Some of Taiwan's PC manufacturers have complained to the island's Ministry of Economic Affairs because they have not been invited to participate in the early development of the next version of Windows, known as Windows Next or (but not by Microsoft) Windows 8 for tablets. Two of the world's largest PC manufacturers by units -- Acer and Asus -- are based in Taiwan, along with other suppliers such as MSI and HCT, and most of the large contract manufacturers.
New versions of Windows are developed in deep consultation with chip manufacturers and PC vendors, which usually includes Taiwanese companies. They're complaining now, according to a report in Taiwan's DigiTimes, because Microsoft has asked each of the chip vendors on its Integrated Development Program -- Nvidia, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Intel and AMD -- to invite two PC vendors for joint development and testing Windows 8 specifically for use in tablet PCs.
It is thought that vendors such as HP, Dell and Samsung have been invited, but the Taiwanese vendors have missed out.
DigiTimes reports that, according to Wu Ming-ji, director general of the Department of Industrial Technology under MOEA: "In view of the business performance and global reputation of Taiwan-based vendors Acer, Asustek and HTC, the Taiwan government recommends that Microsoft invite them to co-develop Windows 8 in the first round because this would be in Microsoft's best interest."
Involvement in the development of Windows typically becomes broader as milestones are passed. This usually culminates in a public beta test involving all PC manufacturers and software developers, millions of users, and a few large commercial customers who install the code on production systems. Because the Taiwanese vendors are likely to produce a large proportion of the ARM-based tablets running Windows Next, they feel they should be involved sooner rather than later.