Microsoft is limiting Windows RT tablets to a few, hand-picked manufacturers for quality control purposesJuly 24, 2012 6 Email article | Print article
Looking for a Windows RT tablet? First batch of Windows 8 (Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro) tablets should be hitting stores in October. However, you will find Windows RT tablets from only a select number of manufacturers until January. The reason being is Microsoft is limiting Windows RT licenses to a few manufacturers for quality control purposes.
It is fairly obvious not everyone is convinced Windows RT tabs are a good thing. Indeed with this move to control who creates Windows RT tablets, Microsoft itself is showing some nerves in regards to Windows RT being able to challenge market leaders (primarily the iPad). And that is the exact reason why Microsoft is limiting production of Windows RT. Microsoft wants Windows RT to be a success. It recognizes if it licenses Windows RT to anyone and everyone then it will be hard to control the quality of the tabs; there will, without a doubt, be low quality tabs which may turn off the public. As such, Microsoft is controlling who can manufacture a Windows RT tab until at least a few months after Windows 8 release.
Who exactly is Microsoft allowing to build Windows RT tabs? Microsoft has told chipmakers NVIDIA, TI, and Qualcomm to pick two manufacturers to work with. ASUS and Lenovo have teamed with NVIDIA, Toshiba with TI, and Samsung and HP with Qualcomm. However, HP has dropped out wanting to focus on Windows 8 Pro tablets; Dell is trying to take its place.
So what does this all mean? This means you will find Windows RT tabs from ASUS, Lenovo, Toshiba, Samsung, maybe Dell, and of course Microsoft as soon as Windows 8 is released. Other manufacturers will be allowed to join them in January.