With all this talk of Microsoft handicapping OEM's a question begs to be anwered.
Now Microsoft's only other relevant competitor that licenses out its operating system, in this case for free to use on PC/Post-PC etc. whatever devices is Google with their Android OS.
We know that pretty much all Asian OEM's have now tried and still release Android powered tablets. The fact that Android was not able to put a dent in Apple's tablet dominance is irrelevant, the fact remains that these OEM's have invested a lot of money and effort to bring out Android powered devices. Now Ol' Goog has gone and released a premium 7" Nexus branded tablet that is extremely under-priced, in fact rumoured to sell below cost price. Now it's a no brainer to realize that no other Android tablet from any other OEM can compete with it, by doing so Google literally pissed on the ashes of their OEM partners Android tablets that sell for over $250.
Microsoft on the other hand is rumoured to make surface competitively priced, even slightly higher than that of OEM's offerings and talk of it hitting OEM's below the belt never stops, where as Google arguably has done much worse with the Nexus 7.
What can we divulge from all these recent product releases by both Microsoft and Google is that the smaller, less competent and capable OEM's are screwed! Whilst the bigger ones will have to up their game considerably and pump out quality, industrial design influenced goods, cutting their profit margins further, at least initially. Otherwise neither Android nor Windows will treat them kindly in the market. They could go with Linux but who's going to make the ecosystem and will the price difference justify the downgrade to such an ecosystem deprived OS?
Take your picks, which OEM's live and which go bust in the next few years.
Some that come to mind: HP: Lives and prospers Asus: Lives and prospers Acer: Recent W8 product designs look great. May live through. LG: Lives and struggles ViewSonic: Dies Vizio: Lives and struggles Nokia: Lives and prospers HTC: Lives and struggles Samsung: Lives and prospers Sony: Nearly dies, reborn as even smaller OEM, terminates many divisions. Nec, Panasonic, pioneer, Toshiba: Either merge shop or die off, may even merge with Sony. Premium hi-fi component manufacturers: Rotel, Marantz,Harman kardon etc. either die off or become even more niche and less profitable as the lounge becomes software\hardware giants territory and extension of ecosystem.