Few companies allowed to build Windows RT tablets

It's been known that Microsoft plans on imposing strict restrictions on Windows RT device manufacturers, but now it appears there will only be a select few companies even allowed to build Windows RT devices until January. According to a new report, just six OEMs are being allowed to develop the first Windows RT devices until next year, which will feature chipsets from three companies.

China Times reports that NVIDIA, Qualcomm and TI are the only chipset manufacturers allowed to develop ARM chips for Windows RT devices at the moment. Each of those companies is allowed to work with two OEMs to develop Windows RT tablets for the Windows 8 and Windows RT launch in October; in January, Microsoft would lift its restrictions and allow other OEMs to release Windows RT tablets. The report states NVIDIA is teaming up with ASUS and Lenovo for its OEMs, TI is working with Toshiba, and Qualcomm is working with Samsung and HP.

HP recently decided not to launch Windows RT tablets for Microsoft's October 26 launch, allowing Qualcomm to select another OEM to work with. The article claims Dell is attempting to obtain HP's vacated slot in Microsoft's launch program. Another slot could potentially be open as TI is only working with Toshiba according to the report, although no additional information is given regarding why TI is only working with one OEM.

The news would corroborate a recent report that Samsung is working on a Windows RT tablet featuring a Qualcomm chipset for the Windows RT and Windows 8 launch on October 26.

Via: Engadget
Source: China Times

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23 Comments

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Makes sense: start with a limited set of hardware and see what kinds of design and programming issues arise with the different interpretations of similar hardware.
Presumably, Qualcomm's implementation of ARM is going to be different than TI's is going to be different than NVidia's so variations in core processor architecture have to be accounted for. Then consider Samsung builds different ancillary hardware than Lenovo, than Asus, et cetera. Each will require modifications to the OS / driver model to work correctly.

x86 hardware is highly standardized with regards to peripheral devices and such. ARM is not so much so. It therefore shows good forethought to start work with a small sample of varying hardware before moving out to a free-for-all. As well, this planning shows that Microsoft is not looking to monopolize a hardware design.

WinVidTIcomm just doesn't have a ring to it.

Regression_88 said,
Makes sense: start with a limited set of hardware and see what kinds of design and programming issues arise with the different interpretations of similar hardware.
Presumably, Qualcomm's implementation of ARM is going to be different than TI's is going to be different than NVidia's so variations in core processor architecture have to be accounted for. Then consider Samsung builds different ancillary hardware than Lenovo, than Asus, et cetera. Each will require modifications to the OS / driver model to work correctly.

x86 hardware is highly standardized with regards to peripheral devices and such. ARM is not so much so. It therefore shows good forethought to start work with a small sample of varying hardware before moving out to a free-for-all. As well, this planning shows that Microsoft is not looking to monopolize a hardware design.

WinVidTIcomm just doesn't have a ring to it.

in 2007 yes. in 2012 no. they are so late all they are doing is pushing them to android. It is typical MSFT hubris. they thought WP would be hot and it fell flat on its face. they think companies are going to beg for winRT and they are wrong. whatever good will they had, they lost it. and given they are dead last in the tablet race, they may have just given android the biggest push it needed.

I wonder why Samsung is using Qualcomm's chip for their tablet since Samsung's own latest ARM processor is way more powerful than anything Qualcomm offers.

gzAsher said,
I wonder why Samsung is using Qualcomm's chip for their tablet since Samsung's own latest ARM processor is way more powerful than anything Qualcomm offers.
if you read the article only 3 companies are allowed to make the chip sets, ti, qualcomm and nvidia. Hence Samsung cannot use their own chip set as they are not licensed by Microsoft.

gzAsher said,
I wonder why Samsung is using Qualcomm's chip for their tablet since Samsung's own latest ARM processor is way more powerful than anything Qualcomm offers.
if you read the article only 3 companies are allowed to make the chip sets, ti, qualcomm and nvidia. Hence Samsung cannot use their own chip set as they are not licensed by Microsoft.

I personally dislike this policy as it strikes me as clearly anti-competitive given that Microsoft is the dominant player in the operating system market. How do we know this policy isn't going to be used to target particular competitors regardless of quality? Sony could produce an incredible ARM tablet but Microsoft could still reject it because of their console rivalry. And what's next... choosing who can and can't sell Windows 8 systems / licences?

