HP Slate likely to drop WinTel entirely

In the week Apple launched its 3G version of the iPad in the US, a pair of Windows-powered Tablet-style devices has been shelved, various sources state.

Microsoft's own Courier twin-screen tablet caused a kerfuffle when pictures appeared on Engadget a while ago. Now that device won't be seeing the light of day anytime soon, a Microsofty blogged.

And Techcrunch reports that HP has taken its Slate offering back to the drawing board, with a source blabbing that HP decided Windows 7 is too cumbersome to run on the device. The reckoning its that HP is likely to stick a WebOS variant on the device instead. The news is a double blow for Microsoft which will look a bit daft since CEO Steve Ballmer showed off the device in a pre-CES keynote back in January in an attempt to steal some of Apple's thunder.

HP happens to own the WebOS now that it has snaffled up Palm, so there's no reason for it to pay Microsoft a licensing fee for every Slate it sells, assuming it does in fact sell any.

With WebOS thrown into the mix, HP may also decide to drop the Intel from the Slate tablet. The original specs or the device suggested it would be powered by a 1.6GHz Atom Z530 processor with 1GB of RAM and run Windows 7. Now with a WebOS in the mix, an ARM chip seems a likely candidate. It that's the case HP will have mightily annoyed both members of the WinTel axis with one fell swoop.