HP already testing Windows 8 on TouchPads

Will Windows 8 be the next-gen HP TouchPad's "special sauce"?

Now that HP's new CEO Meg Whitman has committed to keeping its PC division, FoxNews.com's report from early last week that the company is currently testing Windows 8 on the TouchPad makes a lot more sense.

Although HP staffers say they are only doing "proof-of-concept work" by installing the Windows 8 Developer Release on the now extinct hardware, at least they are exploring what the next TouchPad could be like. According to Whitman, she hasn't decided on what to do with webOS just yet but given that Richard Kerris, the former VP of Worldwide Developer Relations, just quit last week, the OS' days seem numbered.

While I understand the logic for HP tablets (and its entire family of PC products) to support Windows 8 (because it will be a big deal when it is released), part of me fear the next-gen TouchPad will be missing that special sauce -- webOS -- that helped its predecessor stand out from competitors in the first place. Even Whitman acknowledged going Win 8 won't save HP last Friday:

We expect HP to compete in the tablet space with Win 8 devices. This strategy is neither unique nor differentiated and is late (iOS and Android ecosystems / competitors have a multi-year lead). We believe HP’s Win 8 devices will have difficulty competing on both a cost and user experience standpoint.

At this rate, maybe HP needs to consider dual-booting Windows 8 and webOS to future-proof its product without alienating its Palm/webOS fans. Bonus points if the company would make such an update available for existing first-gen TouchPad owners.

Any requests on what the next TouchPad should be like?

[Source: ZDNet, FoxNews.com, Engadget]