Dell aiming for HP's abandoned place in Windows RT tablet OEM lockdown

Dell is reportedly jockeying to join the Windows RT tablet club, petitioning Microsoft to take HP's spot in the strictly-controlled roster of companies permitted to create ARM-based Windows slates. With HP dropping out of RT development in favor of focusing on Windows 8 models instead, Dell is in talks to replace it, the China Times reports, seemingly confirming previous reports that Microsoft is putting a six-company limit on who can build one of the first wave of Windows RT tablet models (including its own Surface).

Back in December, rumors broke that Microsoft had focused its Windows-on-ARM development on three chipset companies: NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Each of those three was encouraged to pick at most two manufacturers to work with on Windows RT tablets, with NVIDIA said to have opted for ASUS and Lenovo, Qualcomm for Samsung and HP, and Texas Instruments for Toshiba.

That leaves companies like Acer and Sony out in the cold, and at the time Dell as well, though the company is now believed to be targeting HP's spot working with Qualcomm. Although Microsoft's own Windows RT tablet does present an unusual challenge in the marketplace, the relatively small number of OEMs involved could mean more attention for each.

Word of Microsoft's strictness around the quality of proposed Windows RT hardware had already been surfacing. HTC, for instance, is believed to have suggested one system but had its plans rejected by Microsoft; the company is conspicuously absent from the launch line-up.

Windows RT – along with Windows 8 for x86 systems – is expected to arrive on October 26, though not all of the manufacturers involved will necessarily have RT-based slates at that point.

[via Unwired View; via Engadget]