Microsoft Offends OEMs With Surface, HP Refusing To Build Windows ARM Devices

If this rumor is true – and it certainly sounds true – then HP and other OEMs are about to pull the plug on their own Windows on ARM RT (WART) devices thanks to Microsoft essentially beating them to market with potentially superior hardware. SemiAccurate writes:

If you haven’t been following the news, Microsoft handcuffed both ARM chipmakers and OEMs with their brilliant two device per chipmaker strategy. Then, they ‘worked closely’ with all the OEMs, ‘helping’ them with their designs. As soon as those designs were essentially finalized, Microsoft did their own device that paid homage to their OEMs most innovative features. It is also a direct competitor to those OEMs, and was designed knowing exactly where their weaknesses were.
To rub salt in to the wounds, Microsoft isn’t bound by the same restrictions they imposed on the OEMs, that would make them have an… err… actually quite unpalatable device.

You’ll notice a few things there: first, Microsoft expects OEMs to make certain types of hardware at certain times. Remember all those all-in-one touchscreen PCs nobody bought? That was a Microsoft effort that forced OEMs to make at least two touchscreen devices per line. The same thing happened whenever manufacturers tried to build a Windows tablet and the same thing will happen when Windows 8 ships.

Oddly, however, this time Microsoft is doing its own handcuffing, forcing manufacturers to compete against a Platonic ideal of future Microsoft tablets. While OEMs rarely have much spine, this may end up being the straw that broke the HPs back.