Reading Engadget's report on the HP Slate you would think that the computer manufacturer plans on releasing a Windows version of the Slate as a enterprise product was a sure sign that the tablet was in the Courier category. But let's cut HP some slack here, OK? (Engadget and others are responded to this story from Fortune magazine.)
Todd Bradley, executive vice president of the personal systems group division at HP, is quoted in Fortune as saying "I think you'll see us with a family of slate products, clearly a Microsoft product in the enterprise and a webOS product broadly-deployed." Translation: we'll launch a Windows version of the Slate, that will make Microsoft happy, but we'll launch a WebOS 2.0 version later, that will make consumers happy.
He is also quoted as saying "Slates are going to be an enormous category, this is just in its infancy."
Bradley is absolutely right. Assuming someone follows through on their promise to launch a tablet, whether it be Android or WebOS 2.0 based, the tablet category will be huge -- and that is a big win for those media executives who have already won their bet that the iPad would prove to be a good platform for publishers.
Nonetheless, there are several stories that have hit the web this morning that seem to imply -- actually, more than imply -- that HP's Slate is vapor ware. But tech reporting has gotten really sensationalistic lately, and very political, as websites take sides in the pro-anti Apple discussions -- many of the tech sites taking both sides in a cynical attempt to attract both types of readers.
Forgotten what the Slate was supposed to look like? This video was posted at the end of March by HP:
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by the wild stories appearing this summer. I got a hint of this talking to publishers and app vendors in the late Spring. More than a few people told me that they had decided to wait to launch their first iPad efforts in order to live with the tablet a little. But they were now committed to launching tablet products by the end of summer (or early Fall, they sometimes admitted).