HP and Dell are both preparing Windows 8 tablets according to reports.
Founder and chief executive of Dell, Michael Dell, previously hinted that the company may be planning to drop Android in favor of Windows 8. A new report from DigiTimes on Monday suggests that HP and Dell are both preparing to launch Windows 8 tablets in the third quarter of 2012. The date lines up with current expectations of Microsoft’s development period for Windows 8. Dell told journalists at Dell World 2012 earlier this month that the company was excited about the prospects with Windows 8. “We are very aligned with Microsoft around Windows 8. You’ll hear more about Windows 8 from us and see a wide range of products released,” said Michael Dell last week. Dell is understood to be readying Windows 7 and Windows 8 tablets. Dell previously teased a 10-inch Windows 7 based tablet at an event in San Francisco back in February. The company promised to bring the device to market by the end of the year. Pictures of the device leaked earlier this month, indicating that Dell might be ready to unveil its Windows tablet.
HP have remained tight lipped about their tablet plans. HP announced in August that it plans to discontinue its TouchPad and pre phones and halt all further webOS device development. The announcement came less than two months after the TouchPad went on sale and sees HP contemplating licensing webOS to third party vendors. HP’s extermination of its TouchPad was undeniably quick but hardly surprising. The device had struggled to sell and some reports suggest that American retail giant Best Buy took delivery of around 270,000 units and only sold around 25,000 of their stock. HP had grand plans to offer webOS on its PC devices, a scenario directed towards Microsoft independence. HP has seemingly scrapped this plan and appears to be on the brink of spinning off its Personal Systems Group (PSG). The group is responsible for consumer and business PCs and accessories along with digital entertainment devices. A sell off would follow a similar approach to IBM who sold its PC division to China-based Lenovo Group in late 2004. The sale would allow HP to focus on its cloud computing and server businesses. HP ships the largest amount of PCsworldwide so any potential sale of that business will drum up significant attention.
If DigiTimes’ reports are accurate then it could see HP returning to Windows based tablets as its primary focus for such new form factors. HP unveiled a Windows 7 based Slate in October. Priced at $799, the device is powered by a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540, 2GB of RAM, 64GB SSD and will handle 1080p video. There’s also a front facing camera and a rear one. The 8.9-inch device runs Windows 7 Professional and HP targeted the enterprise and business market. HP hasn’t ruled out further Windows 8 based tablets though. HP’s Phil McKinney, president and CTO of HP’s personal systems group, revealed that the company is working closely with Microsoft for Windows 8 in an interview earlier this year.