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- Huawei’s MateBook laptops were removed from Microsoft’s online store last weekend.
- Microsoft hasn’t made any sort of official comment, but it’s likely a response to the US government’s ban on Huawei from doing business with US companies unless they receive government permission.
- Huawei’s laptops all run on the Microsoft Windows operating system. Without Windows, Huawei laptops would be worthless, as they wouldn’t have any of the apps that consumers want.
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Microsoft removed Huawei laptops from the Microsoft online store last weekend, likely in response to the US government blacklisting Huawei.
Huawei laptops are still being sold in physical Microsoft stores that still have the computers in stock, according to The Verge.
Microsoft hasn’t made an official statement regarding its relationship with Huawei. Business Insider has asked Microsoft for comment, but the company didn’t immediately reply. Other outlets have also requested comment from the company to no avail.
Last week, the US Commerce Department added Huawei to its “entity list,” which means that any companies wishing to sell or transfer technology to Huawei must obtain government permission. Microsoft and its products, including its Windows operating system, are subject to those regulations.
Preventing Microsoft from licensing its software and other products to Huawei would essentially ruin Huawei’s laptop business, as all of Huawei’s laptops run on the Windows operating system.
Google is also restricting Huawei’s access to Google Play, the primary app store for the Android mobile operating system, although Google put its Android suspension on hold on Tuesday. Without Google Play, Huawei smartphones would inevitably be significantly less appealing to the global market, and the company’s position as the second- or third-biggest smartphone maker would be in serious jeopardy.
Huawei could develop its own computer operating system, as it’s doing for its smartphones.
Still, even if Huawei develops its own operating systems for computers and mobile devices, consumers won’t get access to the apps they’re used to. Without the apps they want, consumers aren’t likely to buy Huawei devices.
Separate apps need to be developed for individual operating systems, and it’s unlikely that many popular app makers would make their apps available for Huawei’s own mobile operating system. US-based app makers, for example, likely wouldn’t be allowed to do business with Huawei under the terms of the US sanctions against the company.
Huawei devices running the company’s own operating systems might be a solution in China, where apps from companies like Google are already banned, but the rest of the world probably wouldn’t want Huawei devices without popular apps people already know and love.
Richard Yu, Huawei’s head of consumer electronics, summed it up best when he told The Information that the company is going through “really a very tough time.”