Microsoft to limit Windows 8 RT OEMs till 2013

Microsoft to limit Windows 8 RT OEMs till 2013We’re expecting the first wave of ARM-powered Windows 8 RT tablets to drop on October 26 – just over three months from now.

However, Microsoft is restricting the number of OEMs on the scene initially, with each chipset vendor tagging up with a maximum of two manufacturers.

That’s the story according to sources of China’s Economic Times, which explains: “the three major chip maker NVIDIA, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, can be selection of two brand factory cooperation”.

NVIDIA will pair with Asus and Lenovo, Texas Instruments has allied with Toshiba, and Qualcomm is lumped with Samsung and HP (though Dell might sub in for the latter, as HP focuses on Intel stuff).

Oh, and not forgetting Microsoft’s Windows 8 RT version of the Surface. It’s tipped to be a launch device.

For the rest, the Windows 8 RT OEM restriction will be lifted in January 2013, and you know what January means, right? CES, bay-bee.

This all ties in with the recent suggestion that HTC was shunned with regards to Windows 8 RT, due to its shaky record with tablets. Poor HTC.

As for the Intel side of things, it recently announced it was tracking more than 20 Windows 8 tablets.

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10 comments

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 24, 2012 at 14:13

I really don't see Win 8 tablets making it. I'm actually almost kind of like sorta interested in seeing them bomb or rock... Pricewise and in terms of apps convenience think they won't appeal compared to you-know-what. Between you-know-what and the Nexus 7 and the Fire and the Note 2 will there be space for a 5th ecosystem? Or just enough cool air for another smoking platform?

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 24, 2012 at 14:31

Talking to myself...
But hey, like Frasier Crane, I'm listening:
Seems Gartners, the Blackwater/Xe of the techworld, have half fallen out of love with Windows (a brown envelope must have gotten lost...curse you, UPS):
Windows 8 for Desktop "in a word: bad"! Ouch. Does it matter that they heart the tablet flavour? When it all is supposed to be about one unified, metrofied experience? Hmmm...

http://www.zdnet.com/gartner-windows-8-for-desktop-users-is-in-a-word-bad-7000001389/

barrybarryk  Jul. 24, 2012 at 14:57

Well no not really, the Windows 8 desktop experience (not the metro UI bit of the OS) still hasn't been included in any of the previews (or Betas if you're not into PR nonsense) and is still under wraps.
I don't really see Windows 8 as being an essential update if you're already running Windows 7 on a non-touch enabled device but for a new device (touch or not) it's fairly safe to assume it's going to be the default standard within 6 months. Betting on Windows failing is just not a great idea, even Vista (By far the worst OS launch by Microsoft) has more active users than the entire OSX line today.

I don't really get why Microsoft bothered with an ARM version (Or even more crucially, why Intel put up with it) but if it Windows 8 means an x86 tablet/laptop hybrid running full fat Windows on moderately upto spec hardware (Not really gaming but day to day office tasks) and lasting a work day on a single charge, I can see them doing very well.

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 24, 2012 at 15:12

Yes. I wouldn't expect Win 8 to fail fail. But if the prices exceed the iPads' and the 'apps' aren't there in range and numbers, I do believe perception will be that of a fail. And in the age of tweet-trends and full-of-themselves-and-corporate-financiers blogger elites perception can do a lot of harm! Symbian, BB OS and webOS aren't nearly as useless and obsolete as some trendy perceivers make them out to be. Yet, they are on a downward slope...

barrybarryk  Jul. 24, 2012 at 15:26

I do believe perception will be that of a fail. And in the age of tweet-trends and full-of-themselves-and-corporate-financiers blogger elites perception can do a lot of harm!For my entire life everyone has hated Microsoft and they have still succeeded and dominated both enterprise and consumer computing. Perception isn't a problem for Microsoft.

Metro Apps? Within weeks of the launch Windows 8 it's install base will vastly surpass that of both Android and iOS, for the first time 'app developers' can write a single 'app' and sell it to desktop users and tablet users (Not to mention Windows already has the most developer support, by a long long margin).

Prices for Windows 8 x86 tablets probably will surpass iPads (I'd be shocked if they even came close, maybe some dodgy Atom ones), but an iPad (or Android tablet) is a toy by comparison. And the ARM ones will probably be around the same price and come with Office preinstalled

But again I don't really get why they even bothered with an ARM version, though the Office on Windows 8 RT does look pretty functional and complete

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 24, 2012 at 17:04

I do believe perception will be that of a fail. And in the age of tweet-trends and full-of-themselves-and-corporate-financiers blogger elites perception can do a lot of harm!For my entire life everyone has hated Microsoft and they have still succeeded and dominated both enterprise and consumer computing. Perception isn't a problem for Microsoft.

