Bloomberg is reporting this afternoon that longtime Microsoft partner HTC was denied permission to develop one of the initial round of Windows RT tablets coming later this year because it "doesn't sell enough devices or have ample experience making tablets," the publication's sources say. HTC apparently expressed interest in delivering a tablet with a "customized home screen" — along the lines of Sense, we'd assume — and Microsoft refused, a tack it's taken with Windows Phone so far.

Speaking of Windows Phone, Bloomberg's report makes no mention of Windows Phone 8, and there's no reason to assume at this point that this rumor has anything to do with HTC's next-generation phones. It's easy to see why HTC would've expressed interest in stepping up to a proper Windows RT tablet, though, considering its limited success with Android tablets and the common belief that Nokia has one (or more) Windows 8 / Windows RT products in the pipeline. The report goes on to say that HTC might still be involved in a second salvo of Windows products coming next year, but 2012 may be out.

Update: HTC has issued a statement that avoids mention of the situation, focusing attention on its Windows Phone products — in other words, there's no denial that Bloomberg's report is accurate.

HTC has sold more than 40 million Windows Phones over the last ten years and we are committed to future versions of Microsoft's Windows Phone platform more than ever.