Hewlett-Packard may have rescued Palm from bankruptcy with its $1.2 billion acquisition yesterday but it made a loser of Microsoft. Now that HP plans to adopt Palm’s webOS for the Slate, Microsoft has lost a valuable hardware partner as it tries to bring Windows to the tablet market. It was only a few months ago that HP and Microsoft teamed up to announce an Windows-based tablet at CES. Microsoft can also forget about HP as a potential mobile phone partner for Windows 7 Phone, too. The real race now will be between HP and Google to see which will emerge as the alternative mobile platform to Apple.