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HP Microsoft Windows Technology

HP Kills ARM-based Windows Tablet, Likely Thanks To Microsoft Surface 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the children-who-never-learned-to-share dept.
MojoKid writes "That didn't take long. HP has publicly confirmed that it has cancelled plans to bring a Windows RT (aka Windows on ARM) tablet to market in time for the Windows 8 debut. The company has decided to focus on its x86 customer base instead. HP spokesperson Marlene Somsak has said, 'The decision was influenced by input from our customers. The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future.' Sources at HP have confirmed that Microsoft's Surface unveil last week was a huge factor in this decision. HP isn't willing to go head to head with Microsoft when it comes to launching new, unproven products. Abandoning x86 is impossible, but dropping Windows ARM is a way for the computer manufacturer to signal its supreme displeasure without unduly risking market share. It also increases the burden on Surface itself. If other OEMs follow suit, MS could find itself as the only vendor selling ARM-based W8 tablets."
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HP Kills ARM-based Windows Tablet, Likely Thanks To Microsoft Surface

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  • by CajunArson (465943) on Friday June 29, 2012 @03:31PM (#40498873) Journal

    HP's track record with tablets is not all that impressive, but this is a big blow to Windows 8... which frankly *only* makes sense on a tablet unless there is a de-metrofication project going on in the skunkworks.

    Having said that.. HP could jump onto Android or even attempt to bring some zombified version of WebOS back from the dead using the ARM platform.

    • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Friday June 29, 2012 @03:48PM (#40499121)

      Well... I'm actually more surprised that HP refuses to take the lead on ANY consumer-related goods. Or enterprise products/services, for that matter.

      Man, I thought for a while that HP might be able to turn it around and get back to its roots of being a kick-ass engineering company, but it's pretty obvious that those days are now gone. I'm pretty sure that even the old engineering fogeys who might have been able to tell the yung'uns about what HP culture was like before have left the ship. At this point, it's just a large computer manufacturing company like Dell and Acer, with some enterprise big iron and consulting thrown in.

      Sad to see them go.

      • Agilent (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 29, 2012 @04:46PM (#40499815)

        The company you are remembering is now called Agilent, and doing quite well.

        HP is the demon-spawn of the Carly.

        • HP jumped the shark long before Carly joined in 1999. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carly_Fiorina [wikipedia.org] )

          They have a habit of buying tech companies no one wants.

          Back in 1990 they had a *ultra* low power 128-bit (!!) CPU (Saturn) used in the HP48 SX / GX line of calculators and basically did nothing with the tech.

          They are basically run around like a chicken with its head cut off. Hey guys we're don't know where we are going but we are making great progress getting there!

          HP: Not Quite Dead Yet !

          The "glory" days w

      • by Astronomerguy (1541977) on Friday June 29, 2012 @04:57PM (#40499921)

        Well... I'm actually more surprised that HP refuses to take the lead on ANY consumer-related goods. Or enterprise products/services, for that matter.

        Man, I thought for a while that HP might be able to turn it around and get back to its roots of being a kick-ass engineering company, but it's pretty obvious that those days are now gone. I'm pretty sure that even the old engineering fogeys who might have been able to tell the yung'uns about what HP culture was like before have left the ship. At this point, it's just a large computer manufacturing company like Dell and Acer, with some enterprise big iron and consulting thrown in.

        Sad to see them go.

        All the engineers left when HP split into 2 companies a few years ago. They're still going strong at Agilent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agilent_Technologies [wikipedia.org]

        • by idontgno (624372)

          All the engineers left when HP split into 2 companies a few years ago. They're still going strong at Agilent

          So, the corporation known as HP is the "B" Ark, except the Golgafrinchans actually sent the "A" Ark instead?

          This explains a great deal about HP in the last decade-plus.

    • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Friday June 29, 2012 @04:38PM (#40499761)

      HP's track record with tablets is not all that impressive, but this is a big blow to Windows 8

      Quite the opposite. Window RT is a monumentally stupid idea. HP not supporting it is nothing but good. The level of consumer confusion it will create is disastrous. "Why does this work on your tablet and not mine" why does my tablet not have an arm, or need an arm?

      If microsoft wants to gradually trend the market towards having split arm and x86 business at the same time they can do it themselves, no one in their right mind should be producing windows arm anything.

      Now microsoft doing it might shame intel into competing better and so on, that's good. But theoretical competition that drives innovation being good isn't the same as confusing users who, for the last 30 years have never understood system requirements and adding a new completely completely unresolvable compatibility problem is really bad for the windows market and stands in opposition to the one thing they're trying to do, which is make a simplified experience for users.

