DigiTimes this morning reported an interesting story about Microsoft talking to Nvidia, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Intel and AMD about using their hardware in tablets running the company’s yet-to-be-released Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft reportedly asked each chip maker to invite two PC vendors for joint development and testing. Turns out the software company would love to see Windows 8-powered tablets from Samsung, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, but the love does not seem to extend to Asus, Acer, HTC and other Asian first-tier vendors.

Taiwan-based PC vendors who have been in long-term partnerships with Microsoft have complained to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) because they were not invited to participate, and hope for the government’s negotiation with Microsoft, the sources added.

This is interesting because both Acer and Asus have recently released high-end Honeycomb tablets with dual screens foldable between the tablet and “PC” mode. It appears as if Microsoft is unnecessarily distancing itself from first-tier Android vendors, the move that could easily bite them a few months from now.

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer and the Acer Iconia tablet PCs come with a completely customized user interface layer on top of the Android 3.0 software. In addition, these tablets can be docked and used with external keyboards to enable some of the notebooks’ productivity features. Microsoft could regret leaving out Asian vendors as soon as Android slates pick up steam, which won’t take too long. Let’s not forget that the Windows 8 software isĀ still vapourware at this stage. In another shootfoot, Microsoft is insisting each silicon maker invites only two PC vendors even with chip vendors wanting to bring their many clients under Microsoft’s fold.

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