Microsoft has reportedly instructed Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments -- the three major ARM-based SoC manufacturers -- to pick two tablet/notebooks partners for developing Windows on ARM projects. These partners will consist of one major partner and one minor partner, the latter investing less on technical resources than the former.
According to unnamed sources from the upstream supply chain, Nvidia has chosen Lenovo as its Windows on ARM primary partner and Acer as its secondary partner while leaving Asus -- the largest client of Nvidia's Tegra series during 2011 -- out in the cold. Qualcomm has selected Samsung Electronics and Sony as its primary and secondary, and Texas Instruments has selected Toshiba and Samsung respectively.
On Monday the sources claimed that both Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are clamoring over Samsung because of the Korean company's strengths in component manufacturing and a leading position in both the non-Apple PC and smartphone sectors. Meanwhile, Nvidia has has reportedly selected Lenovo because of its strong ties with the Chinese market.
As reported earlier, Windows on ARM tablets aren't expected to hit the market until mid-2013. That should give upstream ODMs Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics, Wistron and Pegatron Technology plenty of time to develop competing products.