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HP to pitch Windows Slate at Big Biz

WebOS tablets, netbooks for consumers

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HP has confirmed that its Windows 7-based Slate 500 tablet hasn't been canned and will be pitched at big biz customers this coming autumn.

HP's plan, mentioned to Engadget, is no great surprise. As we noted earlier this week, HP's acquisition of Palm led many observers to assume that the Slate 500 might be replaced, before its release, by a WebOS version. But enterprise buyers are a notoriously conservative lot and far more likely to accept a Windows-based machine than something running an OS as outré - to them - as Palm's offering.

Consumers, on the other hand, are far more likely to be swayed by WebOS' slick graphics than notions of PC compatibility, especially when its offerings are likely to sit alongside the Apple iPad, so we can see HP offering them Palm-based tablets.

And quite possibly netbooks too. According to Jon Rubinstein, one-time Palm CEO and now a cog in the HP juggernaut, "we're working a wide variety [of devices]... smartphones definitely, slates, netbooks, working with the guys in the printer group".

Yes, folks, WebOS-based inkjets and lasers are on their way. Tweet while you print, anyone?

Rubinstein was speaking at Fortune magazine's Brainstorm Tech event. ®

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