Mr. Charisma announces a doomed tablet computer

This just happened at CES, and there’s coverage on Engadget and Gizmodo and a zillion other places. Fester sure looks excited about it, doesn’t he? I mean the guy is just brimming with energy and joie de vivre these days.

Anyway, what he’s showing is only a prototype, ie a lame attempt to copy what we’re doing and steal some thunder from our announcement later this month (right, as if). There’s no official ship date, but trust me, before it’s even left the building this thing is toast. It’s dead.

For one thing, look at it. If I were giving it a name, I’d suggest calling it the Meh. Or the Blah.

For another thing, while HP makes nice hardware, the game isn’t about hardware anymore. It’s all about software. That’s why Palm is flailing. I told those guys when they hired Ruby — look, he’s a nice guy, but he’s a hardware guy. Did they listen? Of course not. Why take advice from the guy who has created more hit products than anyone else in all of history?

The problem that the HP tablet will have is that it will be running software made by Microsoft. That means Dell and Asus and everyone else will make products that are essentially the same as theirs.

But also: It runs software made by Microsoft. Full stop, period, end of story.

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