Texas Instruments is AWOL from Windows RT fray

Two of three anointed chip manufacturers -- Qualcomm and Nvidia -- have serious representation in the early Windows RT lineup, but TI is nowhere to be seen

The Windows RT tablet entries are piling up and expected to make their debuts on Oct. 26 along with Windows 8. But one of the original ARM-based chip manufacturers has turned into a no-show. Without comment or any public confirmation that I can find, Texas Instruments simply isn't on the map.

Here are the Windows RT tablets I'm expecting to see on Oct. 26:

I haven't yet seen an official announcement from Lenovo, but there have been rumors for months that it will ship a Windows RT tablet with an Nvidia chip around General Availability time.

Back in June, Toshiba was scheduled to show at Computex in Taiwan a Windows RT tablet based on an unidentified TI chip. The demo unit sat behind a glass wall and didn't do anything. Tom's Hardware reported that "Toshiba apparently did not complete the devices in time for Computex as all three devices are shown to the public as non-working concepts."

On Aug. 13, the Building Windows 8 blog made it quite clear that TI was still a member of the pack. "We have achieved our goal of one Windows binary for all Windows RT SoC platforms from Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments," says the post, "each of which has developed innovative ARM CPUs that form the basis of a complete system."

Yet the same Windows 8 blog post goes on to list ARM-based hardware manufacturers -- and Toshiba is notably absent. "Along with Asus, we are excited to share that there will be ARM-based PC designs from Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung running Windows RT."

The same day, Toshiba released a statement that said it wouldn't have a Windows RT machine available on Oct. 26, and blamed delayed components "that would make a timely launch impossible." There's never been official confirmation as to which components have been delayed.

As the clock keeps ticking, no other hardware manufacturer has stepped in to fill Toshiba's shoes. As a result, Oct. 26 will likely come and go without any TI chip-based tablets in sight.

This story, "Texas Instruments is AWOL from Windows RT fray," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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