HP’s Windows Slate PC: Not Officially Dead, But Dead

By  |  Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 8:35 am

I’m at The Big Money’s Untethered conference–an event about tablets and the future of publishing–in New York. One of the speakers this morning was Phil McKinney, CTO of HP’s Personal Systems Group. The Big Money’s James Ledbetter interviewed him about tablets, and he talked about the downsides of using existing operating systems for new types of devices. (He didn’t mention Windows explicitly, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about OS/2.) He also extolled the virtues of WebOS, which HP will own assuming its acquisition of Palm goes through.


But he didn’t mention HP’s Windows-based “slate PC.” The one which was the single highest-profile product at CES in January, but which rumors in April (which I doubted at the time) said had been killed.

So when Q&A time came, I asked him about the state of that slate. He cheerfully refused to talk about unreleased slates at all until the Palm buyout was a done deal, and noted that his PR folks would be happy with him for remembering to stay mum.

Of course, refusing to talk about unreleased products is standard industry practice–except, of course, when companies do talk about unreleased products, which they do all the time. (Even Apple has done so occasionally–it preannounced the Apple TV as “iTV.”) And in the case of the Windows-based slate, HP has talked about it. A lot. Actually, back in March, I saw McKinney brandishing one at another New York publishing conference. And here’s a video HP released later that month:

So in the case of the Windows slate PC, HP has done something unusual: It’s gone from hyping a product to refusing to talk about it. And McKinney’s explanation that he can’t say anything until the Palm deal is official doesn’t explain everything. For one thing, an HP Windows slate and an HP WebOS slate aren’t mutually exclusive concepts: The company could make both. And the fact that the Palm acquisition is still a work in progress didn’t prevent McKinney from saying that HP does intend to make WebOS tablets.

I see only one possibility here: HP’s Windows slate PC is dead. Doesn’t mean that there won’t be some sort of Windows-powered HP tablet someday, but this one isn’t happening.

 
51 Comments


Read more: , , ,

17 Comments For This Post

  1. bernard Says:

    There already IS a Windows-powered HP tablet; it’s called the Touchsmart TM2, something far useful than an insignificant old slate. And it’s out RIGHT NOW!

  2. John Baxter Says:

    It’s probably reasonable not to kill off the Slate in public until the Palm deal goes through–it would be the basis of a fallback position should the deal fail (highly unlikely). Likewise, it’s likely that the Slate has no future if the Palm deal is completed. Therefore, he can’t really say anything.

  3. Keith Shaw Says:

    I think HP wants to keep the “HP Slate” as a brand name, and in all likelihood will use that brand name with whatever device they come out with with the webOS/Palm OS on it. They definitely plan on having some kind of tablet-based device offering.

  4. Ed Oswald Says:

    I just think its kind of crazy for as much hype as this thing got, for HP to pull the plug as abruptly as it did. It doesn’t really reflect as much on HP (which like people say, will likely come back in another form) as it does on Microsoft.

  5. Joe Acerbic Says:

    I would buy a Touchsmart tm2t if it didn’t have that insanely stupid 2 inch thick bulging battery compartment on it. It’s like they just had to differentiate it with some devastatingly idiotic design or nobody would pay $1000 more for the FLAT “business class” 2740p.

    The tm2t (and the ancient HP/Compaq 1100 slate) also shows that HP could easily build a really nice and affordable Windows 7 slate just by putting about the same components in a slate shell with a flat battery. It would be heavier than 1.5 lb and thicker than 0.5 in but it would be smaller and lighter than any current tablet PC. I would pay $1000 for something like that and I’m certainly not the only one.

    OTOH if HP turns around and refuses to build a Windows slate because “many, many internet pundits have been snarking away about how Windows OS would be the death of the Slate”, I’ll consider them worthless wimps licking Steve Jobs’ jackboots and I’ll never buy anything from them again.