      • Apple already has a split of arm and x86 products and it doesn't seem confusing at all to people. People understand that things that run on their iPad don't run on their Air and the world keeps spinning just fine.

        • No one confuses an iPad with a MacBook because Mac* and i* are different brands. iOS and Mac OS X are similarly different brands. They both come from Apple, but they're marketed differently. In contrast, Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT are very similar. Microsoft has a difficult balancing act here, because they want to use the recognition of the Windows brand to encourage people to buy based on familiarity, but if they go too far in this direction then they're going to end up with a confusing mess.

          Apple h

        • But, Apple doesn't tout their mobile devices as using "Mac OS RT", Apple clearly makes them distinct calling them Mac OS X and iOS, so there's zero confusion over whether things that run on one will run on the other.

          Microsoft calling both their tablet-ready OSes "Windows [something]" on the other hand...

    • I doubt it's a blow to windows 8, since they seem to be still committed to the x86 tablet platform.

      Frankly, I think most OEM's are scared of Windows RT simply because it looks so much like windows 8, that non tech savvy customers will buy it thinking it has all the capability of windows 8, but will freak out and complain once they realize that its pretty much Windows Phone 8 with a big screen and an incapability to run windows desktop apps.

      • The MS VP in charge of OEM relationships either quit or was fired today, I've seen it reported. He'll take sabbatical the article said, and then resume some other MS executive duty. My own guess would be "inside man at Dell", because they already have an HP guy.
    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Frankly its a damned smart move, the amount of backlash most of us on the ground are seeing towards Win 8 has been pretty nasty and HP doesn't want another touchpad on its hands.

      That said if the article we saw on prices the other week is true i think MSFT is about to be bitchslapped back into reality when they find out that 1.-No matter how Ballmer may delude himself they are NOT APPLE and 2.- Without the OEMs putting out Windows products MSFT is up shit creek without a paddle.

      I have a feeling that MSFT

    • The WebOS tablet actually had really good hardware. Yes the software was a rev or two from being solid, but it too was really good... everyone should be all the sadder that HP is removed from competing in this space, as they had the ability to do so, just not the will to carry forward what was a good and daring plan.

      WebOS had the power to be a solid third place alternative tablet OS, now handed over to Microsoft.

    • which frankly *only* makes sense on a tablet unless there is a de-metrofication project going on in the skunkworks.

      Wasn't gonna comment... but, say what? From what I can see, Metro makes a decent interface... for tablets. All the hate seems to be for Windows 8 on regular computers.

    • by unixisc (2429386)

      Good move. If HP were to make Windows RT based tablets, it should be based on Medfield or Fusion, not ARM. That one made no sense, even if MS did not come out w/ the Surface.

      How many risks can a company take? As it is, Itanium has cost them significantly, and if they were to go w/ ARM, there would be no end to it. I have no idea whether HP would go w/ an x64 based tablet w/ Windows, but even if it doesn't, that's still a better idea than Windows RT on ARM.

      Really speaking, their WebOS tablet was fine

  • "If other OEMs follow suit, MS could find itself as the only vendor selling ARM-based W8 tablets."

    Everybody else's tablets/notebooks: $1000
    Microsoft's + Apple's: $600

    Ballmer knows he can't outfox Apple, but HP? All too easy.

    • by DM9290 (797337)

      "If other OEMs follow suit, MS could find itself as the only vendor selling ARM-based W8 tablets."

      Everybody else's tablets/notebooks: $1000
      Microsoft's + Apple's: $600

      Ballmer knows he can't outfox Apple, but HP? All too easy.

      I payed $399 for my 64gig Acer Iconia Tablet

    • I don't know where you got your prices. $1000 for a notebook? Not normally. Tablets? I haven't seen a $1000 tablet yet. My ASUS TF300 that I just got was $385, and my Viewsonic gTablet before that (last year) was around $340 or so. Google's Nexus 7 is going for $200.

      • ARM tablets, sure. But the forthcoming x86 Windows 8 tablets are going to be ~$900 and up. They're really ultrabooks in a different form factor, so the pricing won't be that unusual.
    • by Microlith (54737)

      Perfect, isn't it? Leverage your monopoly in the desktop space to push the APIs you use on your tablets, and then reserve the tablet space for yourself!

      • Leverage your monopoly in the desktop space to push the APIs you use on your tablets, and then reserve the tablet space for yourself!

