HP's getting back into the tablet game, albeit somewhat tepidly after the debacle of the TouchPad launch and cancellation and Microsoft's recent unveiling of their own Surface tablets. The news comes today that HP's planning to move forward with at least one Windows 8 tablet, though they'll be going with their long-time processor partner Intel for the tablet instead the mobile-oriented ARM chips.
We wondered earlier this month when Microsoft unveiled Surface what affect that would have on their OEM partners, and if SemiAccurate is, well, accurate, it seems that Surface might be making those OEMs nervous. HP, Microsoft's single biggest customer, apparently has decided against producing an ARM-based Windows RT tablet in protest of both Surface and the licensing charges Microsoft wants in exchange for the slightly-hamstrung version of the Windows OS. Of course, it's also worth noting that HP burned some bridges with ARM partners after their cancellation of the TouchPad and Pre3 - both ran ARM chips from Qualcomm.
HP told The Verge that their plans for going with Intel chips thanks to feedback from customers: "The decision to go with x86 was influenced by input from our customers. The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future." With HP being a huge enterprise provider, we're not surprised at all by the decision to go Intel-first, and ARM-later-maybe. But we also won't be surprised to see Microsoft pushing hard to get the ARM-happy Windows RT onto more devices moving forward.
How does this matter to us at webOS Nation? Really, it doesn't matter what HP decides to go with for their tablets, as the Linux Standard Kernel that's going to be used in Open webOS will run on all variety of hardware, including x86- and ARM-based chipsets. When exactly we can expect to see those tablets, well, that's still up in the air.
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