I understand why Microsoft has chosen to do it - especially as it's only for a limited period - but I don't agree with it. If Microsoft wants to ensure quality then it should do so by placing restrictions on the ENTIRE market, not cherry-pick a few companies they want to support.

greenwizard88 said,
They're only the dominant position on x86. In the ARM landscape, Apple rules and Android is a far 2nd.

If sony does so, itll get on the internet

greenwizard88 said,
They're only the dominant position on x86. In the ARM landscape, Apple rules and Android is a far 2nd.

Sadly the EU don't see it that way, they just see "Windows".

greenwizard88 said,
They're only the dominant position on x86. In the ARM landscape, Apple rules and Android is a far 2nd.

That's irrelevant. Competition laws prevent companies from using their dominance in one market to affect another. More importantly, as Windows 8 and RT both support Metro apps any benefit gained with Windows RT could - and is likely to - affect the x86 market, especially limiting browser competition.

Microsoft is using its influence of the x86 market to limit the competitiveness of manufacturers in the ARM market.

theyarecomingforyou said,
If Microsoft wants to ensure quality then it should do so by placing restrictions on the ENTIRE market, not cherry-pick a few companies they want to support.

You expect MS to sit down and validate with EVERY company on the market? That's what needs to happen to make this work right. Last time I checked the dominant player in the market just sits down with one..

theyarecomingforyou said,

That's irrelevant. Competition laws prevent companies from using their dominance in one market to affect another. More importantly, as Windows 8 and RT both support Metro apps any benefit gained with Windows RT could - and is likely to - affect the x86 market, especially limiting browser competition.

Microsoft is using its influence of the x86 market to limit the competitiveness of manufacturers in the ARM market.


That's a oversimplification of most of the laws you're likely referring to. Those laws primarily come into question when bundling takes place; for example, requiring someone who buys one product to also buy another.

Using dominance in one market to help you in another market isn't inherently illegal. I'm also not sure how Microsoft is using its position in the x86 market to limit the competitiveness of manufacturers in the ARM market. Can you explain what you mean?

theyarecomingforyou said,

Microsoft is using its influence of the x86 market to limit the competitiveness of manufacturers in the ARM market.

They are not limiting the competitiveness of the ARM market at all.. the market will have a ton of android tablets and the ipad will still rule at first.. how is that limiting competitiveness.. if this happened with PC's then its a different story but microsoft is such a tiny player in the ARM market that they can do whatever it takes to get a bit of marketshare.

dangel said,

You expect MS to sit down and validate with EVERY company on the market? That's what needs to happen to make this work right. Last time I checked the dominant player in the market just sits down with one..


Can't compare apples and ... well I guess you can in this case.
Carry on.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I personally dislike this policy as it strikes me as clearly anti-competitive given that Microsoft is the dominant player in the operating system market. How do we know this policy isn't going to be used to target particular competitors regardless of quality? Sony could produce an incredible ARM tablet but Microsoft could still reject it because of their console rivalry. And what's next... choosing who can and can't sell Windows 8 systems / licences?

I understand why Microsoft has chosen to do it - especially as it's only for a limited period - but I don't agree with it. If Microsoft wants to ensure quality then it should do so by placing restrictions on the ENTIRE market, not cherry-pick a few companies they want to support.

i'm not going to check but last time I did, MSFT marketshare in the tablet world was.....0.00000000000000000000000000001%

I think they are ok before the EU comes down on them.

theyarecomingforyou said,

That's irrelevant. Competition laws prevent companies from using their dominance in one market to affect another. More importantly, as Windows 8 and RT both support Metro apps any benefit gained with Windows RT could - and is likely to - affect the x86 market, especially limiting browser competition.

Microsoft is using its influence of the x86 market to limit the competitiveness of manufacturers in the ARM market.

Or, are you arguing that we need to limit Microsoft to protect Apple's tablet monopoly?

theyarecomingforyou said,
I personally dislike this policy as it strikes me as clearly anti-competitive given that Microsoft is the dominant player in the operating system market..

It would be good to see other oems allowed to make ipads ... and sell them at android prices ... but I don't see that happening.
that's the real monopoly in the tablet industry .. just no one complains

This is all about ensuring the quality of the experience. If they let the OEM's do this freely the experience will go to hell in a hand basket.

Good, hoping they're enforcing some tight quality control on them as well. Already a bunch of cheap-as-dirt trash tablets out there already, rather not see RT get pulled into that mess too.