HP is said to be ditching near-future plans for a consumer Windows RT tablet, in a move that some have called a response to competition from Microsoft's Surface tablet, which was announced last week. Instead, HP will focus on building business tablets on x86 chipsets, as SemiAccurate and The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Later, an HP spokesperson confirmed to PC Mag that HP's, "first Win 8 tablet will be on the x86 platform focused on the business market. The decision to go with x86 was influenced by input from our customers. The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future." In other words, HP won't be developing anything with an ARM-based Windows 8 OS soon.
That doesn't confirm that HP is ditching Windows RT altogether: the spokesperson also said, "at HP, we continue to look at using ARM processors in business and consumer products." But the news does lead to some speculation as to whether Window's Surface reveal was a little too much for OEMs to handle.
PC Mag reported that an unnamed source familiar with the matter said HP had already built a Windows RT tablet using a Qualcomm chipset, "but scrapped those plans more than two weeks ago." Of course, that's just rumor at this point.
But some see this as a legitimate response from from the OEM community. In Charlie Demerjan's rumor post on SemiAccurate, he writes that he suspects most OEMs, "were debating whether or not to bother with WART (Windows on Arm RT) devices, and struggling to find a reason to do so. Then Microsoft just unveiled one of the largest and most unethical industrial espionage campaigns of the last few decades, so it is no surprise that everyone is jumping ship."
Demerjan goes on to note that the cause for all this could be because Windows RT will cost OEMS $90 per license, as opposed to the rumored $35 for a standard Windows 8 license.
Whether we'll see others jump ship on RT in the coming months will largely answer how badly, if at all, Windows burned its partners with the Surface.