Microsoft Vows to Support Huawei PCs

Posted on June 24, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile, Windows 10 with 29 Comments

Microsoft says that a U.S. blacklisting of Huawei will not prevent it from supplying the firm’s PC with software updates going forward.

“We remain committed to providing exceptional customer experiences,” a Microsoft statement notes. “Our initial evaluation of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision on Huawei has indicated we may continue to offer Microsoft software updates to customers with Huawei devices.”

There are no more details beyond this statement, but I take that to mean both monthly cumulative updates—which include both bug and security fixes—as well as feature updates, which are major version upgrades.

Joining Microsoft, microprocessor giant Intel also voiced support for Huawei, noting that it will likewise provide security and driver updates to Huawei PCs going forward too.

The problem, of course, is that Huawei can’t sell any new PC models going forward unless the U.S. blacklist is rescinded. And that can’t happen until the United States proves that Huawei is no longer a national security risk. Just kidding: All it has to do is reach an agreement in the ongoing trade war with China.

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “Microsoft Vows to Support Huawei PCs”

  1. jimchamplin

    This trade war can go straight to hell, along with its masterminds. The people and small businesses that are being hurt should be compensated directly from the pockets of those who hope to profit from it.

    Edit: Brevity.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      So go pressure China to make a deal. I for one am tired of China screwing US companies out of their technology.

      • markld

        In reply to lvthunder:

        China's growth as an economic power is a tainted phenomenonal story. The economic engine as it is today had a lot of governmental help, and "help" in the form of tremendous downright theft, copying, reverse engineering, spying, etc... to get where they are today. Not saying in every case, but in an huge amount of cases. They knew what they had to do and did it, despite being copying, theft, stealing, etc...

        When Japan was an economic power just a few years ago I applauded them because they did it unlike how China has done it. Japan was ethical, Made in Japan, meant something. Well unlike made in China today.

        I hear the word xenophobic thrown around, even by Paul, like if we want China to behave differently then we are xenophobic.

        I hear about who copied what and everybody copies this and that, like it's an to excuse to what China has done.

        In my mind, they knew they weren't going to achieve their economic goals without what they did. So they stole, screwed, spied, their way to the top.

        • Nonmoi

          In reply to Markld:

          Funny you bring up Japan.

          Its not like we (the US) had actively undermined and destroyed the Japanese semiconductor industry and putting Japanese car industry on the forefront of the trade war for so many years or anything, ever, right?

          Its also not like we had forced and bribed Japan (with formal independent country of Okinawa) into reevaluated its currency, left it with bunch zombie corporations and 20 years of stagnation, right?

          It is definitely not us who were calling them the Japan Inc. and portray its people as faceless, emotionless robots, right?

          We will never stood that low, and discriminate against others, especially Asians base on their race, right? What is Rock Spring massacre? What is Massacre of 1871? What is Tacoma riot of 1885? What is Seattle riot of 1886? What is Pacific Coast race riots of 1907? What are WWII Japanese interment camps? What is Chinese Exclusion Acts? What is Asian Exclusion Act? It's not like we ever experienced periods of intensive or minor racism against Asians through out our history when they gain economic power either domestically or internationally, right? And even if we did, that are all in the past, as we all civilized people that don't see color, 300 million heads of color blindness, right? Hey, its not like we never had of a president of color, once, and that must resolved all the past, current and future racial tensions of the country, right?

          • pargon

            In reply to Nonmoi:

            So we are all racist, xenophobic....deplorable because of awful things that happened that no one is alive to remember? Sounds about right. Which Democrat I mean socialist do you want to win the primary?

            Every country has done bad things. If you don't value your own people above others then you aren't a country, you're the next target to be invaded, used and replaced by those who want to prosper.

          • markld

            In reply to Nonmoi:

            Still think my original comment stands: "China's growth as an economic power is a tainted phenomenonal story. The economic engine as it is today had a lot of governmental help, and "help" in the form of tremendous downright theft, copying, reverse engineering, spying, etc... to get where they are today"

            • wright_is

              In reply to Markld:

              And the US stealing patented ideas or turning a blind eye, until the US was a manufacturing power and suddenly needed to protect their own patents?

              The growing demands that China be punished by tariffs is ironic – since it was actually the theft of intellectual property from Great Britain that served as a linchpin of manufacturing strategy for the United States.


  2. Thom77

    The inability to get the non stop bloatware updates from Microsoft would actually be a selling point for buying a Huawei PC at this point.

  3. mark-swiss

    Following statement only valid in US: "The problem, of course, is that Huawei can’t sell any new PC models going forward unless the U.S. blacklist is rescinded."

    This is important. As you can currently see, blacklisting supports Huawei's mobile sales outside the United States.

  4. wright_is

    Makes sense, at the end of the day, it is the user who has the license to use Windows, not Huawei. Huawei is just the middle-man, they buy the licenses from Microsoft to put on their machines and the license transfers to the customer when they purchase / first run the new PC.

  5. pargon

    The site has really gone downhill with the constant political posts and quips. I'm sure much of your base loves it, people who work for tech firms live on the west coast predominantly, but not everything needs to be politicized. Everyone knows your stance on Huawei. While I can respect your opinion on the matter the first time I read it, does it have to be included in every article? We get it, you don't like Trump, you love China, love president for life, love Chinese companies stealing technology, love them manufacturing all our goods we buy, love that we have so many low paying jobs.

    Your comment isn't a simple jab. At a certain point you're just rather anti american and you rail about it constantly.