        Even if Microsoft manages to kill OEM interest in Win8 ARM tablets, they won't be the only player in the tablet space. They'll still be competing with Win8 x86 tablets -- which OEMs aren't rushing to give up on yet -- and, more significantly, they'll still be competing with Android and iOS tablets.

    • by jkmartin (816458) on Friday June 29, 2012 @03:58PM (#40499263)
      The only person Ballmer can outfox is Ballmer. Bold prediction here: Surface will never see production. Microsoft is late to the party and unable to buy or bully their competition. Unless they are willing to take huge losses (as with the Xbox) to establish some foothold and heavily subsidize an as yet unknown killer-app the Surface will just be Zune v2 (nice specs, terminally uncool, doomed to a protracted and very public death).
      • by Teresita (982888)
        I'm sure they will "Bob" on the Surface for a little while.
      • Unless they are willing to take huge losses

        Microsoft taking huge losses on a gamble? That would be unheard of.

        Now, seriously, it is obvious that they'll take huge initial losses to try to establish some foothold. The question is only if that'll be enough.

      • Office will be on the tablets, hard-wired like phone carrier junkware, and it will be a special Microsoft-only build process to install "desktop-quality" apps in the otherwise restrictive Metro environment for the locked-RT.

        Also I'm sure they will make it easy to connect to corporate Exchange, and harder for everybody else to connect to corporate Exchange.
        Probably a few years ago, Microsoft figured their main competition was Blackberry, but the latter is imploding on its own even without Microsoft's shove.

        M

        • by jkmartin (816458)
          I think Office is 1 of the main problems with any Microsoft offering. People expect Office to look and behave the same regardless of device, screen size, or input method. When they can't use their phone like they would a desktop they get upset. Microsoft trying to chase this goal of Windows and Office on everything is silly. Office (at least outside of academia and business) is silly. They charge $200 for Word and Excel. They may as well start charging for IE.

          I see very little business use for tabl
        • by dbIII (701233)
          I predict it won't quite have the same feature sets and be entirely compatible with the x86 MS Office for quite a while if ever because they won't have enough people working on this niche for the product. Did they ever sort out all the problems with the Apple version?

          Also I'm sure they will make it easy to connect to corporate Exchange

          See their phone offering for an example where they didn't quite get that right either. It's funny that Nokia's MS Windows phone is their only smartphone in the past 3 years

      • > ... Unless they are willing to take huge losses (as with the Xbox) ...

        In case anyone is curious ... that Xbox is one expensive little box!

        Article is from 2 years ago ... (I believe the Games Division is showing a profit now...)

        Microsoft's MidLife Crisis
        http://www.forbes.com/global/2005/1003/036A_4.html [forbes.com] ... The Xbox game console is hot, but its division has lost $4 billion in four years and isn't yet in the black. ...

        • how did you travel from 2007 to 2012, did you experiment with cryogenics ? Or do you simply suffer from retrograde amnesia ?

          • Forbes has an article date of "10.03.05" which I interpreted as 2010 instead of the correct 2005. :-/

            Regardless, if you read the financial statements it looks like the EDD (Entertainment and Devices Division) wasn't profitable until around 2011.

      • by LurkerXXX (667952)

        Did you see whqt they are doing for Windows 8? It's a tablet interface. It's a total mess for a desktop OS IMHO, but MS is definitly going full-bore for that space. They definitely are willing and definitely are going to take huge losses. If it's going to pan out or not is the big question.

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      Both the Kindle Fire and Google's new Nexus tablet are $200.
    • by Sloppy (14984)

      About a week and a half ago here on Slashdot, ozmanjusri said "Go learn something" [slashdot.org] in reference to 7" Allwinner SoC-based tablets.

      So I bought one.

      Not because I really wanted a tablet, but because I wanted to know why anyone wants a tablet. I had to admit "go learn something" damn well applied to me. Up to now I've avoided tablets because I haven't been able to tolerate the too-weak-for-a-laptop and too-big-for-a-phone form factor. But 7" diag is just at the limits of what fits in the my pocket, so I fig

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Question: How does it handle? because i already have a dual core netbook that weighs less than 3 pounds and is easy peasy to carry, so for me to get one it needs to at least be snappy. I tried a tablet last year and the whole "click and wait" thing drove me nuts.

        And while its cool that you snagged one for $89 if its slow as Xmas its really not that great a deal, especially when there are places you can grab a returned netbook [cowboom.com] for $148. But if it is at least snappy I may end up doing like you and picking u

  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Friday June 29, 2012 @03:34PM (#40498919)

    The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time.

