HP was reportedly working on three separate versions of the HP Slate, a tablet that would give the iPad some competition. However, recent reports suggest that HP has ceased development of the Android based version. This announcement, following earlier news of the abandonment of the Windows 7 version, leaves just the webOS version.
Recently, HP purchased Palm, gaining access to Palm’s webOS software. Many have speculated that this software would be integrated into future tablets and smartphones made by HP. With the Android and Windows 7 versions of the HP Slate being cancelled, webOS may be the only alternative.
The decision to drop the Android-based Slate development may have been a smart one, as Android tablets have yet to really take off. This is mostly due to the fact that many apps on the Android Marketplace are not suited to tablets and in most cases the official market is not available on Android tablets.
Why would a webOS Slate be any different? Seeing as HP owns the webOS platform, they will be more inclined to create their own specific webOS apps, jump starting the development. However, it may be a stretch to get external developers to develop webOS based tablet applications, due to the unpopular webOS app development for the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi, which has resulted in a half-off all apps sale.
There is still no official news from HP itself, just information from various reliable sources. What the HP Slate will end up like and what operating system it will actually run remains to be officially seen.