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HP confirms 'Palm pad' to ship early 2011

Windows 7 tablet out sooner

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HP will bring its WebOS-based tablet to market early next year, a company executive has stated.

During the PC giant's quarterly earnings conference last night, Todd Bradley, head of the company's Personal Systems Group, said: "Tablet sales and slate sales [were] a big part of the reason we acquired Palm. You'll see us with a Microsoft product out in the near future, and a WebOS-based product in early 2011."

The "Microsoft product" refers to the Slate, the Windows 7-based tablet HP showed off at the start of 2010 and which was assumed by many to have been canned when HP acquired Palm in April.

HP is more likely to have ditched the Android-based tablet it was said to be working on. The Windows tablet will be aimed at corporates, while the WebOS machine will be pitched at consumers as an Apple iPad alternative.

There's not much room left for an Android model too, unless HP wants to be comprehensive. That seems unlikely, especially since all its major rivals other than Apple will be offering Android 3.0 tablets in the same timeframe. ®

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