HP confirms webOS phone, Windows 7 tablet, and sky is blue

CNBC’s Tech Check reports that HP will use webOS exclusively when they step into the current smartphone market. This must surely come as a surprise to everyone who thought they were going to take that $1.2B they spent to buy Palm then dump it in the trash. Also, they’re making a Windows 7 tablet.

Okay, in fairness, HP did make a point to state early on that they weren’t buying Palm to get into the phone business but rather to get their hands on their IP. But honestly, who buys a phone company for their IP then doesn’t use that IP in the phones they make? It’s hard to justify spending $1.2B on IP, then not use it.

Another bit of insight: “Bradley also said definitively for the first time that HP will build a tablet computer based on Microsoft’s Windows 7.” Yay! HP is building a tablet computer based on Windows 7! Could it be the Touchsmart tm2? Or perhaps the Elitebook 2740p? No, not those Windows 7 tablet computers they already build. They’re probably talking about the Slate 500. You know, a “real” tablet.

Good news on both, but it’s not really new, is it? HP already makes Windows 7 tablets. Their recent purchase Palm already makes smartphones that run webOS exclusively. Oh well. What’s old is new again.

  

Comments

  1. Johnboy says

    …. IP?

    Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

    IP is divided into two categories:  Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.  Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs. 

    I’m sure you know this already, right?

    They bought Palm for the IP. “WebOS”. They didn’t buy Palm to get into the smartphone business. Palm is in the smartphone business. They bought Palm to utilize WebOS across multiple handheld platforms/devices. Hopefully I’ll have my own WebOS toaster someday where I can email my toast request complete with Jesus or Mary pictures.

  2. Chad says

    It’s big shame to those who had earlier spread the rumors saying HP has dumped windows 7 for webos for its slate. Nowadays, the reliability of those reporting news has gone to trash.

    • Sumocat says

      Not really. Those rumors were from sources inside HP and somewhat corroborated by CTO Phil McKinney when he tied the fate of the Slate to the Palm deal. At the same time, HP ended their promotion of the Slate, indicating a change in course. And now it seems the Slate is no longer targeted at consumers. The back and forth stories seem to accurately portray the indecision at HP during that time span and helps explain the shift from consumer to enterprise market.

      • Dan says

        Not really, the reports of Win7 being sidelined was a ‘guess’ on the part of the sources based on the confirmed reports that HP was looking at using Android. It never occurred to them that more than one OS could exist from HP. The rumors were somehow substantiated when an Android version was confirmed as being dropped or delayed and then the rumor will started proclaiming the ‘demise’ of the HP Slate completely. When it resurfaced again as a Web OS version after HP purchased Palm, and then a Win7 version appeared on their website, these sources then said HP cannot figure out what they are doing since it is on again-off again.

        I don’t see HP as the variable here. I see the propensity for the source to report their own manufactured guesses as ‘facts.’ I agree with Johnboy that less guessing needs to go on, or at least qualified as such. When I read the one line blurbs that these stories were based on I saw that Android could be a second OS like HP offers Linux now on laptops and I was hoping the rumors of a Win7 version being dropped were wrong.

        As for HP, I am glad they will be going ahead with this as a Win7 slate with active digitizer. Touch is nice for making quick choices of existing options but I dislike on-screen keyboards for creating content.

        I have been writing so long now with a pen that I couldn’t type at all two days ago when I tried to help my son on his laptop!

        Dan

        • Sumocat says

          That doesn’t account for HP’s shifting public positions. Their promotional media went from high speed to sudden stop. Their CTO linked the Slate to the Palm deal. Whatever the validity of any given source, HP publicly portrayed a shifting of directions. Dismissing the previous reports as rumor doesn’t address these facts (and puts the latest reports in the same boat).

      • acerbic says

        If my memory serves, the only thing about the Slate McKinney tied to the Palm deal was whether he could say anything about it or not.

        • Sumocat says

          But why did he cite the Palm deal as the reason for his silence if there was no connection? Again, HP was promoting the Slate heavily then went completely silent. McKinney was asked about that. He cited the Palm deal as the reason he couldn’t discuss slates. He brought it up for a reason.

          • GTaylor says

            Sumocat, you are one keen minded gadget guy and a pretty good writer on same. I really don’t know how good you are as a writer of top lever corporate machinations, I haven’t examined enough of your work on the subject. I have been watching HP for some years now and I do know two things about them. One, they are big. Big enough so that having a source inside begs the question, Where inside? HP’s strategy guys and gals may not be all that well diluted through the whole infrastructure.
            The second thing that I can see about HP is that they are much quieter than companies that are several orders of magnitude smaller than they are. Since so much of sales at all level is driven by ad noise then again a question is begged: Why are they relatively quiet. The answer is simple and obvious. They are well positioned. You want something that they make, and there they are, at the counter.
            So what is behind all of this hollow noise that has kept HP in the public view and says so little that people claim to be seeing HP confused and unfocused? They have a game changer in had which will position them even better in the market.
            One possibility is a broad range of devices offering either a simple or a more sophisticated operating system. Marketing that embraces the blur that is occurring as real people (and not fans or first responders, market drivers of late) use their devices for work and play. That blur is huge because the market has become so polarized. Polarized is bad for a universally well placed company like HP, …or Microsoft.
            I think it was Marty McFly who said “Start out in B and watch out for the changes. Try to keep up.”

  3. Sumocat says

    GTaylor: I completely agree with your characterization of HP, but HP was not quiet about the Slate the whole time. They made a lot of noise about it then abruptly went silent. Their CTO was actively involved with the video promotion then couldn’t talk about it. Their outward handling completely and suddenly changed. Unless HP normally leaves a months-long span of silence between product promotion and release, this wasn’t normal.

    • GTaylor says

      Fair enough. Still the question, Erratic or not? Further question: What is the scale of what is coming?

      • Sumocat says

        Let me clarify that my use of “indecision” was not meant with any connotation but simply to state there was not a firm decision of what to do with the Slate at that time. I’m not at all implying they were confused, unfocused or erratic. Different claims came from different people inside HP. Taken with the shift in public handling, that points to a lack of consensus. I feel “indecision” is a fair description as they stopped on their then-current path to consider a new one. “Erratic”, I feel, implies traveling without a set path. I would not characterize the events that way.

        As to the scale of what’s coming, at last public report, the Slate was headed for the enterprise market. That means no return to flashy advertising, no consumer pricing, and a more limited release. Still Windows 7 but the product is following a path as a traditional Tablet PC, which has hardly been a game-changer. That said, most people still aren’t aware of Tablet PCs, so that’s something the Slate can potentially change.

        • GTaylor says

          Do you think the lack of consensus might simply have been a pause as the possibility of an unexpected Palm purchase was considered? HP had just committed to being the only major PDA supplier. To me, that seems to fit the time line.

          • Sumocat says

            Yes, but the only reason that should affect the Slate would be if they were entertaining the idea of making a tablet with their newly acquired webOS. If that was the case, the reports of such a device are justified, and the HP Slate was put on temporary hold because of it. Otherwise, it should not have affected their marketing of the Slate any more than it affected their other products.

            However, I would attribute their current change in direction, from consumer to enterprise, to the staggering sales of the iPad. Regardless of whatever else it might offer, a slate running Windows 7 is a Tablet PC, and the iPad is outselling that entire market. I sure didn’t expect that, and I doubt HP did either. If the Palm deal caused them pause, the idea of directly challenging a tablet that’s outselling the entire TPC market should have caused them to re-evaluate.

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