United States tech giant Microsoft has removed all references to Huawei’s flagship MateBook X Pro laptop from the Microsoft Store, suggesting that it will follow Google’s lead in cutting ties with the company.
A page titled “Buy Huawei Matebook X Pro Laptop” on the Microsoft Store now states “We are sorry, the page you requested cannot be found”.
This comes days after Google opted to restrict Huawei’s access to its Android operating system after the Chinese telecommunications company was placed on a trade blacklist by president Donald Trump, which is thought to be in response to a lack of progress in the ongoing US-China trade talks.
Huawei has come under fire from the US government in recent times over fears that its tech is used by the Chinese government to spy on foreign nations.
Microsoft has yet to issue a statement regarding the MateBook X Pro’s removal from its store. However, it seems likely that the Microsoft will be forced to comply with the trade ban.
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If that is the case, Huawei will likely lose access to Microsoft’s Windows operating system, which powers devices like the MateBook X Pro. Existing device owners would still be able to use their device, but Huawei would likely be forced to stop issuing Windows licenses, meaning an alternative operating system would have to be installed on the £1,500 device.
It is possible, however, that existing customers could stop receiving important updates that could put the security of their device at risk.
“This will be devastating for Huawei’s business out of China if this doesn’t get resolved,” Lynette Luna, consumer technology analyst at data and analytics firm GlobalData told Verdict in the wake of the Google ban. “It certainly puts pressure on China to reach a new trade agreement with the US and provide some clear assurances that Huawei is not a security threat.”
Microsoft Huawei ban was expected
While the US trade blacklist puts Huawei under increasing pressure, the Chinese tech giant has been preparing for this for some time.
In March, Huawei executive Richard Yu told German newspaper Die Welt that it has been developing a “plan B” for some time, despite preferring to “work with the ecosystems of Google and Microsoft”.
The company says it has developed operating systems to replace both the Android and Windows operating systems that it currently uses on its devices.
Verdict has approached Huawei for comment, but the company has yet to issue a statement regarding a potential Huawei Microsoft ban. However, in the wake of the Google ban the company pointed out that it had “made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world” and will “continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem in order to provide the best experience for all users globally”.