HP entering the tablet market: Palm’s webOS smartphone platform is dead

As reported by ZDnet, Hewlett-Packard chief executive Mark Hurd said HP isn’t going to “spend billions of dollars trying to go into the smartphone business. That doesn’t in any way make any sense. We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. […] The webOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment.”

webOS may show up as part of an enterprise push into mobile tablets. If HP is not entering the smartphone market, it means there will be one less competitor in Apple’s iPhone market, and also means that Palm’s webOS is now dead as a smartphone platform.

Google is moving on two fronts to enter the tablet market: Android and Chrome OS.

In the meantime, Asus just announced its “Eee Pad” as a competitor to Apple’s iPad, but it won’t be ready until at least the beginning of 2011. The device will run either Windows 7 or Windows Embedded Compact 7 (Windows CE), which is the OS of the Zune HD and the foundation of Windows Phone 7 from Microsoft.