Metro Apps? Within weeks of the launch Windows 8 it's install base will vastly surpass that of both Android and iOS, for the first time 'app developers' can write a single 'app' and sell it to desktop users and tablet users (Not to mention Windows already has the most developer support, by a long long margin).

Prices for Windows 8 x86 tablets probably will surpass iPads (I'd be shocked if they even came close, maybe some dodgy Atom ones), but an iPad (or Android tablet) is a toy by comparison. And the ARM ones will probably be around the same price and come with Office preinstalled

But again I don't really get why they even bothered with an ARM version, though the Office on Windows 8 RT does look pretty functional and complete

iPads may well be toys compared to a full Win OS-carrying tablet. But a problem is this:
the iPad (and to a degree the proliferation of smartphones and so-called phablets) taught many people they really don't need much more at home. Maybe some PC/laptop to manage content, but really: what percentage of end-consumers needs and uses to the full potential Office or Photoshop or Gimp? I really wonder. That doesn't just affect MS, imho.
Social networking is largely a mobile affair. People think photo-editing means instagram...
And in large markets browsing has become a mobile activity also.
Many districts in India barred MS desktop software in favour of free alternatives...

It is a changing market; a changed economy; and a kiddified world...
I'm genuinely curious how things will pan out. My dislike for MS aside, I cannot argue away
their importance

barrybarryk  Jul. 24, 2012 at 17:23

Um I don't know anyone that owns a tablet and doesn't own and frequently use a laptop or desktop.

If you want a tablet for social stuff, reading, browsing the web then great, there are a myriad of cheap Android tablets out there that'll do that job (Or an iPad if that floats your boat) I even have one. But If you do want a tablet that's capable of running your full desktop applications that you use on a daily basis so you don't have to lug a giant laptop (Or put up with the very very poor battery life on current Windows tablets) around, that isn't possible in any way on an Android tablet or iPad, there's no point even considering them for the task, but an x86 Windows 8 tablet like the Surface pro will do it

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 24, 2012 at 19:59

I understand - and since I'm at home I'm writing this on a laptop.
But I do a lot of people whose usage has changed. Yes, they still own laptops and desktops, and they would not not have one. But they find themselves sitting at the desk with a running PC while they check their email on their phone. That is just one example.

The PC is an essential, but while they'll gladly shell out for a flagship phone or the latest pad-let, they figure any PC will do for the heavy load. And you cannot blame them.
The way laptop pricing has gone you can spend £400 or £600 and a casual user won't know the difference - one reason is that at work they use poorly maintained machines that make any Argos lappy seem like, well, the 21st century.
I know managers of an Irish PC dept store chain. For every high-end Windows Laptop (€750+) they sell 3 MacBooks. Of course, they still sell a LOT more Windows machines overall, but those guys are fairly certain that smartphones and iPads have seriously cut into that prestigious Windows flagship yacht club...

But you're right: for many purposes the Windows tablets will be easier to justify. Although every Irish member of parliament just got a spanking new iPad 3 - on the tax payer, of course. Irish police officers, too, get partly subsidised iPads...

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 26, 2012 at 17:34

harrye  Aug. 11, 2012 at 06:46

There are so many discussions about Windows 8 and why it will fail where Windows 7 excels. But this is only the half truth. We are just witnesses that Microsoft decided to do something for the shareholder value. I am convinced that their main strategical focus isn't longer to provide Windows to OEMs, their primary goal is to copy the success story of Apple. Seen from this perspective all that makes sense. Microsoft will release more and more own hardware where the integration level will ensure a good user experience. Criticizing Microsoft (and especially Windows 8) from the perspective of the past won't acknowledge what they are doing now. Everybody has to keep in mind that all the superiority of Windows and Office in the market did NOT pay off very well for shareholders. Where Apple, Google and many others have been a great pleasure for investors, Microsoft's stock market value is stuck since a long time. Therefore it is a logical step to give up on what doesn't really help to satisfy the shareholders. OEMs who want an open system need to move to Linux (especially to Ubuntu). Microsoft will turn quiet fast into a strong competitor in the hardware arena what will cause a lot of pressure to many OEMs and many will leave the market. Therefore Windows 8 needs to be seen as an essential part of a bigger picture which makes sense (financially). The classic Windows users get thrown under the bus - but that is capitalism. Shareholder value comes first. Welcome to the brave new Microsoft world.

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