It didn't take long. We're already starting to hear that HP may be dropping development of the Windows-based mobile Slate device it showed off at CES earlier this year.
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This comes thanks to
, which broke ranks last week to posit the end of the Slate project after the vendor picked up Palm's webOS operating system.
TechCrunch's bloggers think that webOS will be a challenge to port to a tablet device - although they add that HP will probably have a bash at it.
Some analysts are taking the opposing view, noting that using webOS over Windows 7 could allow HP to set a cheaper price point for its device and will give independent app developers an easier ride.
However the downside is that this move could set the Slate project back a long time and will allow Apple to further cement its position in the space. Note that Apple now claims to have sold a million iPads, so there will be some catching up to do.
What this means for HP's relationship with Microsoft is unclear, but after CEO Steve Ballmer (
pictured above) demonstrated a prototype version of the Slate at CES this year it surely has to smart a little. But for the sake of harmonious relationships Redmond will probably just have to suck it up; HP sells millions of Windows PCs annually, after all.
Full MicroScope coverage of the HP Palm acquisition