Wimberly says HP has been working on a high-end Android-based tablet since before last Thanksgiving.
The timing is important. Microsoft's tablet-friendly operating system Windows 8 came out at the end of October, and has been available for testing for over a year. HP must have thoroughly evaluated Windows 8 and Android and decided Windows 8 wasn't enough.
What's more, Wimberly says HP is exploring making a phone, and that phone would also be based on Android, not Windows Phone software.
If this happens, it will be more symbolic than anything else, initially. HP will still make a lot of traditional PCs running Windows software. And HP has struggled in the mobile, so it's not like an HP tablet or smartphone is a guaranteed success.
However, if HP's tablet is a success. And if somehow its phone is a success, watch out. Microsoft will lose one of its biggest partners.
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