On April 28th HP announced that it would acquire Palm, the hand held computing pioneer undergoing some tough times, for 1.2 billion dollars. During this announcement it was said that HP plans to release tablets running the ground breaking Palm webOS software. An industry rumor doing the rounds suggests that the first of the tablets would be launched sooner than most experts expect.

The tablet supposedly goes by the code name HP Hurricane and is reportedly scheduled for release in Quarter 3 of this year. There aren’t any technical details available as of now.

It would be an outstanding piece of product development if this is accurate. Since the deal between HP and Palm was only announced in the last week of April of this year, it may take up till Quarter 3 of this year to lock. Hence it’s not surprising that several believe that it would be impossible for HP to have a WebOS powered tablet on the market prior to 2011.

Could this Buzz be a False?

Two separate reports joining hands could have fuelled this rumor. Some sources have pointed out that the Palm’s next webOS Smartphone may have a tablet shape. This could well be understood that the phone would not include a physical keyboard and not that it would be a tablet computer.

This report of Palm coming out with a tablet shaped webOS Smartphone this summer, coupled with HP’s plan to unveil a webOS powered tablet in the near future could well have been misunderstood for HP coming out with a webOS powered tablet computer!

HP onto the Tablet Mode

Reports of HP planning to come out with a tablet computer running on webOS showcase a recent trend, which has been seen in major IT giants capitalizing on the tablet market. There are a whole lot of companies that are producing tablet computers founded on Smartphone operating systems.

On the day of HP announcing that it would be acquiring Palm and the webOS, Todd Bradley, the head of HP’s personal systems group, told reporters “Between Smartphone, slates and potentially netbooks, there are a lot of opportunities here.”

Earlier this year, HP announced that they may be producing a tablet computer based on a full version of Windows 7. However, an unconfirmed report suggests that this plan may have been shelved.

Additional info on webOS

The interface for webOS, released on June 6th 2009, is designed for use on devices with touch screens. Palm Pre Smartphone was the first device to use the webOS software. The Synergy function in webOS allows users to synchronize information from several sources at the same time. For example, webOS permits users to sign in to their accounts on Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn and Microsoft Outlook. The contacts from all are incorporated into a single list. Calendars from different sources can be viewed at the same time. Conversations including messaging and chats are combined with each contact into a single window, enabling SMS text messages and chat messages to be viewed together.

So what’s it going to be? An HP webOS powered tablet or an HP Windows 7 tablet. Well, we’ll have to wait and watch out!