How does Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) CEO Meg Whitman feel about Windows 8 vs. emerging Google Android and Chrome OS tablet and notebook alternatives? The answers emerged indirectly amid HP's Q2 2013 earnings call yesterday. 

During the HP earnings call, Whitman said: 

"Following the launch of our first Chromebook in February, we launched the new Slate 7 in the second quarter. The Slate marries a sleek 7-inch form factor with an ARM chip and Android platform to deliver a compelling mobile device at $169. Early signs of interest in this product are encouraging. And just last week, we introduced the HP Slate Book X2, the first Android hybrid device with the NVIDIA Tegra 4 mobile processor. The Slate Book X2 provides users with more realistic gaming, faster web browsing and smoother HD video playback."

Later in the call, when talking about the PC market, Whitman said: "And then PCs, listen, if we have the right product priced right, the channel still loves HP and they want to sell in our product, whether it's to small businesses, medium-sized businesses, or the enterprise. And frankly having Android products here helps a lot. This $169 Slate helps cover a segment of the market that we didn't have before. So I'd say those are the things. The first ones were the ones I feel most certain about and we'll have to see how industry-standard servers pans out and how our PC product is received by the channel."

If you're keeping score, that's:

  • Three mentions of Google Android;
  • one for Google Chromebooks; and
  • none for Microsoft's Windows 8.

HP's Hard PC Reality

Why did Whitman avoid mention of Windows 8? As Doug Kass reported on The VAR Guy, HP's overall PC business continues to struggle badly:

  • Overall PC revenue fell 20 percent year-over-year; 
  • Commercial PC revenue fell 14 percent;
  • Consumer sales -- where Windows 8 mainly competes -- were down 29 percent.
  • Unit shipments for desktop fell 21 percent and notebooks dropped by 24 percent.

Read between the lines and Windows 8.1 -- Microsoft's forthcoming refresh -- can't arrive soon enough.