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With HP's tablet plans now linked to Microsoft and Windows 8, DiFranco is once again talking about channel opportunities around mobility, and he holds out the possibility that WebOS could still be a factor in the future.
"The basic strategy is exactly the same: We want to find ways for VARs to add value," DiFranco said. "We do think WebOS is a platform that might allow VARs to do more of that, and that's one of the reasons we're continuing to look at it.
NWN, an HP partner headquartered in Waltham, Mass., was an early WebOS development partner and is making significant investments in developing a mobility practice. Despite the turmoil around TouchPad and WebOS, CEO Mont Phelps is optimistic that HP's tie-up with Windows 8 will have a profound impact on the balance of power in the tablet space.
"Microsoft has the potential, if not the upper hand, of being a predominant OS on tablets for business use," Phelps said. "It's a familiar OS to many organizations and should integrate well in their environments."
Meanwhile, HP finds itself back at square one with tablets, even though last week's decision to keep PSG in the fold does restore a measure of stability to the proceedings. In Bradley's view, now that the PSG matter is settled, HP can now get back to business as usual.
"Clearly, partners value the ability to sell the entire technology portfolio that we offer," Bradley told CRN. "The certainty that we have brought back into the market, and the clarity we've given, will be a big benefit, for all of us."