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HP Slate Now Targeted at Enterprise

Speaking at Fortune‘s Brianstorm Tech conference, HP’s personal systems group VP Todd Bradley gave an update on HP’s much-touted Windows 7 slate computer product—the same one touted as an “iPad killer” and which Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took in his hands back in January at CES and touted as the future of tablet computing. After many delays, HP now says it plans to release a Windows 7 slate device as a product targeted at enterprises—meaning big businesses and organizations standardized on the Windows platform—rather than as a consumer product. Bradley indicated HP plans to introduce the product this fall, but offered no other details.

HP has not formally announced any tablet computing device, whether based on Windows 7 or it’s recently-acquired webOS. However, the company was recently awarded a trademark for “PalmPad,” which would seem to imply the company is considering extending the Palm platform to tablet devices targeting consumers.

Former Palm CEO John Rubenstein spoke at the same event, and indicated webOS 2.0 should be released later in 2010, although he did not identify any new features, capabilities, or hardware platforms the operating system might support. Palm’s webOS has been on the market for a little over a year, and—despite a period of tit-for-tat with Apple over letting Palm devices pose as an iPod for iTunes syncing—Palm has gradually been refining the operating system’s applications and features, adding better app-switching and notifications, and improving performance.

Rubsenstein also indicated Palm is working on new hardware, but offered no details. HP has previously indicated it plans to move forward with new Palm smartphones as well as tablet devices.