p after sending it in 3 times. Sure they have a fast turn around but they managed to send it back with even more broken parts.
      Too bad Lenovo’s supply chain is god aweful. How long have they suspended all tablet sales now? I find it hard to believe they had a huge backlog of tablet sales since I only see people with the cheapie touchsmart devices around campus. I’ve only seen 1 person with a x series tablet, and that was a professor.

  8. gEEk says

    It would be interesting to hear from HP about their plans for luring developers to the WebOS platform. By virtue of their humongous lead Apple obviously has plenty of developer support for their ecosystem. Android has the free software ideologues. Microsoft can leverage the .Net developer community. This is becoming a crowded market of ecosystems and WebOS seems to be the OS/2 of mobile OS’s. I’m not sure why a developer would invest resources in WebOS–HP has a chicken and egg problem to solve. It seems like they would have been better off to use either Android or Windows Phone 7 (if Microsoft agrees with this vision).

    • Drhender says

      You are so right. One of the things that makes the Apple ecosystem so appealing to consumers is that “there’s an app for that.” Apple has provided some compelling apps for the iPhone OS devices, but they have benefitted hugely from the community of developers that have jumped on the bandwagon and created so many apps. A device based on Windows 7 (or even the Windows 7 phone OS) would be wide open to any .NET developer who wanted to create something for the device, using the same high-quality development tools and IDE that they are familiar with.

      What does the WebOS platofrm have to offer to lure developers? Nothing…

  9. sbtablet says

    I think that this is a good move for HP if what they want is to go head to head with the iPad in its own category. The Palm Web OS is new, and not to be confused with the older Palm OS that was stuck in ancient problems. I’ve worked with it on my friend’s Pre, and it is a pretty awesome OS for a companion device. For me, it’s the hardware of the Pre that was disappointing. I would, of course, prefer a full Windows 7 OS Slate in the $400 price range, but I’m not holding my breath. I think HP realized it just couldn’t come up with a decent Win 7 slate in that price range.

    • Drhender says

      I pay about $1200 when I replace a laptop. I’d gladly shell out that much for a Slate-like device with true next-gen tablet capabilities and a real OS like Windows 7.

      But iWon’t pay anything for an iPad. I have an iPod touch and love it, but when it comes down to it, it’s a toy. And the iPad? Just a bigger toy.

  10. Charles says

    I keep reading these articles about the Slate being dead but HP has yet to confirm anything. No doubt a WebOS ‘slate’ will be released; however, I think they should move forward with the HP Slate with Win7 just to see if it is at all viable in the market. Who knows, maybe a lot of people want a Win7 Slate regardless of battery life, especially if they can add a quick charge to it.

    • pdg says

      You’re right about HP, and I think the slate is still on track. It was supposed to be released sometime in 2010, and probably it will, with a pineview dual core atom on board to boost performance and battery life.
      I don’t understand why the Hurricane has been claimed by most tech sites as a slate killer: HP is big enough to develop different products for different folks, and it does it every day actually. They won’t shut down a project went so far.

  11. ericthebikeman says

    There is no way I’d touch this thing. Palm Pre/Pixi were overhyped failures, why would this be any different at all. Palm had essentially no apps compared to Apple or even Android. It doesn’t matter at all how “revolutionary” the OS is if there is nothing besides social media applets and poorly designed games (read: rushed out the door).
    I don’t see why HP paid a fortune for a company that was clearly going to be in liquidation within 6 months. If they wanted WebOS they could have gotten it for real cheap in bankrupcy court. It’s not like there was a mad rush to snap up Palm’s IP. So either it was wildly overvalued or really not revolutionary at all.
    I was hoping for a Windows 7 based device. Windows has portfolio of useful applications that WebOS has zero chance of ever touching. HP and Lenovo both have devices with more than 3 hours of battery life. They can make the battery lighter while keeping battery life if they drop hardware from existing models. That type of tablet doesn’t need an optical drive, keyboard, HDD, modem (seriously who uses those anymore), crazy video chipsets, and half a dozen ports no one uses. Dropping all of the extra BS saves money and weight while they’re at it.

  12. acerbic says

    Awesome: more NAMELESS sources “confirming” rumors started by a brainless iFad zombie blogger citing NAMELESS sources. HP is saying nothing (which is starting to piss me off too).

  13. Gary Harrison says

    Yep, count me in as disappointed. I need a full-featured work tool, not another media consumption device. I just got another TC1100 off ebay, and I guess that will have to do for a while (sigh). And I’m a dedicated Apple guy, but give me a W7 slate!

  14. Etrigan says

    Huge mistake by HP. How could they justify replacing Windows 7, the most popular OS ever, with WebOS, a failed product?

    This is what comes from listening to tech blogs with an anti-Microsoft bias instead of the millions of people who use and love Windows.

    The canard about Windows 7 not being touch friendly is nonsense. All the sales people in my company use Toughbook Windows touchscreen laptops with pen and touch input. I myself used an HP pavilion with touch input and loved it.

    I specifically wanted a tablet with full PC functionality, especially an active digitizer pen for freehand writing and drawing. I was waiting to pre-order the HP Slate (first time I would have ever done that for a product). If they replace Windows 7 with this phone OS, HP can forget me as a customer.

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