Hewlett-Packard Co hopes its planned $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm Inc will not only give it solid foundation in the growing smartphone market, but also provide it with a platform for other mobile devices, including tablets.

HP has made it clear that its plans for Palm, an early pioneer in handheld devices, include products beyond just smartphones. Todd Bradley, who leads HP's PC unit, said on Wednesday that Palm's webOS operating system gives the company a unique platform for “connected products” including tablets, or what HP calls “slates”.

Phil McKinney, chief technology officer of HP's PC division, said earlier this year that the company first explored the electronic reader category before shifting focus to devices that offer a full multimedia experience. HP's first slate emerged in January. The roughly 10-inch touchscreen device ran on Microsoft's Windows, and the company had been trickling out teaser videos for several months, although it never officially announced a launch date.

However, according to the technology website TechCrunch, HP has now scrapped its plan to launch a Windows tablet, just days after Wednesday's deal to buy Palm. TechCrunch cited a source who had been briefed on the matter. An HP spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

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