We've sensed that something's been up
with the HP Slate
for a while now, and it looks like we've finally gotten the first solid confirmation that the Windows 7 tablet as unveiled by Steve Ballmer at CES
in January won't hit the consumer market as planned -- speaking at the Fortune
Brainstorm Tech conference, HP Personal Systems Group VP Todd Bradley just said that the Slate will be "more customer-specific than broadly deployed," and that it would launch the Microsoft-based tablet "for the enterprise" in the fall. That fits right in with HP telling us the other day that it was in "customer evaluations" as it prepared for the "next steps,"
and based on followup comments from Bradley and Palm head Jon Rubinstein, it certainly sounded like the company will focus Windows tablets at the enterprise and develop a variety of webOS devices for the consumer market. Of course, there's no official announcement yet, so we'll see what happens -- the only thing that we can confidently say is that the HP Slate has definitely succeeded the iPad as the tech industry's favorite vaporware tablet