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A New Challenger has Entered the Ring!

Well, well. It looks like the tablet wars are about to get more interesting. Already the all-conquering iPad is looking like it's going to face stiff competition from systems running Google's Android. Plus Microsoft are convinced Windows 7 makes a decent tablet OS, even if no-one else is.

But what's this? It looks like another company is going to have a go: Palm. Or rather, HP, Palm's new owners. One of the biggest PC manufacturers in the world, HP decided last year it wasn't prepared to rely on Microsoft or Google to give it decent tablet software. So it paid over $1 billion for Palm, happy to take on its smartphone business but really interested in using Palm's software for tablet devices and printers.

Palm's OS, WebOS, is beloved of critics, but the company couldn't make good enough phones to win over the market. But with HP's computing nous paired with WebOS, there's the potential for a really good tablet. So when do we get to see it?

Soon, it seems. HP executive vice president Todd Bradley just dropped a whale-size clue to HP's tablet timetable. The company is holding a press conference on February 9th, and it sure as heck looks like they're going to launch something. Asked last week by American business channel CNBC about HP's tablet plan, Bradley replied, 'you and I will talk about that on the 9th.' As Engadget puts it, 'If that's not a confirmation that we'll finally have our unicorn of a webOS tablet next month, we don't know what is.'

Neither do we. But will WebOS scale up to tablet-size as well as its fans hope? We'll find out soon...

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