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HP's WebOS slate confirmed for early 2011

The once thought-to-be-extinct HP slate device is still on track to be released this year in a Windows 7 flavor. A WebOS version is also on the way.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Hewlett-Packard's rumored slate that will run off of Palm's WebOS is in fact coming in "early 2011" according to remarks from Phil McKinney, HP's vice president and chief technology officer for the company's personal systems group.

HP Slate
A screen from an early HP slate promotion. Hewlett-Packard

During an interview with VentureBeat's founder Matt Marshall as part of this year's Demo Fall conference, McKinney said that the WebOS-based version of the company's slate is well on track for its release early next year, but that HP is currently working hard to get its Windows 7-based slate out the door first.

"There is a Windows 7 slate that is coming out, that will begin shipping by the end of the year," he said. "What we found with that slate is that it's the item that the enterprise users want. We have a number of customers in retail and health care that have specific Windows 7 applications, yet they want that portability."

HP originally announced it was working on a Windows 7 slate at the Consumer Electronics Show back in January, and Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer even demoed it on stage. Months went by without any additional news, and after the company announced it was acquiring Palm, it appeared as if the project had been put on the back burner. Then, in late July, the company was granted a trademark for the name "PalmPad" that brought the product back into the spotlight.

Besides computing devices, McKinney elaborated on the company's plans to bring WebOS to printers in the near future. "Everybody asks 'why printers?' Well, we've got a new set of printers running little apps like printing out confirmations for your boarding pass," he said. MicKinney says that eventually your printer will be able to do more advanced print jobs from within specially designed WebOS printer apps to print out things like coupons.