Here's an interesting development, if true. The Netbook News folks say they got to hang out with the Eee Pad team at Asus' HQ, and they were told Asus has dropped Windows Embedded Compact 7 like a bad habit. Despite what we saw and heard at Computex, the Eee Pad EP101TC will reportedly ship with Google's Android software, not the Windows CE successor.
We're awaiting confirmation from Asus ourselves. Here's the thing, though: the Eee Pad EP101TC looks like Asus' most direct iPad competitor, with its Nvidia Tegra system-on-a-chip, 1.5-pound weight, and $399-449 price tag. The 12" Eee Pad, which runs Windows 7 Home Premium, will be an entirely different class of product—it's more of a slimmed down consumer ultraportable, and it will cost more.
If today's story is accurate, then Microsoft might have lost another key design win in the burgeoning tablet market. We don't need to remind you that HP now plans to put webOS front and center on its upcoming slate, which might be called the Palmpad. Too bad Netbook News doesn't get into Asus' rationale for the purported software switch. The Eee Pad EP101TC reportedly is still scheduled for release in the first quarter of next year, though.
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