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iPad has competition

HP teams up with Microsoft for tablet PC.

tech reviews Updated: Aug 17, 2010 00:40 IST

The iPad may have some serious competition soon. US tech giant Hewlett-Packard will team up with Microsoft to come out with a tablet computer for the enterprise business market this year, a senior HP executive said last week.

HP executive vice president Todd Bradley said they were developing tablet computers using the WebOS operating system of newly acquired Palm but had not abandoned the US software giant.

“I think you’ll see us with a family of slate products, clearly Microsoft for the enterprise, and a WebOS product,” he said at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Colorado. “Our focus is working with Microsoft to create a tablet, a slate, for the enterprise business,” Bradley said, adding that the device was expected to hit the market this fall. “Slates are going to be an enormous category,” he said of touchscreen tablet computers like Apple’s iPad. “This is just in its infancy.”

Bradley added that HP, the world’s top computer maker, is “still Microsoft’s largest customer.” “We have a deep partnership with them, from distribution to development that we’re very, very deeply committed to,” he said.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said earlier this month that the technology titan is teaming up with nearly two dozen hardware makers to release Windows-based tablet computers.

Apple has sold more than three million iPads since it went on sale in April and Microsoft and other technology giants have been seeking to develop products to rival the touchscreen device from the California gadget maker.