Friday, July 23, 2010

HP Slate 500 pops up on company website, still running Windows 7


Without ever having been released, the HP Slate tablet has had a strange and dramatic history with many twists-and-turns. Originally held aloft by no less a personage than Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as the first of many Windows 7 capable tablets ready to do battle with Apple’s iPad, HP then bought Palm for their webOS operating system and announced that their future tablets would eschew Windows 7 in favor of operating systems built from the ground up for multitouch.
So it’s confusing to see the HP Slate 500, version 1002tu, pop up on HP’s own website today, running on Windows 7 and — according to HP — capable of “giv[ing] yu access to photos, videos and everything on the Internet with just a touch.”
Compared to the iPad, the Slate has a few technological advantages, including dual cameras and Flash compatibility, but it’s strange to see HP waffle on this. They spent a huge amount of money on their own operating system specifically for use in mobile gadgets like tablets and smartphones, but even after the check has been written, they just don’t seem ready to bet the farm on it.
They should: Windows 7 sucks for slate-like tablets, and webOS is a good enough operating system that HP would be foolish not to staunchly support it. If Apple’s proven anything, it’s that a product can only be successful when the whole company is behind it, and webOS is very much an HP product now.
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