    The exact opposite position all the other major players are taking. Well differentiation is ONE market strategy I suppose.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bert@s[ ]hdot.fi ... m ['las' in gap]> on Friday June 29, 2012 @03:34PM (#40498921) Homepage

    The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future

    Yes, there's no windows apps for arm, and noone will ever write any if there's no hardware or users.

  • If only... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 29, 2012 @03:37PM (#40498957)

    If only HP had its own OS it could put on those tablets. They wouldn't be relaint on MicroSoft and possibly could sell dozens of them.

    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday June 29, 2012 @03:45PM (#40499077) Homepage

      If only HP had its own OS it could put on those tablets. They wouldn't be relaint on MicroSoft and possibly could sell dozens of them.

      What an amazing idea! For extra bonus points it would be Open Sourced.

      Even better if they had a bunch of programmers who were skilled in the software.

      Oh. Wait.

  • by xs650 (741277) on Friday June 29, 2012 @03:40PM (#40499011)
    HP stands for Halted Projects. Hewlett and Packard must be rolling over in their graves every time HP's incompetent management opens it's mouth.
  • Why should HP be just another Win Tablet maker, competing not just with Google (and all theirs), Apple, and then Microsoft? I see it as "ok, Microsoft, you didn't give us a heads-up about launching this, so obviously you don't want our help."

  • ...but if HP can sue Oracle for dropping support for Itanium, shouldn't MS be able to sue HP for dropping it's ARM tablet?

    (yes, I know there are other differences, but it would have about as much merit. If you don't understand sarcasm, don't bother responding)

    • Not an accurate comparison. If there's a signed contract, there's a basis for a lawsuit. Also, I think you misunderstand what the word "sarcasm" means. And use of the apostrophe.
    • ...but if HP can sue Oracle for dropping support for Itanium, shouldn't MS be able to sue HP for dropping it's ARM tablet?

      If HP had signed a contract to support Win8RT the way Oracle signed a contract to support Itanium, then, yes, MS could sue HP for breach of contract.

      yes, I know there are other differences, but it would have about as much merit.

      Legal merit is dependent on legally-relevant facts, of which, in a breach of contract suit, the actual existence of a contract is a prime example.

      • Which part of "If you don't understand sarcasm, don't bother responding" did you not understand?

        • Which part of "If you don't understand sarcasm, don't bother responding" did you not understand?

          I understand sarcasm quite well, enough, in fact, to understand the difference between it and just posting irrelevancies with "sarcasm" as an excuse.

  • Naturally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Friday June 29, 2012 @03:52PM (#40499177) Homepage

    Even HP is smart enough to know that if they do just a little too well competing with Surface, there will be an update to RT that "mysteriously" tanks the performance of the HP product.

    Not to worry, anxious to prove they're not up to their old tricks, MS will fix the issue just in time for the post-Christmas sales slump.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      Not a good day to not have mod points. Kudos, sir!
    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      This is the consumer space, HP can't compete in that space when they don't have decent products to go up against, The Sruface tablet looks quite good and will probably appeal to a large portion of buyers, that is something anything from HP hasn't done in a long LONG time.
      • The Sruface tablet looks quite good

        That's great, because how it looks like is the only thing you can know.

        • by pkinetics (549289)

          Declare person U

          Declare person.eyes Iz

          Declare person.hands Hanz

          Declare method person.eyes.sees(object generic)

          Declare method person.hands.touches(object generic)

          Declare attribute person.hands.touches.on

          Declare generic object Surface)

          U.Hanz.sees(Surface)

          Invalid method. U.Hanz cannot sees. sees applies only to eyes.

          I'm not a real OO programmer. But I did eat at the Village Inn

  • Internet bloggers seems to think companies function, the way they would if Internet bloggers were in charge.

    So MS announces a competing product without a price and it is instantly: Abandon project?

    That is just silly.

    The decision to wait and see on WinRT is probably a sensible one. This product is starting out with essentially no ecosystem. HP recently got burned releasing their own tablet with essentially no ecosystem to back it up (Touchpad).

    The x86 version would be the only Windows tablet I would consider

  • It also increases the burden on Surface itself. If other OEMs follow suit, MS could find itself as the only vendor selling ARM-based W8 tablets.

    You say that like it's a bad thing for Microsoft. That's exactly what they want... to be like Apple!

