HP plans Windows 8 tablets; webOS remains in limbo

Now that HP's PC business is no longer on the chopping block, questions are arising about the company's tablet strategy. webOS is still in limbo, so what are HP's plans? The LA Times got some choice quotes from a call held with with analysts yesterday, and they answer that question—if only partially.

First, HP's new CEO Meg Whitman confirmed that HP will offer Windows 8 tablets after the operating system comes out next year:

"We're at the beginning stages of a new segment in personal computing," Whitman said of tablets in the call. She also said that she doesn’t believe it’s too late for HP to succeed in the tablet market and that “the work we do with Microsoft is extraordinary compelling."

Whitman said in the call that HP's Windows 8 tablets would launch sometime next year and that the company would be narrowing its focus to help the company succeed not just next year, but also in 2013, 2014 and the future.

HP Personal Systems Group Executive VP Todd Bradley also brought up webOS, but the company isn't committing to a roadmap there just yet. Bradley said HP is focusing on Windows tablets and that webOS is "kind of the next piece of work to complete." He added, "The whole team of Meg, Cathie [Lesjak], myself, John Visentin are working very, very hard and as quickly as we can to make the right decisions about that product."

There's been talk of Amazon being a potential buyer for the remains of HP's webOS business. Amazon could be eager to use the operating system as a foundation for future Kindle tablets. (The Kindle Fire already runs a heavily modified version of Android.)

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