Google's Android OS is making a lot of waves in the news and that's because it is techno-geeks who hold the interest in it. The pundits who babbled how the iPad will be a failure because it lacks adobe Flash and USB ports and all the techno-crap desktop and laptop computers require. Those techno-geeks just don't understand the masses at large couldn't care any less about that stuff.

Apple has it right: create the technology in a way so the technology disappears and all that is left is the content people want to work with. I'm writing this post on my iPad using an app called Blogsy and I'm loving it. I don't need the big, loud, energy-sucking desktop computer to run a lightweight web browser to write and post it.

The problem Samsung and Motorola and all the rest have is pretty simple: they are relying on someone else to make their hardware work. They must design and build their hardware to meet the specs of someone else's software, then add garbage crap-ware to it in order to set themselves apart, and market their tablets on specs. People don't care about specs anymore. We're tired of specs.

Research in Motion(RIM) now has their Playbook tablet which is a miserable failure. Certainly the hardware is rock-solid but it's not about the hardware any more. It's about the software... the OS and the applications and RIM has decided to require the Blackberry phone to be present before their tablet will have any real functionality at all. They are thinking the wild popularity of the Blackberry is why people will buy their Playbook. The Blackberry wasn't popular over the hardware. It was the software, stupid.

Other than RIM, Apple is the only company who creates the software (OS) that makes their hardware work. They are in total control, and thus can create a very compelling product, causing the technology to disappear and the content to take center-stage without the user having to think about stupid crap like hardware specifications.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) was genius in purchasing Palm for nothing other than the Palm "Web-OS" and if they're smart, they'll keep it all to themselves and never license it. Use it for their "Slate" tablet and create the so-called "walled garden" the techno-geeks so despise.

Android is a great OS ...for smartphones. It may even become a great OS for tablets. Problem is no one cares. The Google "Chrome OS" is on it's way, but that's supposed to be nothing but a web browser-as-OS to my understanding. I reiterate: no one cares. The "no one" I'm speaking of are the masses at-large. Sure: it will be successful in the race to the bottom with the penny-pinchers who shop on price, not quality. The same with Android. And because those systems are "open sourced" the trojans and viruses and other malicious garbage will permeate. It's already happening with android for smart phones.

HP is the only other company other than RIM to have a real shot at genuinely competing against the iPad because they will own the OS that drives the hardware. Like Apple, they can design the hardware to the software and vice-versa.

If HP is smart, they will do like Apple did: target the consumer market. This is the only place where "market-share" matters at all. If they go for the corporate angle, they will become an also-ran in the race for real penetration and market domination. As for the number of OS users in "market-share" doesn't matter. It's about *profit*. Apple is king of the hill with their iPad because people covet it. They can't even keep-up manufacturing because the demand is so high, a problem any hardware manufacturer would salivate to have.

If HP designs their hardware to the software and vice-versa and created a compelling consumer-targeted product that is easy, intuitive to use and at the right price-point, they will have a winner and ... the way I see it, the one and only plausible and feasible competitor to the Apple iPad that can actually make a dent in Apples titanium armor. I am an iPadder and always will be... unless something better comes a long. I just can't fathom anything on track for that, ever in my own lifetime (at this point) except the possibility of what HP does with their Web OS Slate.

So, you have the ingredients, HP. at the question is who's nose do you stick it under first?