MICROSOFT LOOKS set to become the latest company to suspend ties with Huawei after it was discovered that all reference to its flagship laptop, the MateBook X Pro, has been removed from the Microsoft Store.
The top-end laptop has had rave reviews since it launched at MWC but has now disappeared from view, suggesting that Microsoft may be preparing to take action to comply with the recent trade ban with the Chinese tech giant.
Microsoft is yet to make a statement either way, but given that Google was forced to suspend licensing Android to Huawei, it's quite likely that Microsoft will be in the same boat and will need to stop issuing Windows licences.
If that's the case, one of the best laptops on the market will be reduced to little more than an attractive doorstop with USB-C. A suspension would also mean that, potentially, existing customers would stop receiving vital security updates too.
The MateBook range is not exactly "budget" meaning that the recent US executive order could, in a worst-case scenario, leave users with a £1,500 machine that isn't what was paid for.
Of course, Linux is always an option, but there'll be a vocal group which will see this as simply unacceptable.
At present, the range is still available at bricks and mortar Microsoft stores, but we'd guess that if all this goes ahead, it won't be restocking.
Even if Microsoft finds a way to sidestep the ban, that still leaves key suppliers of Huawei in a pickle. Huawei laptops and servers run on Intel chips and that's just one of the companies that could find itself forced to cut off supplies.
In the longer term, Huawei has been working on operating systems to replace Windows and Android for months, but it recognises the challenges that creates, and has publicly said that it would much rather keep its existing partnerships. μ
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