Microsoft has told TechRadar that its choice of laptops for its recently launched Windows Collection has not been biased by commercial pressures.
The Windows Collection includes 10 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), with Sony, HP, Acer. Toshiba, Dell (and Alienware), Packard Bell, Asus, Lenovo and Samsung joined by Scan.
Of the 30 laptops only three have AMD processors, and some of those included – the Toshiba Satellite C660 for instance – have not garnered particularly good reviews.
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But, UK MD of consumer and online, Ashley Highfield, has insisted that the inevitable cynicism over the process of choosing the laptops is misplaced, with Microsoft's focus on selling more Windows PCs generally and raising the profile of good machines.
"The proof of the pudding will be in the eating," Highfield told TechRadar. "We want to sell more machines so picking ones that aren't the best in their categories would be a strange thing to do.
"The consumer may well be somewhat interested in the specs but they often just want to know 'is this the one that will suit my needs'.
"I think we may well have gotten too obsessed, along with the OEMs about the spec which is a bit nerdy – and not enough about aesthetics, what it's designed for and how does it work."
Say for certain
Microsoft's UK head of Windows, Leila Martine, insisted that corporate benchmarking and then the UK team's opinions were what brought the choices.
"I can certainly say that the way we have chosen these machines are not based on any commercial agreements," she stated.
"It doesn't matter to us because any one of these that sells over and above we get the same licence fee across any of those."
"Part of whole process is what OEMs are sharing with us in terms of innovation. Obviously, we have to actually see the machine in order to consider it.
"I think we have a pretty good range everything, not everything is right at the top of the price range."