The saga of a Tablet PC from Hewlett Packard continues with the latest tablet PC news confirming HP is meting out the deep freezer treatment to the Android powered tablet that was expected of it during the 4th quarter of this year with no official confirmation coming in as to when we can see the tablet in flesh, or if ever that’s going to happen. Its quite sometime now that HP has been trying to come up with a tablet device that can take the tablet war right up to the Apple camp. But it seems the perfect configuration of a tablet device continues to elude the world’s largest IT company.
There have been many twists and turns in the HP Tablet story and the development of the Google Android tablet by HP is following the same inconsistent process that we had come to know of during the making of the Windows 7 powered tablet PC. HP it appears has been testing on a lot of operating systems for their tablet. The entire process had started with the Windows 7 OS with Steve Ballmer wasting no opportunity in exhibiting a HP Slate running Windows 7 at various meets during different times of the year. For Microsoft, the tablet from HP running the Windows 7 OS could have been the best testimony of the credibility of Windows 7 for mobile devices where it was rumored to be too power hungry. But then, that was not to be.
Just when HP fans and eager consumers were awaiting the release of the HP Slate running on Windows 7, the news of HP acquiring the Palm company came in. And with that came the news of HP opting for the WebOS from Palm as the preferred OS for their tablet in place of Windows. The Google’s Android operating systems too had emerged on the scene perhaps on the back of the seemingly never ending wave of Android tablets that’s almost swamping the market that HP had found hard to resist. But the latest news indicate the same fate for Android as it had been for Windows 7 leaving only the WebOS as the sole contender to do OS duty on the forthcoming tablet device from HP.
There are a lot of theories doing the rounds to justify the shelving of the Android project. One of the reason and that which appears to be the most plausible is that HP is perhaps looking at directing all of their resources for the making of a webOS powered tablet rather than going for a multiple OS strategy.
The other logical reasoning is that in HP’s opinion Android id yet to reach the level of maturity as an operating system that can justify its inclusion in a tablet PC. Android was originally supposed to be a mobile OS whilst the OS developed by Apple for its iPad had been developed primarily for tablet PCs with a later shift to iPhone as well. The capability of the Android it its latest version is to support only an 800 x 640 resolution display, which clearly isn’t just enough to render high quality display for tablet PC screens.
Google Android 3.0 which has the nickname Gingerbread is supposed to be in the making and would support higher screen resolutions as well as provide for more powerful hardware specification like 1GHz processor and 512 MB RAM. It is only then that the Android OS perhaps would be suitable for the tablet.
This OS is expected for a Q4 release in 2011 and is likely to bring on a paradigm shift in the tablet OS scene.
However, for those who have been waiting for a Windows 7 powered tablet from HP, there is still hope in that Steve Ballmer’s keynote address at the Worldwide Partners Conference earlier this week, HP featured in the list of those he mentioned would be delivering a Windows 7 based tablet by the end of the year.