Microsoft Corp. plans to restrict the number of computer hardware makers that initially can make tablets using its Windows operating system, requiring five select chip makers to pair up with one development partner each, people familiar with the matter said.
The software company selected Intel Corp., Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Nvidia Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. to choose one hardware maker apiece to develop tablet and clamshell devices based on Microsoft’s mobile platform, the people said.
Sounds pretty restrictive. If this is true then we should expect only five brands that will initially make Windows tablets. You might say that Microsoft is right in the middle between a completely vertically integrated Apple and the more-or-less open Google. But just like in tennis, you should be either at the baseline or at the net. The dead zone in tennis is right in the middle and that’s exactly where Microsoft is.
Microsoft has already pissed off a major brand. Acer president Jim Wong:
The industry does not belong to Microsoft, and it does not belong to Intel. It belongs to all participants. They cannot make the decision for all of us. That is the problem.
Not a good start.