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HP exec confirms WebOS tablet

But Palm OS won't go into netbooks

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HP's attempt to out-iPad the iPad will indeed be based on Palm's WebOS, a company executive has revealed.

Alleged insiders have said as much already, but this is the first time a staffer has gone on record with the information.

According to Monty Wong, VP of PCs at HP's Taiwan operation, WebOS will be used in smartphones and tablets, but not in netbooks, DigiTimes reports.

WebOS was, of course, designed for smartphones, so that's no great surprise, but it's interesting that HP doesn't see the operating system making it into netbooks. Wong suggested that these machines are really small computers so require a computer OS.

Maybe he's forgotten that HP is already using a smartphone OS - Google's Android - in a netbook: the ARM-based Compaq AirLife 100, due to go on sale through Spanish cellco Telefonica in the near future.

That said, with its emphasis on touch control, WebOS may simply not yet be suited to keyboard- and mouse-based kit. HP undoubtedly wants to ensure tablet sales don't canibalise netbook sales, though all the evidence so far suggests they will.

Wong confirmed HP's tablet - originally due to run Windows 7 - will arrive before the end of October. He told punters to expect a wide range of apps at launch, suggesting HP will ensure the machine can run apps developed for Palm's smartphones.

HP bought Palm last month for $1.2bn. ®

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