  6. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    > OTOH if HP turns around and refuses to build a Windows slate
    > because “many, many internet pundits have been snarking away
    > about how Windows OS would be the death of the Slate”, I’ll
    > consider them worthless wimps licking Steve Jobs’ jackboots

    You’re blaming the effect instead of the cause. Pundits and Steve Jobs’ boots have nothing to do with it. Look at the sales figures. There have been tablet PC’s for almost 20 years now, and iPad outsold them all in its first month. All 20 years worth. Then iPad outsold them all again in its second month, and the demand is increasing, not decreasing. Consumers *do not want* a PC with its keyboard removed and mouse traded in for a touchscreen. They have said so again and again and again. Consumers do want an iPad. The fact is, the HP Slate as shown at January 2010 CES is just yet another tablet PC. If HP wants to build something people want to buy, they need to change HP Slate into HP iPad.

    Compared to iPad, HP Slate is more than twice as heavy, more than twice as thick, has less than half the battery life, and yet is much more expensive. It costs more, and then you have to add anti-virus, you have to buy or provide PC-style administration, you have 5-10x the cost for 3rd party software, you don’t have easy syncing/backup with your notebook PC, and perhaps most of all, you don’t have the usability that comes from the entire operating system and all of its applications being designed specifically for touch and mobility.

    What is amazing is you don’t have to guess about all this. As popular as the first iPod was, it was the iPod nano in 2004 that blew the roof off. After iPod nano, the hard disk players were never the same. The small size of the nano was a more important feature than the extra storage of the bigger hard disk players. 1000 songs in a size you could lose in your pocket was a sweet spot. iPad is the tablet sweet spot. HP Slate is like a hard disk player that was going to ship in late 2004 and had to be retooled as a flash player after iPod nano.

  7. Joe Acerbic Says:

    I’m a consumer. I want a “PC with its keyboard removed and mouse traded in for a touchscreen” plus a stylus. I don’t want an iFad. It’s because the software I mostly want to use on the device is Microsoft OneNote, not iFart.

    We used to live in America where people wanted different things, there was choice… now there are Apple cult cadres claiming to speak for everybody, telling what People want. All hail Dear Leader Kim Jobs Il…

  8. Paul T. Says:

    Hamranhansenhansen Says:
    >”Consumers *do not want* a PC with its keyboard removed and mouse traded in for a touchscreen.”
    FALSE – For the most casual users this is the exact definition of an iPad.

    >”Compared to iPad, HP Slate is …”
    >”more than twice as heavy,”
    FALSE – The HP Slate is 0.67kg, while the iPad is 0.68kg (WiFi) and 0.73kg (3G).

    >”…more than twice as thick,”
    FALSE – The HP Slate is 14.7mm vs. 13.4mm for the iPad.

    >”…has less than half the battery life,”
    TRUE – For all the Atom hype, it is really a lousy CPU. HP Slate would be better off with a modern i3/i5 CULV processor and custom battery, rather than off-the-shelf parts.

    >”…and yet is much more expensive.”
    FALSE – HP Slate $549-$599, iPad $599-$829.

    >”…and then you have to add anti-virus,”
    This is such a red herring. Just install Microsoft Security Essentials and move on; it’s FREE and has a negligible impact on performance.

    >”…you have to buy or provide PC-style administration,”
    Not sure what your issue is here. Every computing device, even iPad, requires software updates and maintenance/tech support.

    >”…you have 5-10x the cost for 3rd party software,”
    You mean real desktop applications versus $1.99 phone gadgets. Windows gives you access to more shareware/freeware/open-source software. And if you’re a developer you can install your own applications without paying Apple a fee to get their permission to install via a closed App Store.

    >”…you don’t have easy syncing/backup with your notebook PC,”
    The iPad requires a separate MAC/PC with iTunes to do this.
    The HP Slate is an actual PC, which gives you many more direct options to sync/backup by any method you want: USB attached memory stick, HDD or DVD/Blu-ray burner, SD memory card, local network or storage in the “cloud”.

