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By 31 October 2011 | Categories: news

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Earlier this year, we had a brief conversation with Thibault Dousson, Personal Systems Group country manager at HP South Africa, about the future of HP’s tablets.

The company had just announced plans to cease production of its ill fated TouchPad tablet line, as well as potentially spin off its PC division. At that time, Dousson stated he believed that HP would still pursue the tablet market in the future and fully expected the company to ‘bounce back’ stronger than before.  

This is one prediction that is apparently on target, as the company’s chief executive officer, Meg Whitman, recently revealed to the LA Times that the company would focus on producing Windows 8 tablets. She added that she still believed HP could succeed in the tablet market, calling work being done with Microsoft “extraordinary compelling.”

According to the LA Times, Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's personal systems group, added that HP never considered giving up on tablets or wavering from producing Windows tablets.

Back from the graveyard

We can only speculate that this outlook was helped, at least in part, by the buying frenzy that news of the TouchPad’s demise prompted. Surrealistically, the discontinued tablet was even resuscitated for another run to give users a chance to buy one at drastically reduced prices.

"I think we need to be in the tablet business, and we are certainly going to be there with Windows 8, and so we are going to be make another run at this business,” he continued. Bradley further reported that the company would make a decision on the fate of webOS over the next couple of months.

Unfortunately, no announcements on the new products are expected to be made before the end of November, while the company’s new tablets are slated for launch next year. Although an official launch date for Windows 8 has not yet been announced, a number of rumours mark it for spring 2012 release.

While we bemoaned HP’s decision to abandon webOS at the time, Windows 8 is looking intriguing if not outright impressive. However, if both Microsoft and HP can roll out tablets that distinguish themselves from the current crop of Android Honeycomb devices, then 2012 could be yet another interesting – and fiercely competitive - year for tablets indeed.

In recent news, Whitman pledged to retain HP’s PC division and rejected a spin-off option.

  

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