Rumors that HP will not build a Windows RT (for ARM processors) are swirling around the web, and making some noise this morning. As you may remember, Microsoft surprised a number of people, including their hardware partners, when it launched its Surface tablet (which is pretty awesome) earlier this month in Los Angeles. Interestingly, rumors don’t mention Intel-based tablets, so let’s assume for a moment that HP may still produce those.
OEMs can understandably be furious/worried about the arrival of a new powerful hardware competitor, and if true, the decision of pulling out from a business is certainly not motivated by “anger”. We think that HP ran its own analysis, and in the end, the company probably saw no significant return on investment in this Windows for ARM venture as it is clear that it will be very difficult with Microsoft to compete both in terms of hardware and mindshare. A wait-and see stance is also not such a bad idea anyway. Don’t forget the HP’s last ARM-based tablet wasn’t so hot…
The more disturbing news is that HP would be considering Google as an OS partner, and while it’s great to have options, the Chrome OS market is so small that it too would probably not yield any profits in the short-run, and it’s not like Google has never built hardware either…
Update: HP has confirmed to Bloomberg that it would not initially release an ARM-based tablet, but only one based on Intel’s processors.
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