    >”…and perhaps most of all, you don’t have the usability that comes from the entire operating system and all of its applications being designed specifically for touch and mobility.”
    FALSE – Windows 7 was designed with multi-touch and pen input in mind. Virtually all existing windows applications automatically get standard multi-touch and pen functionality from the OS, while still allowing developers to extend touch support even further. People who complain about touch support on Windows 7 have either never actually used it or they were using a system that was not properly configured for touch. Unfortunately, most system builders would rather create their own a bloated unwieldy “Touch-friendly” UI to hide Windows, rather than configure the existing desktop properly for touch (e.g. using the correct desktop resolution, fonts, UI DPI scaling, icon size, and various folder options for single-click vs. double-click, selection, etc.

  9. David Says:

    @Joe Acerbic Says:

    Okay. So how many tablets do you own?

  10. Joe Acerbic Says:

    Although I don't see why I need some "credentials" to state my opinion: I currently own two working ones, and the remains of my first one which was the most compact and portable of them but sadly died of a combination of old age and not having a spill resistant keyboard.

  11. slrman Says:

    The HP slate is better off dead. Every HP product I have ever had, computer, scanner, printer, etc. has been an unreliable piece of junk. The slat/tablet device is clearly going to be the Next Big Thing, but HP will not be a major player at all.

  12. R Jacks Says:

    This is coming from a guy who has sworn his sole to almighty Microsoft. What choice do you have in the PC world. You either use windows or nothing at all. I can not believe and PC user saying that Mac is dictating the world when Windows holds 90+% of the market. Just like Rush, he is living in his own little paranoid world and prays to the mighty Microsoft GOD!!!

  13. Utterback Says:

    Hey There I am having a problem seeing your whole page on my XP machine.

    Just wanted you to know.

    Thanks

  14. Luttrell Says:

    1000 backlinks for your website

  15. Marbry Says:

    Best point of view. Keep it up.

  16. Burnam Says:

    Great article. Will visit again. Thanks

  17. Deaderick Says:

    Good thought!
    Will revisit

34 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Reinstall Windows XP on Dell Desktop | Rainy Technology Says:

    [...] HP's Windows Slate PC: Not Officially Dead, But Dead [...]

  2. Google Lauches Its G1 Phone: Iphone Beware! | Coba-coba Lagi[dot]com Says:

    [...] HP's Windows Slate PC: Not Officially Dead, But Dead [...]

  3. HP’s CTO makes more noises about Slate not running Windows Says:

    [...] Technologizer] Tweet [...]

  4. What’s going on with the HP Slate? | Tech Geek Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email this | Comments Engadget Share software Going, Slate, [...]

  5. What’s going on with the HP Slate? | Wireless Style Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email this | Comments var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; [...]

  6. What’s going on with the HP Slate? « lakmithuro.com Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email this | Comments View full post on Engadget Tags: going, [...]

  7. What’s going on with the HP Slate? | Mobile Phone Files Download Says:

    [...] | Technologizer | Email this | [...]

  8. What’s going on with the HP Slate? | Tech Zone 24 Says:

    [...] Thu, 17 Jun 2010 21:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink   |  Technologizer  | Email this | Comments none Leave a commentCommentsLeave a Reply Kliknij [...]

  9. What’s going on with the HP Slate? — startupstardom.com Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email this | Comments var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; [...]

  10. What’s going on with the HP Slate? | Morning Digest Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email this | Comments Source: [...]

  11. HP’s CTO makes more noises about Slate not running Windows | Android Tablet US Says:

    [...] [via Technologizer] [...]

  12. Funny Gadget Gifts | What’s going on with the HP Slate? Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email [...]

  13. What’s going on with the HP Slate? | TeraTechTown.com Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email this | Comments Source Share var button = [...]

  14. What’s going on with the HP Slate? | ThaiDC.com Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email this | Comments ที่มา :: [...]

  15. What’s going on with the HP Slate? « KKmall.net Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email this | Comments Source :: [...]

  16. HP silent on the Slate, but that silence says lot | GottaBeMobile Says:

    [...] Harry McCracken at Technologizer ran into Phil McKinney, CTO of HP, at The Big Money’s Untethered conference, a meeting about “profitable media in the tablet era.” You’d think that McKinney, one of the speakers at this event about tablets would be eager to speak about HP’s tablets, specifically the Slate, but not so much. [...]

