Remember when we said that Microsoft management was essentially incompetent and destroyed their partner relationships with a single WARTy Surface? We were being too kind, their largest OEM, HP, just bailed.
Yes, if rumors SemiAccurate hears are true, a whole flock of formerly close Microsoft partners just decided that their new best friend is now Google, Microsoft is no longer relevant to computing’s future. Most were debating whether or not to bother with WART (Windows on Arm RT) devices, and struggling to find a reason to do so. Then Microsoft just unveiled one of the largest and most unethical industrial espionage campaigns of the last few decades, so it is no surprise that everyone is jumping ship.
If you haven’t been following the news, Microsoft handcuffed both ARM chipmakers and OEMs with their brilliant two device per chipmaker strategy. Then, they ‘worked closely’ with all the OEMs, ‘helping’ them with their designs. As soon as those designs were essentially finalized, Microsoft did their own device that paid homage to their OEMs most innovative features. It is also a direct competitor to those OEMs, and was designed knowing exactly where their weaknesses were.
To rub salt in to the wounds, Microsoft isn’t bound by the same restrictions they imposed on the OEMs, that would make them have an… err… actually quite unpalatable device. On top of doing what they wouldn’t allow others to, Microsoft jacked the price of WART licenses up with a questionably legal monopolistic bundle to about 3x what the same OEMs would pay for a full version of Windows 8 that does much more.
With Microsoft mandated awful designs and a $90 OS tax that Microsoft doesn’t have to pay, that would be about 15% of the rumored $600 MSRP, OEMs can’t hope to be competitive. So they are bailing, fast. The first one SemiAccurate heard about from multiple sources is HP and their Qualcomm based WART machines. Between this, the MS strong-arming of Palm’s demise, and other things we can’t talk about, how long before HP decides to make a real Linux push? Just kidding, that would take competent management with a backbone, and it is HP we are talking about, so no chance.
That said, HP may be the first, but SemiAccurate is hearing just about every OEM out there is scrapping one or more WART designs, with most renewing Android efforts with every resource at their disposal. Microsoft’s incompetent management and Apple envy earned the enmity of their largest partner, and others are following closely. Like we said, game over for WART. S|A