A new report indicates Microsoft's chassis supply chain partner is having trouble manufacturing the tablet's magnesium chassis at the rate Microsoft demands. According to the report, Microsoft is working with a "second-tier" manufacturer, which is unable to manufacture the case at a fast pace.
DigiTimes cites sources in Microsoft's supply chain, saying the Chinese manufacturer of the chassis is unable to maintain the high yield rate Microsoft requires for mass production. According to the report, Microsoft had originally planned on using a magnesium-aluminum chassis in its Surface tablets, but the "limited capacity" of the chassis manufacturer forced the company to use a magnesium chassis with a MegVapor treatment.
Microsoft is paying close attention to the Chinese manufacturer to ensure it can maintain a sufficient output, the report states. Microsoft is reportedly hoping to have up to five million Surface tablets manufactured by the end of the year. The company had previously inquired with several other metal chassis manufacturers before settling on the current Chinese manufacturer, according to the report.
The Windows RT Surface tablet is expected to launch alongside Windows 8, which was today revealed to launch sometime in October. A Windows 8 version of the tablet, Surface Pro, will launch three months after the Windows RT version. Microsoft's tablet is expected to be the only Windows RT tablet available at launch; HP recently announced it would not have a Windows RT tablet ready when Microsoft's new operating system launches later this year.