back to article HTC locked out of Windows 8 tablet party

HTC has been declined an invitation to the Windows 8 party after Microsoft apparently refused its tablet development team access to the forthcoming operating system, in yet another body blow to the ailing hardware firm. Redmond made the decision based on the fact that HTC doesn’t sell enough tablets or have enough experience in …

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Anonymous Coward

Another nail in the Microsoft coffin

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Anonymous Coward

Indeed, in the early days they used to embrace anyone that wants to help shift their crummy software. These days it's all about being member of the club or paying for partnership status.

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong. Early days of Windows, MS worked closely with a relatively small number of OEMs who partnered on dev work, often getting good licensing terms in exchange. Naturally DOS and Windows licenses were sold more widely to one and all.

Windows RT is new and Microsoft want a good first impression, no need to imagine clubs and paying for special treatment. Timing is tricky too since Windows RT ideally needs good graphics and post Tegra 3 hardware to work at its best and thats not realistic to ship until next Spring. So can imagine Microsoft want to avoid the left than ideal experience of OEMs simply putting RT on devices designed for Android.

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Anonymous Coward

Correct me if I'm wrong but Windows 1.0 started from DOS and there was no encryption. Therefore if you could buy Windows 1.0 and it was compatible with your hardware then it would run.

This time around Microsoft has chosen to limit supply with an encrypted boot loader that can't be switched off (on ARM). That isn't anything like Windows 1.0.

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Anonymous Coward

True, for years Windows didn't require serial numbers or authentication etc. Remember in 1985 the internet was still a dream for the future. MS relied on the honesty of customers buying the product, revenue was mainly OEM anyway.

Security was not as high on the agenda then either, I don't think many predicted the amount of energy that would be expended on making malicious software. That emphasis has changed hence UEFI, secure boot etc.

My earlier comment was about how MS works with OEMs, now and then.

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Anonymous Coward

'People are looking at Windows 8 as an enterprise solution'

??

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Once it sheds Metro maybe, until then, I don't think *anyone* is looking at Windows 8

?

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FAIL

Cognitive Dissonance at elReg?

el Reg seesm to not even be reading its own re-posts before posting comments like this one..

It doesn't take much of a troll back through the archive to see yesterday's post that said that not even Microsoft believes the Enterprise is interested in Win8: http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2012/06/07/win8_enterprise_yesno/

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Silver badge

Re: Cognitive Dissonance at elReg?

Different authors, different takes. Especially when quoting different marketing drones spewing different FUQ (Fear, Uncertainty, and Questions).

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Ru
Meh

Desktop vs Tablet

Windows 8 on the desktop is quite different from Windows 8 on, say ARM devices. The latter will not have the schizophrenic UI that the last Reg article on win8 complained about; they will be solely Metro/WinRT devices. This article is about tablets, and the last thing they need is the old-style mouse'n'keyboard driven Windows UI; Metro is a perfectly good fit for them.

I don't know about Windows 8 on x86 tablets, mind you.

What this mostly shows is that the ability of MS to do sensible product naming and branding is as poor as ever.

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Silver badge

Windows 8 is just Microsoft making a beeline for tablet land and paying lip service to other kinds of platforms. It's barely suitable for home use let alone enterprise use. I expect MS realise this too, seeing that enterprises are just rolling out Windows 7. They probably assume they'll wait for Windows 9 much the way they waited for 7 after Vista.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe if HTC stopped producing shit phones they wouldn't be in trouble.

I know many people, including myself, who have had or currently have a HTC and will not be getting another one...

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Anonymous Coward

HTC {hones

I have an HTC trophy WP7 phone, it's my first non-nokia phone in about fifteen years and I find it excellent. It's tough, feels solid, the touchscreen is a joy to use compared to the resistive screens that I'd become used to, the software is well designed and implemented, generally the whole thing is a lovely package. I've had it longer than my contract because I just don't see any need to replace it.

It's also survived - with aid of the bag of rice trick - being dropped in the bath, which I thought was going to kill it.

I would get another, I would also get a Windows tablet from them, should I be about to get a tablet, which I'm not. I'm much more interested in a hybrid device such as a Samsung Series 7 Slate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HTC {hones

indeed. Its quite interesting that people seem to think that HTC started with Android phones.

I wonder if we can have a good conversation on this one instead of the thread being bombed with Anti MS hate mail, im kind of getting tired of it as it does nothing for anyone....

As it happens HTC has been around a LONG time, its a bit of a shame that they have been shunned by MS given that WM was its bread and butter for so many years.

