The way Microsoft works with its hardware manufacturers fundamentally changed with the release of Windows RT. Now those longtime partners are figuring out how to deal with it.
Microsoft wasn't taking chances.
The company was about to introduce one of its biggest operating system releases, and it needed its hardware partners to develop products that could genuinely rival the iPad and Android tablets.
Microsoft took control of partners working with the new Windows RT software that ran on low-power chips normally used for cell phones. It held regular meetings with the small group of companies in its development program and dictated to a large extent what the devices looked like. Details were everything. Microsoft even told one company to move the location of its Windows home key, the button that toggles between the Metro-style interface and the traditional desktop view.