  • HP has a 20-year record of being messed up by other companies, MS and Oracle being two of the top abusers. HP's reaction is usually to come back for more, so I guess they deserve it. In general, MS tells them they will do something by a particular time, like "have an enterprise-quality NT", which led to HP abandoning the workstation market way too soon. Or MS messes up some product line by doing something that HP didn't expect and wasn't informed of, like Surface as a product rather than R&D.

    And then t

    • HP has a 20-year record of being messed up by other companies, MS and Oracle being two of the top abusers.

      HP itself seems to be its own top abuser.

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Friday June 29, 2012 @04:17PM (#40499511) Journal

    HP already utterly and completely blew it with tablet computing when they made the boneheaded move of cancelling the TouchPad. I bought a new 32GB model on sale for $149 as part of a closeout promotion Micro Center was running. (Basically, if you bought some other HP computer, you qualified for the $149 TouchPad too, and I had to get an HP desktop for my work.)

    Despite being an Apple iPad user since day 1, I gained a lot of respect for the product HP had. They copied off a lot of the little things that made Apple successful, while managing to retain their own uniqueness. The TouchStone wireless charging dock was brilliant, for example, and was FAR more elegant than any of Apple's iPad dock solutions. The integrated login of webOS was a great concept as well. (Just create an HP user account and configure all of the online services you want to use with the TouchPad through that master account. Then you're signed in to all of them, or can select the ones you want on and off at any time with virtual switches to slide on or off. Go to the email client and all of your configured mailboxes are pulled up right there. Same for the calendars.) Even their online store had what I thought was an excellent layout -- where you browsed it like a magazine. The home page of the store would welcome you with suggestions of relevant apps you might wish to look at, based on the next holiday coming up or time of year, and there were pages of several featured apps described in more detail as you turned the pages and browsed.

    If HP had any sense, they should have realized that the rush to grab up all of these discontinued tablets at blowout prices gave them a window of opportunity. All of a sudden, they had a decent-sized market out there of active users interested in the product! They needed to strike while that iron was still hot, rushing back to look at ways to improve the tablet and re-release a version 2 (hopefully at a reduced price that would keep it competitive -- but one still high enough so the sales would be profitable). From what I heard, there was actually a second TouchPad product almost completed when HP canned the project anyway.

    The Palm guys who did webOS were really talented people ... just the type HP needed to actually do something innovative. But in the musical CEO madness, they got thrown under the bus.

    HP can spin this any way they like, pretending they're sending Microsoft a message by cancelling support for a new ARM based Win 8 tablet. But come on! I see right through that B.S. Reality is, such a product would lack any real appeal compared to what Microsoft themselves announced. It'd be yet another boring wanna-be tablet in a black plastic case, with too high of a sticker price. Honestly, I can't see why any talented engineers or designers would even make more than a minimal effort working on anything new for HP these days? They just crap all over most of it and cancel project after project without giving them enough time to mature and gain popularity.

    • I agree with you about the Touchpad. It had a lot of great ideas, and greta potential.

      BUT it was ill-fated, to drop right around the time of the more epic CEO blowouts. At a time when a nascent product line needed vision to carry forward, HP lost all vision and just hand managers heading for the bunkers - a very bad time indeed to be a product just out of the gates in no-mans land with no-one at the top to back you.

      That was one of the sadder "what might have been" stories out of all the sad things that ha

  • by nurb432 (527695)

    I hope EVERYONE does this, leaving Microsoft sitting all alone.

    They really aren't needed at this point in the game, and should tread lightly.

    • I hope EVERYONE does this, leaving Microsoft sitting all alone. They really aren't needed at this point in the game, and should tread lightly.

      That would be Steve "Twinkletoes" Ballmer you are referring to?

  • Maybe HP finally realized that if you're going to run Windows, you're probably going to want to run Windows apps. So yeah, x86 it is. I think Windows on ARM is stupid because it'd be Windows but with less software written for it than Android, iOS, Linux, probably Solaris too lol. They'd be starting from scratch basically so there goes the Windows "run anything" benefit. I don't think surface had a whole lot to do with it.
  • If the rumors of WinRT licenses costing $90/tablet are true, then this is the best thing to do. With licensing costs that high HP can't hope to be competitive with Android on the low end. They'll be going up against the iPad and Surface. Why would you want to buy the OS from Microsoft and then have to compete directly against Microsoft, when both of them also have to figure out how to pull the market away from the iPad?

    It's insanity to even try.

  • Will there be a fire sale?

  • Wintel is dismantling itself.

We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem -- how to run a sunbeam through a meter.

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