According to a report in the Chinese-language China Times newspaper, Microsoft has detailed its initial launch plans and structure for the first wave of tablets powered by the contentious and controversial Windows RT variant of Windows 8, which will power Microsoft’s own flagship Surface tablet.
Beginning with hardware partners, Microsoft is delegating such licenses for Windows RT in a bit of a unique setup, with chipmakers being allowed to partner with a maximum of two hardware ODMs per chip manufacturer.
The following chipmakers in Texas Instruments, Nvidia and Qualcomm have selected their hardware partners, with TI partnering with Toshiba while leaving its second spot open, Nvidia partnering with Asus and Lenovo and Qualcomm partnering with the largest ODMs in Samsung and now Dell, after its previous selection in HP has cancelled its initial plans to release Windows 8 tablets.
With the first tablets due on October 26th, the report’s confirmation of the above suggests that Microsoft intends to intentionally start small in terms of Windows RT hardware in order to ramp up after the holidays, as Microsoft does not plan on expanding Windows RT licensees until January, when the next wave of Windows RT tablet manufacturers is expected to be announced.
With Surface also expected to launch around the same time as the aforementioned tablets from the mentioned manufacturers, Microsoft seems to be hedging its bets on RT tablets with Surface leading the way ahead of the ramp up of the companion Windows Phone 8 platform, now due to launch in November.