HP and Toshiba pull out of Windows RT tablet market, with Microsoft down to just four other vendors

Microsoft has confirmed that it is sticking by a strategy to only allow a limited number of its hardware partners to initially build tablets running Windows RT, alongside the consumer version of Microsoft’s own Surface tablet, despite public criticism from some hardware manufacturers.

Last month, SmartCompany reported that Microsoft had licensed just five companies to build Windows RT tablets, with Microsoft licensing NVidia to supply chips for Lenovo and Asus, Texas Instruments to supply Toshiba, and Qualcomm to supply Samsung and HP.

Microsoft has announced:

“Along with Asus, we are excited to share that there will be ARM-based PC designs from Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung running Windows RT.”

Interestingly, while Microsoft has secured Dell as a partner for first generation Windows RT devices, there is no mention in the Microsoft announcement of either HP or Toshiba.

Microsoft’s decision to build its own tablets in direct competition with its hardware partners has led to public criticism of the company by some of its hardware partners, with Acer recently going so far as to suggest that it might abandon Windows altogether.


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