In terms of quality, all the HTC devices ive had, and ive had quite a few, since my original XDA device have been outstanding. now i know there was some lemons back in the day but given that i owned probably around 70-75% of all HTC devices up to the HD2 i think i have a reasonable level of credability in the matter. From what i can gather HTC has taken a steady decline after this point. Now im not saying its Androids fault at all, but it was around this time and the markets need for cheap devices that seemed to have pushed HTC to in mass producing rather than getting a few devices out there but getting them done right. Oh How the mighty have fallen!

But still, its a shame that HTC didnt get the good news, after all, all compertition is good for the end users but given its recent track record i would question if they could pull it off or just mass produce tat some more.

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Rob
Bronze badge

Re: HTC phones

I'm with you on this one.

My first foray into smartphones was a HTC as I got the Orange SPV phone. Those were the days when HTC wasn't a brand but a manufacturer for the Telcos own branded phones. At that point I would have said HTC was MS's bread and butter as far as their WinMo OS is concerned. Since that SPV all my upgrades since have been HTC manufactured phones, I still have them all as well, I was considering framing them all together as they provide a good history of the rise of the smartphone for me.

Through all those phones I have found the build quality to be great and in some cases when it was only good, it was still better than other phones on the market. I wish HTC would also stop the Tablet train and refocus on their custom software as that looked like it had good potential but they don't seem to be paying it enough attention in terms of development time and testing.

Sadly my next upgrade will be the S3, as HTC have nothing even close to that beauty.

Sorry HTC, it's been a pleasure but goodbye and thanks for all the fish.

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HTC make the full range of phones. If you are a cheap skate and bought one of their budget ones then you got what you asked for (whether you had enough of a clue to know what you were getting/asked-for is a different matter).

I had an HTC desire for almost 3 years and have never seen a phone that made me want to upgrade. I only just upgraded to a HTC One S because I had been due an upgrade for so long and it is the closest I could get to the old HTC desire.

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Nothing wrong with HTC phones

They've made a couple of missteps (like allowing Samsung to step in eat their lunch at the flagship end - ouch) but the phones are otherwise solid performers. I think it's rather silly of MSFT to bar HTC's expertise from the party on sales alone.

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Silver badge

If you haven't seen a better phone than the Desire in 3 years then you've had your eyes shut the whole time. The Galaxy S ate it's lunch for a start.

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The desire was a bloody good handset with a few flaws, notably low internal memory. I recently traded up to the Sensation, stuck with HTC because I was mainly chuffed with the desire (which now sits around the house being used as a tiny tablet during the ad breaks.) I wish they'd stop moving the power button though - it takes stupidly long to undo the muscle memory for the old location.

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Silver badge

My HTC smart phone was great.

It was the telecom vendor plan that was crap for me and caused me to turn it in. And that was the best plan available when I bought the phone...

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Re: HTC phones

Ditto here. My first smartphone was a carrier rebranded HTC Tornado, which I lost and replaced with a Diamond.

Now I'm on a HTC Android phone and have had no issues.

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Silver badge

> the fact that HTC doesn’t sell enough tablets

I would have thought that HTC currently makes more tablets than Nokia, especially the 7" to 10.x" range*.

I suspect that the real problem is that HTC don't sell enough WP7 phones. That is probably because Nokia have taken all the WP7 market. In January Nokia claimed it had sold a million WP7 phones and had taken 33% of the WP7 market. Then after Q1 it said it had sold (though probably shipped) 2 million. If that was now 66% of the WP7 market then it was at the expense of HTC, LG, etc. No wonder LG stopped making WP7 and said sales were trivial.

Also MS has no leverage over HTC. MS can control HP (enough to dump WebOS), Dell, etc because it can remove 'discounts' on all PCs.

With Samsung and Sony, maybe not so much.

* Nokia had the N770, N800, N810, N900 and the N950 was ready but was canned because it wasn't Windows.

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Maybe a blessing in disguise here? I have asked many people and even amongst Microsoft fans I have yet to find even one person who is interested in windows 8 even on tablets. Granted things might change once its released but who would bet on it given the lack of interest in windows phone 7? Throw in the fact that I believe Microsoft are planning on burning yet another phone platform and annoying what few people actually plumped for windows phone 7.

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Anonymous Coward

Good for a laugh in the morning

'Windows 8 as an enterprise solution' - :wtf:!

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Bronze badge

Seems a reasonable strategy for HTC: wait for the first traunch of new devices/new users, first few updates on Win8 and then steam in with a 2nd generation device?

