A new report claims that PC vendors - including Hewlett Packard (HP) - are up in arms over Microsoft's recent decision to enter the lucrative tablet market with its Surface device.
"Most were debating whether or not to bother with WART (Windows on Arm RT) devices, and struggling to find a reason to do so," says Charlie Demerjian of SemiAccurate.
"Then Microsoft just unveiled one of the largest and most unethical industrial espionage campaigns of the last few decades, so it is no surprise that everyone is jumping ship."
According to Demerjian, Microsoft essentially "handcuffed" both ARM chipmakers and OEMs with a two device per chipmaker strategy, all while cheerfully working with OEMs to finalize their designs. But then Redmond unveiled its own indigenously designed tablet, which clearly poses a direct threat to the same OEMs Microsoft was ostensibly helping just a few weeks earlier.
"To rub salt in to the wounds, Microsoft isn't bound by the same restrictions they imposed on the OEMs, that would make them have an... err... actually quite unpalatable device," he explains.
"On top of doing what they wouldn't allow others to, Microsoft jacked the price of WART licenses up with questionably legal monopolistic bundle to about 3x what the same OEMs would pay for a full version of Windows 8 that does much more."
As such, notes Demerjian, OEMs can't possibly hope to compete and are bailing fast - much like Hewlett Packard with it Qualcomm-based WART devices.
"That said, HP may be the first, but SemiAccurate is hearing just about every OEM out there is scrapping one or more WART designs, with most renewing Android efforts with every resource at their disposal... Microsoft's incompetent management and Apple envy earned the enmity of their largest partner, and others are following closely."