HP unsurprisingly isn't ready to touch this one in any sort of official way just yet, but BusinessWeek is reporting that at least some folks at the company are "exploring the possibility of building a mass-market operating system," which would be positioned as an alternative to Vista. That OS, as you might have guessed, would be based on Linux, although BusinessWeek's sources say it "would be simpler and easier for mainstream users." By all indications, however, this so-called "skunk works team" within HP doesn't seem to have moved much beyond the brainstorming stage, and HP is sticking strictly to its official line that it is more interested in "innovating on top of Vista," with HP chief technology officer Phil McKinney even going so far as to say that the idea that it's funding a huge R&D team to go off and create an operating system "makes no sense."

[Via Electronista]

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HP said to be considering making its own OS to counter Vista