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Hewlett Packard, who last week moved quickly to dump their Windows 7 based touch tablet slate PC, in favour of a new Palm WebOS based Slate codenamed “hurricane” could launch the product sooner than later say insiders.

Shortly after HP announced their offer to buy Palm it emerged, that during due diligence discussions with Palm, who were struggling in the mobile phone market before HP offered to buy the Company for $1.2 billion dollars, it was revealed that the Smartphone Company had been working on an iPad competitor, using their WebOS. 
HP executives saw this as an opportunity as the Palm prototype was significantly faster than the Windows based model. It also delivered better battery performance than the Intel Atom based Windows 7 device that HP was originally planning. 
The device which could be launched in Australia by Christmas is believed to incorporate an ARM processor. 
The Examiner newspaper in the USA said recently, that such a rapid development would be unlikely for a tablet being developed from scratch and instead suggests that HP may have simply repurposed the Palm, WebOS Slate in an effort to take on the iPad.
A big advantage that HP has over Palm say analysts is that HP has a global distribution and sales network in both the B to B and consumer electronics market. This they say will allow them to get the device to market quickly.
 An already in-development slate for webOS. Rumours had circulated during CES of Android tablets in the works, any of which could potentially be converted to webOS with little work. HP had hinted very strongly while discussing its buyout of Palm that it wanted webOS for tablets and, during a presentation, showed a render of its known slate design multiple times.
The decision by HP to dump Microsoft, a long time Windows partner comes as Microsoft struggles to compete up against Google and Apple. 
As soon as the Palm deal is finalised HP will compete head on with Microsoft in both the slate operating system market and in the mobile phone market.
There is also talk that HP is keen to fund the development of the WebOS in an effort to take on Google Chrome, Android and Microsoft Windows.
Analysts claim that HP may be consciously following the iPad model and developing a tablet where it not only uses a lightweight, touch-friendly mobile OS but has direct control over both the hardware and software.
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