No Windows smartphones for HP

HP might aspire to be “Microsoft’s biggest customer,” according to HP executive vice president Todd Bradley, but the company has officially distanced itself from Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system. The move should come as little surprise, given HP’s finalization of its Palm acquisition late last month.

Palm, after all, is the brains behind the webOS mobile operating system, which HP now intends to use as the basis for all of its future smartphones…

The decision comes in the wake of a suspicious amount of shuffling regarding the HP Slate—first intended to launch this year as a Windows 7-based tablet, then pulled in favor of Palm’s webOS, and now apparently resurrected as a Windows-based enterprise-class device.

That’s not to say that webOS is going anywhere, however. According to Ars Technica’s Ryan Paul, HP appears to be adopting a two-platform strategy for its Slate tablets: enterprise customers get the Windows versions, and the general consumer market gets webOS.

Regardless, Microsoft is out on HP’s smartphones. It’s not a huge chunk taken out of the Microsoft’s business, given that fellow manufacturers ASUS, Dell, and Samsung—amongst others—have all signed on as Windows Phone 7 partners. Nevertheless, HP’s move is made even more interesting when one factors in the talk of the market before HP’s acquisition of Palm.

“We are simply very excited to be entering a new era in our Smartphone business together with Microsoft, especially as the market continues to grow and evolve. HP is working even closer with Microsoft to develop signature phones on the Windows Phone 7 Series that offer an entirely new consumer experience,” said Steve Manser, a senior vice president at HP, in a series of partner statements put out by Microsoft.

Once HP acquired Palm for $1.2 billion, however, executives were singing a different tale.

Ayuh. Lifetime commitments sometimes don’t outlast quarterly reports in the marketplace.

The only real surprise about the article – is that they managed to get all the way through without mentioning Apple.

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