HTC could be shut out from the introduction of Windows 8, with Microsoft reportedly deeming the Taiwanese company too inexperienced to make Windows gadgets.
A Bloomberg report cites sources who asked not to be named, who reckon Microsoft will be barring HTC from the first round of tablets running Windows 8 RT, the version of Windows 8 designed specifically to run on tablets.
The site says HTC bods wanted to make a Windows device with a customised home screen, just as it does with Sense on its Android kit. Microsoft refused, and now the company is rumoured to be out in the cold.
The report is a spot of bad news for HTC, following a 35 per cent revenue drop in April. Microsoft's seemingly been paying attention to HTC's fiscal fortunes, as the Redmond software giant is apparently worried that HTC doesn't sell enough devices, or have enough experience making tablets.
HTC is best known for creating classic Android smart phones such as the HTC Hero and Legend. It certainly knows its way around a mobile, but it's fair to say its tablet efforts, such as the HTC Flyer, haven't proved too successful.
HTC and Microsoft have joined forces before -- the HTC 7 Trophy and HTC Titan are examples of HTC blowers running Windows Phone, which is Microsoft's mobile operating system and provides the inspiration for Windows 8's 'Metro' interface.
An HTC spokesperson told Bloomberg the company plans to support future versions of Windows, but didn't comment on product plans.
Companies in line to offer Windows 8 tablets include Asus, Acer and Samsung, of course. If these reports are genuine, is Microsoft right to keep HTC making Windows 8 tablets? Or should Ballmer and pals be looking for any help they can get? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.