HP readying WebOS tablet for early 2011?

An HP executive reportedly announces at an employee meeting that the device will be ready in the first quarter of next year.

Erica Ogg Former Staff writer, CNET News
Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.
Erica Ogg
Palm Pre WebOS
WebOS could be on a tablet by early next year, according to information leaked from a recent company meeting. Palm

A few tidbits about Hewlett-Packard's plan for WebOS are leaking out from a company meeting held Monday.

Engadget said Tuesday it heard from several "trusted sources" present at the all-hands employee meeting that HP Senior Vice President Todd Bradley pointed to the first quarter of 2011 for when the company would be shipping a tablet loaded with WebOS. The sources also reported that the internal code name for the project is Hurricane.

Bradley, the former CEO of Palm, heads up HP's Personal Systems Group, which absorbed Palm in July, along with its mobile operating system, WebOS. HP has said from the moment it announced the acquisition that it planned to use WebOS in a variety of ways across its consumer product lines, including tablets, Web-connected printers, and smartphones.

HP CTO Shane Robison reiterated that last week at the Techonomy conference. He told CNET that while WebOS may also eventually be an option on Netbooks, it won't replace Windows for people looking to do productivity tasks.

If HP does end up shipping the tablet within the first three months of next year, it'll be a much quicker product turnaround than the Windows 7 Slate the company made a show of at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. HP has remained mum on the future of the device since acquiring Palm, other than to say it is re-evaluating the product and determining the next steps.