LAW-ABIDING TECH GIANT Microsoft has confirmed that it has been issued a licence allowing it to trade with Huawei.
The Windows maker had been amongst the US companies prevented from working with the Chinese manufacturer, which has been placed on the so-called "entity list" in the midst of the ongoing row over perceived links to the Chinese government.
Microsoft is one of the first companies to obtain such a licence, despite nearly 300 companies making applications, but it should at least give some hope to the others that licences are finally being issued.
In a statement to Bloomberg, it was confirmed that the US Department of Trade has begun issuing licences. They stated that some denials have been sent out, but equally, some licences have been issued.
The move will come as a huge relief all-round, but nowhere more so than in Huawei's MateBook department, which has already seen one model cancelled before launch in the US, amid fears that it wouldn't be able to keep an up-to-date version of Windows under the current restrictions.
Ealier this week, details began to leak about next years' MateBook devices, including its first 15in model. It wasn't clear exactly how Huawei planned to get around the Windows issue with these devices because although the company has dabbled in Linux versions, and has its own Harmony OS on the way, the real money is still in Windows devices - especially given the high-end nature of the Matebook range.
Microsoft is the first really big name to resolve its Huawei relationship, but the one we'll really be watching for is Google. Despite gaining massive plaudits for its Android phones, the ban means that the recent Mate 30 range was released without access to Google services, including the Play Store. It's only when that bit is settled that we'll really be sure that Huawei's Western business is saved. μ
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