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Silver badge

Simple answer

Release a decent Android tablet at a decent price (maybe even cost?) and then simply bludgeon Win8 into submission. I am sure if HTC spoke to Google, there'd be some help forthcoming.

The only issue I see is that Metro might actually be quite good on a touch device (I've only used it on a desktop and it is bloody awful there).

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Anonymous Coward

I'M WITH STOOOOOOOOOOOOPID

HTC = Shifts LOTS of mobile phones, but new to tablet market

Microsoft = Shifts lots of Windows, but new to phone market (in Windows Phone terms)

So what do Microsoft do? They refuse HTC to take a look at Windows 8 a company that has the potential to be influential in the fate of Windows Phone 8.........

HTC should just say **** em and go all out on Android on both tablets and phones

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Silver badge

Re: HTC should just say

Yep, in business it's: Don't get mad get even.

And getting even means crushing them in the market place, then buying them and firing their board. OK, with MS the last bit is a little harder to actually execute, but it is still the aim.

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Anonymous Coward

Blessing in disguise

most people who want a tablet want an iPad, most of those that don't will want a $200 Nexus 7 tablet or similar or a Kindle Fire. Tough to see how Win 8 will carve out a meaningful market share in the tablet market.

MS seems to think people want a unified OS across their computer and phone and tablet. Not sure that's true - most iPad owners use PCs not Macs. I use Win 7 on my laptop and Android on my phone and will go for a Nexus 7 when it arrives.

Horses for courses.

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Boomberg: "HTC engineers wanted to build a Windows device with a customized home screen that would be distinctive to its devices, as manufacturers are allowed to do with Android."

At least Microsoft are robust none of this nonsense on Windows RT so hardware manufacturers can't mess up the standard look and feel of the device, just add to the user options (e.g. Nokia maps for WP7 Nokia hardware only).

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HTC customized home screen

HTC's god awful home screen is probably half the reason they're getting killed by Samsung. That twee date display designed to look like a paper calendar.... horrible.

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FAIL

Re: HTC customized home screen

Huh? The clock is just a standard android widget. You know you can remove them? You can put whatever you want on the home screen. Have you actually used one or only licked the screen?

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Meh

Re: HTC customized home screen

HTC's Sense UI on Android is a delight to us, and I can't offhand think of another manufacturer who offers a better Android interface experience than HTC. And, as other commentators have said, one of the joys of Android is that you can make it look how you want. Don't like the homescreen ? then change it for something that appeals to you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HTC customized home screen

Agreed, HTC sense is awesome. I have a HTC One X and it is fine, does everything i want it too. I moved from a Desire to this (sadly, i do miss the OLED screen but you can't have everything). The improvement in the way the phone functions between these two phones is quite staggering (unlike a lot of people, i don't upgrade my phone every 2 seconds because i'm sane). My partner has a Galaxy SII, i've used it a fair bit and i have to say, actually using it is a chore compared to the HTC, it really is. She has even commented much the same way, it's hardly intuitive at all, the onscreen keyboard is rubbish to say the least. I could fault it forever however i like the design and build of the SII but even so the built quality feels shoddy compared to my One X and even more so compared to the Desire (yes, the One X seems to be more poorly constructed than the Desire, this saddens me). Having not seen an SIII yet i can't really comment on it but i can't see me regretting my decision to go with the One X any time soon.

This all said this article was about tablets and no, i would not buy a tablet from HTC but then i wouldn't from Samsung either. I do think it's somewhat stupid for Microsoft to cut off one of their developers to this however but then given how much they are hanging themselves with Windows 8 currently i can only assume it's part of some masterful strategy that i can't possibly comprehend. I can only assume they've been reading stories about people who jump off cliffs and learn to fly halfway down. . .

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Thumb Up

Re: HTC customized home screen

I'm in the same boat, I had a Desire - when it first came out - to replace my Sony Ericsson C902. I had the Desire for 2 years - after a year and a half I finally rooted it and shoved CM7 on to it to get round the low memory issue, but I did miss things like being able to open the phone dialler and start typing numbers that would match peoples names and numbers in the phone book - yes there are apps on the market to replicate this functionality - but they aren't great and don't look anything as nice as the HTC implementation. Once my contract was up - I got the HTC One X - it's a great phone, fast, a joy to use. It has some bugs - mostly related to WiFi but they will be ironed out - and after a year if I am not happy with the software - I could just root and shove on CM9.

