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Win RT OEM Ecosystem Tightly Controlled

It must be no fun being a Win RT OEM. You now have the company that controls the OS competing with you with Microsoft Surface. Given that fact, you'd think Microsoft would cut you a little slack. But no. Instead, Microsoft controls your every move.

Here's one example: ARM is the company that makes the processor that drives Win RT devices. But these processors become part of a system-on-a-chip (SoC), which is made by Texas Instruments, Qualcomm and NVIDIA. The OEM, which makes the final machines, tablets or tablet/laptop hybrids, are under Microsoft orders to only work with one SoC provider. I'm not sure why this is the case but it sure makes it tough to negotiate price. The same is true on the Win 8 side -- you've got to choose your Intel or AMD poison (and can't flip flop).

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/22/2012 at 9:03 AM

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Aug 23, 2012 Chris

So does: "The same is true on the Win 8 side -- you've got to choose your Intel or AMD poison (and can't flip flop)." Mean that OEMs will not be able to manufacture Intel and AMD hardware?

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 Dustin Harper United States

So, they really are taking a cue from Apple. They aren't really closing it down, but they are tightening control. Which, done correctly, could be a huge benefit. I'm hoping we see a lot less of the underpowered devices that plagued Windows Vista and Android devices. It should also help with keeping a more uniform device. If you buy a Windows 8 powered device, you know exactly what you're getting and know it will perform to a higher standard. On the other hand, it does limit some choices and some of the restrictions are going to hurt the enthusiast market (like myself with a home made very custom PC).

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