  17. What’s going on with the HP Slate? - Latest Technology Trends Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email this | Comments No Comment var addthis_pub="izwan00"; BOOKMARK [...]

  18. “What’d I miss?” – Week of June 13, 2010 | Jerry Fahrni Says:

    [...] Technologizer: “I see only one possibility here: HP’s Windows slate PC is dead. Doesn’t mean that there [...]

  19. mini laptop computers: Computers: Hp Mini Laptop.? Says:

    [...] HP’s Windows Slate PC: Not Officially Dead, But Dead [...]

  20. The HP Slate Lives. Maybe. At Least It’s Not Dead Says:

    [...] a determination soon on the next steps” for its Windows 7 slate PC–the one that I declared dead a few weeks ago. It’s not entirely clear what that means, but it’s the most the company [...]

  21. HP Slate 500: Doch noch ein Windows 7 Tablet? » pctrend.de Says:

    [...] Slate geglaubt. HP-Mitarbeiter waren sehr still, wenn man sie auf das Tablet ansprach, wie das Blog Technologizer noch im Juni [...]

  22. iPadversaries! 32 Tablets, Slates, Pads, and More Says:

    [...] going to start at $549 What else: The star of Steve Ballmer’s CES 2010 keynote went into mysterious limbo and will now supposedly ship later this year as a product for large companies. More info: [...]

  23. iPadversaries! 32 Tablets, Slates, Pads, and More « Interracial Page Says:

    [...] going to start at $549 What else: The star of Steve Ballmer’s CES 2010 keynote went into mysterious limbo and will now supposedly ship later this year as a product for large companies. More info: Here’s [...]

  24. AllTheTablets » 32 Tablets, Slates, Pads and More Says:

    [...] going to start at $549 What else: The star of Steve Ballmer’s CES 2010 keynote went into mysterious limbo and will now supposedly ship later this year as a product for large companies. More info: Here’s [...]

  25. Binnenkort 32 iPad-killers op de markt « Multidevos Says:

    [...] going to start at $549 What else: The star of Steve Ballmer’s CES 2010 keynote went into mysterious limbo and will now supposedly ship later this year as a product for large companies. More info: Here’s [...]

  26. Attack of the ‘iPad-Killers’ — 32 Tablets, Slates, Pads and More: by Harry McCracken | The Stink Grenade | Always something interesting Says:

    [...] going to start at $549 What else: The star of Steve Ballmer’s CES 2010 keynote went into mysterious limbo and will now supposedly ship later this year as a product for large companies. More info: Here’s [...]

  27. HP WebOS and Windows Tablets Are Real Says:

    [...] on again/off again Windows Slate would be the first to appear in “the near future.” This would be followed [...]

  28. What’s going on with the HP Slate? : wizteq.com Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email [...]

  29. Waitaminnit, Maybe HP’s Slate is Interesting After All Says:

    [...] HP’s Windows 7 slate was going to be a big deal. Then HP stopped talking about it and I declared it dead. Then it came back, but in a form that left me wondering if it was cursed. What a [...]

  30. What’s going on with the HP Slate? | Dschool Says:

    [...]  |  Technologizer  | Email [...]

  31. And That’s What You Missed on Technologizer Says:

    [...] I came to the (incorrect) conclusion that HP would never ship its Windows 7 slate. [...]

  32. HP’s New Plan: No More Worthless Hype Says:

    [...] too. Early last year, it started hyping a Windows Slate as a major contender to the iPad. Then it disappeared after HP acquired Palm, and finally re-appeared as a business tablet under a limited production [...]

  33. Whatever Happened to the iPad Rivals of 2010? Says:

    [...] going to start at $549 What else: The star of Steve Ballmer’s CES 2010 keynote went into mysterious limbo and will now supposedly ship later this year as a product for large companies. More info: [...]

  34. The iPad challengers: A status report | Vehicles Spot Says:

    [...] idea of putting Windows 7 on tablets. Slate PCs, including one hyped by HP, went nowhere.What's next for Windows? [...]