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Anonymous Coward

Eh change it

1) run market

2) install any other launcher

3) press home key

see you just changed launcher. I would choose win phone launcher if you love that silverlight demo ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HTC customized home screen

Well, I find your comments puzzling. I moved from a Nokia 6310i (after 6 years) to a Desire (Original OLED) 2 years ago, and other than a few bugs, and the poor battery life (charge every night), I was well pleased with it.

Shortly before my contract renewal it started being erratic, so I took the customer retention deal.

I was planning on replacing it with a HTC One X, but was so disappointed with the lack of a microSD slot, and the stupid nanosim, I decided on a Samsung Galaxy S II instead.

In use I find it little different to the Desire, though drag across instead of click button took a little getting used to, along with the power button on the side.

The BlueTooth and WiFi are definitely far better on the SII, and the Quick Access toolbar is better than anything i achieved on the Desire. Not sure what your problem with the keyboard is, at least it doesn't jump back to letters if you're typing numbers, and press the spacebar, like the Desire does.

One final point, it runs for 2 days on one charge.

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Silver badge

Not enough tablet experience?

A tablet is basically just a glorified smartphone. If you can make smart phones then you can make tablets. HTC have been making PDAs, smart phones and tablets for over a decade. Those Compaq / HP iPaq devices were made by HTC.

A more likely reason for being shut out is because HTC is android-centric. Perhaps Microsoft wanted to shut them out to "punish" them for their betrayal, or one of their other partners like Dell or doesnt want the competition of HTC and wanted them excluded, or the terms of licencing Windows 8 were so ludicrously stringent or odious (e.g concerning patents) that HTC couldn't sign up. Whatever the real reason, claiming they have no experience is just bullshit.

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Anonymous Coward

A blessing

When the Win 8 tablet market tanks (and it will) HTC will have the last laugh as all the Win 8 tablets go into the clearance bin and everyone gets to eat the start up cost?

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Silver badge

Re: A blessing

> Win 8 tablets go into the clearance bin

The pity will be that (it is intended) nothing else will ever be bootable on them.

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HTC don't have experience but Nokia do?

So Nokia are going to make WP8 tablets even though they have no experience in this area but HTC are locked out? Sounds like MS are peeved that HTC aren't giving WP7 much love and are concentrating on Android.

A combination of sour grapes and the usual MS claptrap.

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Silver badge

Re: HTC don't have experience but Nokia do?

Sounds more to me like Nokia got the plum for getting in bed with Microsoft and they don't want the competition around to spoil their sales.

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Anonymous Coward

"Ailing hardware manufacturer"?

How does HTC's £95m PROFIT qualify as "ailing", when compared to Nokia's £1.09bn LOSS in the same quarter?

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Anonymous Coward

" and people are looking at Windows 8 as an enterprise solution "

Ok, that right there shows this person as NO idea what they are talking about. I now need a new monitor.

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Meh

"Redmond made the decision based on the fact that HTC doesn’t sell enough tablets or have enough experience in the space, “people with knowledge of the matter” told Bloomberg."

Not sure how anyone can say that and expect to be taken seriously. I would argue they have a lot of experience and, if focused, would be capable of producing the best (and best selling) W8 tablet. I thought the HTC Flyer was great, although too expensive. This was an issue that affected a lot of Android tablets at the time.

My last 2 phones have been HTC and I have been very happy with them both.

I'm not sure why they haven't released more tablets than they have, but I suspect there are other political reasons for Microsoft's decision.

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lol

'“I don’t see this will impact HTC’s success. It is a very consumer targeted brand and people are looking at Windows 8 as an enterprise solution so even if it’s excluded that’s not HTC’s target market,” said Chau.'

What is Chau smoking and where can I get it?

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Wow, their Android tablets will rock now

Could it be because HTC is known to be the company who made win mobile "usable" by adding a lot of stuff of their own?

I have chosen a htc Android saying "if they could fix win mobile ui, they really know their stuff." and I haven't been proven wrong otherwise. I just didn't like "phone" focus of their launcher so I use Zeam.

Lets see htc Android 4 tablets as their win distraction is gone now. Hope they get "banned" from win phone too. Seriously.

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FAIL

Locked Bootloader

To all those saying that the tablets will only be able to run Win8 because of a locked bootloader...please, spare it.

How long do you think it will take for someone to find a way round it, or a way to replace the locked portions?

De-CSS, PS/PS2/PS3 hacking, Xbox hacking, Cyanogenmod, you name it, people will crack/hack/replace it.

Or is the whole world suddenly going to raise their hands as one and shout "Please, leave our win8 tablets alone!"

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