HP seems eager to part with its webOS business, and the TouchPad apparently left store shelves for good after this summer’s fire sale. However, the device’s flame may not have been snuffed out quite yet. Fox anchor Clayton Morris says the company has been using the TouchPad internally as a test platform… for Windows 8:
Sources at HP tell me the hardware team has been busy doing proof of concept work testing Windows 8 Preview Edition on the fire sale devices. Internally there’s been discussion about reviving the defunct tablets or building new devices with Windows 8 in mind.
Since Windows 8 isn’t due out until next year, I don’t think there’s a terribly good chance of the TouchPad enjoying an encore in its current form. HP could, however, release a second-generation TouchPad with similar (albeit likely faster) hardware and Windows 8 pre-installed instead of webOS. Microsoft’s next operating system is designed to run on ARM devices, after all.
For HP to do that, though, the company might have to hold on to its PC business. Newly minted CEO Meg Whitman plans to announce the fate of the company’s PC division by the end of the month, according to Reuters.