HP Slate to run WebOS, or not.

After the release of the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi, along with the critically acclaimed Palm WebOS, there were all kinds of unanswered questions about the products' future after Palm was bought out by HP. According to DigiTimes, at least one of those questions has been answered. HP will be taking full advantage of Palm's WebOS in their upcoming tablet device, the HP Slate.

This is pretty surprising news, considering that the Palm acquisition isn't complete yet. Many, including Engadget, are skeptical of the claims that HP already has rights the WebOS IP, and blame Digitimes for being vague about singling out the Slate for a WebOS release. The article says "HP will adopt the WebOS platform in smartphones and tablets," and only mentions the Slate at the end. This ambiguity could lead readers to believe either way, but Engadget emphasizes that HP would never be able to announce such a plan, even it was actually happening, before the lawyers are done with the purchase.

That being said, Monty Wong, vice president of personal computing systems at HP Taiwan said that the OS will only be released for tablets, and that there are no plans to release the OS in a netbook or other similarly sized device. He said that netbooks are closer to notebooks than they are to tablets, at least in terms of functionality, and WebOS isn't optimized for a notebook platform. Many were expecting the Slate to ship running Windows 7, but that was before HP acquired Palm and WebOS.

The Slate is due to market near the end of October, and it is HP's attempt to compete with Apple's iPad. Engadget picked up a nice little comparison chart distributed to HP employees showing the competitive advantages and disadvantages of the Slate and the iPad.

Image courtesy of Engadget

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