With Microsoft as tablet rival, will HP go Android?
Hewlett-Packard has a lot of reasons to go Android. Microsoft is one of them.
If Hewlett-Packard, the newfound rivalry with Microsoft will be one motivating factor, according to analysts.
"I can see why they would go down this route instead of sticking with Microsoft for everything," said Ben Bajarin, a principal at Creative Strategies.
That may be putting it charitably. "[PC makers] are pissed off at Microsoft. That's the general mood," said Roger Kay, principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies, referring to Microsoft's entry into the PC/tablet market with Surface.
In fact, HP scuttled plans last year to bring out an RT tablet and then dissed Microsoft's device publicly, calling it "slow...kludgy" and "expensive."
But that of course isn't the only reason HP would do an Android tablet. It could, for instance, try to take the lead in bringing Android tablets to large corporate customers, Bajarin said.
To some extent, Samsung is doing that in phones now, but HP, being the largest PC maker in the world, could spearhead Android for business, according to Bajarin. "They could see that as a big opportunity," he said.
And being late to the Android market isn't all bad. "All the development in Android up to this point accrues so they can claim to be on board without a whole lot of development that they have to do independently," Kay said.
This would come about two years after. In August of 2011, the company only a month and a half after the device's introduction.
It also ended plans for a WebOS-based phone at that time.
HP currently offers the Windows 8-based ElitePad 900 tablet and a Windows 8 hybrid tablet-laptop: the Envy x2. Both are based on Intel's power-efficient -- and relatively slow -- Atom processor.
And it already has one product based on a Google operating system.for $330.
HP declined to comment.