At the beginning of last weekend, rumors were floating around the Microsoft's Surface was causing OEMs like HP, Asus, Dell, etc., to back out of Windows 8 tablet production. Well, it looks like that rumor is (kind of) true, at least for HP. Later on Friday after the rumors were posted, HP announced that they will not have a Windows RT (Windows 8 ARM) tablet ready for Windows 8's launch. Instead, HP will focus on x86 products as they do now. Apparently the decision was made before the Surface launched, but that's difficult to believe. Hothardware's sources say that the Surface was a big reason HP decided to drop it, so who knows what's really going on.
Originally HP was going to partner with Qualcomm and build a Windows RT tablet, and it really looked like Qualcomm was all for it. Of course they would be, though, as they'd love to have a foot in the Windows RT market. At CES it looked like Qualcomm was going forward with this project, but now their major partner is backing out. Qualcomm may be able to find some other OEMs to work with, but if they can't their plans will most likely have to end.
It's hard to tell what's going to happen moving forward. Either other OEMs like Asus, Dell, and Toshiba will see HP's announcement as a sign that they should back out, too, which would seriously hurt Windows RT, or the OEMs will see this as an urge to get into the market because that's one less company they have to compete against. Personally I like having every OEM coming out with their own version of a tablet, because the competition really forces some creativity on the part of the design team. I hope that the Surface isn't the only Windows RT tablet, even though it looks like a solid tablet.