Yes, I think so.
hp has to realize that Windows 7 isn’t going to provide them any lasting presence in the tablet market, so why continue that investment?
There’s been no official release date and the page for the Slate is still nothing but an email form.
There would be no shame in hp doing this. It set a precedent in changing things around when it dumped the underpowered VIA chip for the Atom in its netbooks.
I also have to think that webOS would allow hp to retool the design, getting rid of any hard drive and replacing it with flash storage, reducing its weight. They could probably retool it altogether and make it look less like an iPad.
What is going to be very interesting is that a webOS tablet could address the perceived shortcomings of the iPad. The big ones being the lack of an SD slot and a USB port to connect directly to devices such as cameras (still/video).
It’s my personal hope that hp will adhere to our freedom of expression — unlike Apple — when it comes to publications. They can do what Apple cannot do: permit purchasing and installation from outside the current Palm App Catalog. hp should stay out of policing content. This would provide an additional competitive edge against the iPad. That would please publishers and writers very, very much.