HP planning Windows 8 tablets; webOS future uncertain

By on October 28, 2011, 5:00 PM

HP is planning to release Windows 8 tablets once Microsoft launches their new operating system next year. This is good news for company faithful although HP’s WebOS mobile operating system remains in a state of uncertainty.

Former eBay chief and newly appointed CEO Meg Whitman made the announcement during a call with analysts after the company announced they would not be selling their PC business after all. Whitman believes that they are at the beginning stages of a new segment in personal computing and she doesn’t feel that it’s too late for HP to try again in the tablet market.

In addition to new Windows 8 tablets, HP will reevaluate multiple divisions in an effort to narrow their product line and focus on making fewer products with better quality. One of her observations is that HP dabbles into too many projects and simply tries to do too much. She is a firm believer in doing a small number of things really well instead of pushing out a lot of mediocre products.

Whitman further said that HP won’t be announcing any new plans before the end of November when their next earnings report is due.

Earlier this year, HP nixed their TouchPad tablet after less than two months on the market. The company slashed the tablet to $99 which prompted a fire sale across the US and Canada. There was also talk that HP would spin off their PC business under former CEO Léo Apotheker but that proved to be an unpopular decision among investors. Apotheker was ousted in mid September when Whitman took over the helm.

Meanwhile, HP is still unsure what the plans are for WebOS.

"We are continuing to focus on Microsoft-based tablet that we have and one that will develop on Windows based," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's personal systems group. "I think from a WebOS perspective that's kind of the next piece of work to complete.... The whole team of Meg, Cathie [Lesjak], myself, John Visentin are working very, very hard and as quickly as we can to make the right decisions about that product."

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