HP to Reenter Tablet Market with Windows 8
Among Apple's early competitors in the tablet market, HP gained a significant amount of attention as it initially sought to build its niche around webOS, which it acquired along with Palm in early 2010. HP introduced its webOS-based TouchPad in early 2011, launching the device on July 1 of that year only to exit the tablet and smartphone business just six weeks later.
HP then successfully sold off its backlog of TouchPads at $99 fire sale prices, announcing that it would make webOS an open source project.
The Bangkok Post now reports that HP has decided to reenter the tablet market, this time taking advantage of Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 platform in a fresh attempt to make an impact in the rapidly-growing tablet market.
Restarting production is a strategic move aimed at capitalising on the extraordinary growth in tablet sales, chief executive Meg Whitman said yesterday at the Global Influencer Summit 2012. [...]
Todd Bradley, the executive vice-president for printing and personal systems, said HP's Windows 8 tablets will come equipped with cloud-based technology, enabling users to share and store content online between different devices.
Apple continues to dominate the tablet market two years after the debut of the original iPad, with its shipment share even rising to 68% in the first quarter of 2012 as early momentum from Amazon's Kindle Fire seems to have faded.
Google's Android operating system has had only limited success in the tablet market, led by Samsung's Galaxy Tab offerings, while Amazon's heavily-customized Kindle Fire implementation of Android has also attempted to stake a claim to the market. Other competitors have had less success, with webOS falling by the wayside almost before it got started.
Microsoft is the latest entrant into the tablet market since Apple reinvented the segment, banking on its Windows 8 products to bridge the gap between PCs and tablets. The company showed off Windows 8 last September and earlier this year revealed its plans for bringing Windows to ARM processors in a further effort to blur the lines between desktop and mobile. HP, the world's largest PC manufacturer, could play a key role in working to spread Windows to the tablet market, but it remains to be seen whether Microsoft will have success with its efforts.