HTC might to be forced to stick with Android tablets for some time yet, with news today emerging that Microsoft has excluded the company from making Windows 8 tablets.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg claims that Microsoft is locking out HTC because the firm does not sell enough devices, or have enough experience with making tablets.
The latter is certainly an interesting point given HTC has launched more tablets than Nokia, and arguably had more success in this area than HP - two companies that are thought to be amongst Microsoft's preferred vendors.
However, the report goes onto suggest that HTC wanted to customize the Windows 8 home screen, and with Microsoft keen to maintain the look and feel of Windows 8 across devices, it may be that this swung the decision against the Taiwanese vendor. Despite this setback, Bloomberg says that HTC could be reconsidered when Microsoft opens up the OS to second-tier vendors early on in 2013.
The news is not good reading for HTC, which might have also suffered from its close links with Google. The firm made the first Google-branded smartphone and has since launched a number of smartphones and tablets – including the Flyer, the EVO View 4G and Jetstream – using the Android OS.
According to researchers, HTC currently sits sixth in the tablet market with a 3% share of the market, but Microsoft’s restriction could see Peter Chou's firm fall further down that chain, especially with Dell, HP, Nokia and Lenovo chomping at the bit to launch Intel and ARM-powered Windows 8 slates before the year is out.
Microsoft’s decision is by no means the only problem HTC is facing, with its stock having plummeted 67% in the past year, and with the firm now forecasting a 13% dip in sales for its second-quarter. In addition to this, the group is also facing chip shortages from Qualcomm.