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Microsoft limits Windows RT to just six manufacturers

by Doug Drinkwater

July 24 2012

A new report reveals that just six vendors will be allowed to build Windows RT tablets when the software goes live later this year.

According to China Times, Microsoft has asked its three chipmakers to pick two OEMs each to build Windows 8 RT tablets, with Nvidia taking Asus and Lenovo, Qualcomm selecting Samsung and HP, and Texas Instruments only choosing Toshiba.

Qualcomm will however have to revise its decision, with HP having dropped out of making Windows RT tablets. Dell is reportedly primed to fill the vacant spot.

Microsoft is said to have done this to focus on research and development, although the $85 OEM licensing fee may also have had an effect on the number of manufacturers willing to build for Windows RT, the ARM-powered version of Windows 8.

The first Windows RT tablets will probably come to market around October 26, the date when the software goes live to the general public. Manufacturers are expected to get their hands on the software in early August.

This news will certainly be a blow for those manufacturers who had wanted to build a Windows 8 tablet, although it is no means the end of the world. After all, Microsoft intends to open up the Windows RT license to all manufacturers in early 2013, so expect to see Windows 8 tablets all the rage at next year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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