    I'm seriously considering dropping the premium membership next time it's up. This site is less news now and more echochamber. I enjoy voting with my wallet and I used to like you a lot, which is why I subscribed 2 years in a row, it all changed when Trump started his campaign and you lost your composure.

    I don't want to dump your subscription, you seem to be a very nice guy with a nice family, but this is a serious question. Why the constant need to politicize everything? Why drive away revenue for the site? I know I'm not the only one.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Pargon:
      At a certain point you're just rather anti american and you rail about it constantly.

      No, he isn't anti-American (although America with a small "a" could be considered to be un-American), he is just pointing out the current administrations lack of consistency, they called Huawei a national security risk, then 5 minutes later announced that if a trade agreement with China could be agreed upon, Huawei would be removed from the list. If they are a national security risk, a trade agreement with China cannot change its status. So either they were telling porkies* when they claimed it was a national security issue or they were telling porkies when they said that after a trade agreement with China that they could start trading again.

      * English, Cockney Rhyming-Slang: Porky (plural porkies) = Pork Pie = Lie)

      • pargon

        In reply to wright_is:

        Trump says things all the time without thinking of the repercussions.

        Fact is that Chinese tech firms have been on a list for a very long time. Huawei is a threat to national security. Trump isn't the one that puts them on the list, intelligence agencies do.

        I served on a submarine and we were constantly worried about Chinese spying. They have software now that when you think you turn your phone off it just silences it and blanks the screen. The phone will record anything it hears and send back recordings to Chinese servers. We banned cell phones on the submarine...had to leave them topside in a steel box.

        Imagine what will happen if we let China make the chips and the software. It's not just that huawei may write code that is a security threat but who is accountable to ensure the thing doesn't get hacked by bad actors?

        It'd be nice to go somewhere on the internet and not have political opinions in everything. Paul is free to do what he wants, and I'm free and more and more likely to cancel supporting him.

        Especially when he has no idea what he's talking about. Huawei is a threat and so is Chinese tech firms in general gaining acceptance here. Just like Google is to China, whether that's mean to say or not, it's true

        • wright_is

          In reply to Pargon:
          Trump says things all the time without thinking of the repercussions.

          Which is a totally horrendous admission. He is supposedly the "leader of the free World", as the US press likes to call America. Nothing that he communicates should be written or uttered without thinking of the repercussions.

          That is his bloody job description! That is what he is supposed to do, engage brain before opening mouth!

          They have software now that when you think you turn your phone off it just silences it and blanks the screen.

          This has been known for years, at least that the TLAs in most Western countries could do this. This isn't something some Chinese company came up with. A lot of phone can be hacked to do this, even before smartphones became popular. If you are that worried, you shouldn't use any device with a microphone.

          but who is accountable to ensure the thing doesn't get hacked by bad actors?

          The same is true for American technology. Only it has been proven that bad actors (NSA, CIA etc.) have intercepted kit and added their own spyware goodness to it.

  6. pargon

    China has a 100 year plan to become the world super power and destroy American Life. Their president just named himself president for life recently. All of the things Paul is so afraid of Trump doing is happening in China. And yet we're the idiots for not wanting to welcome China's largest companies to deploy infrastructure here.

    It's amazing he's so brain washed by the coastal elites that he really thinks it's just trade war stuff. The navy had all these fears about China and Telecom spying in 2013 while I served during the Obama administration!! This has been a long time coming. They have been installing backdoors on devices not made in China, letting them sell critical components for networks all over the country makes no sense.

  7. paradyne

    WIndows is not Android, the updates to Windows don't have to go to Huawei to be incorporated in their custom build of Windows because there isn't one. The updates are going directly to users who just happen to be using a Huawei pc. Microsoft does not have to deal with Huawei for this.

  8. Dashrender

    How is this different from google then?

    at minimum, google should be able to supply security updates for their phones, if not also full upgrades. The main place I could see them stimied is selling new android licenses to them for new devices, but current users should be fine.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Dashrender:

      Because Windows is independent of the hardware. The manufacturer provides the drivers for Windows (and in this case, Intel provide a majority of the hardware, Huawei is essentially responsible for the firmware, the glue holding everything together, whilst Intel provides the drivers for its hardware and Microsoft the updates for Windows itself.

      With Android, Google releases the updates to AOSP and the manufacturers and they have to build those into their own custom image. Google has little to nothing to do with the updates for third party hardware.

  9. Bats

    Lol... This is funny. Microsoft announced this?

    Microsoft has to. They have to support they're product is they are going to sell it.

  10. F4IL

    Huawei notebooks are top shelf.

  11. Daekar

    So... it seems that the blacklisting doesn't affect supplying updates, since everyone is going to be doing that. Let's be clear here, this isn't Microsoft bravely taking a stand for any particular warm and fuzzy principle, this is good business sense spun to get some nice PR from parts of the population.

    You can bet your buns that if they weren't allowed to do this, they wouldn't be.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Daekar:

      No, the point is, the Windows on the PC is licensed to the user, not Huawei - Huawei buy the license and transfer the title to the customer who bought it. As Microsoft provides the updates directly, they can't really block them. They could, for example, block updates going to official Huawei IP-addresses, although I doubt they would.

      They will also not be allowed to sell Huawei licenses going forward - although, theoretically (if Huawei can get the hardware components), you could buy a Huawei PC without Windows, put your own, licensed version on the PC and it would get updates.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to Daekar:

      Of course, but there are people spreading misinformation around like crazy.

  12. fuzzsdad

    My belief? Their government steals whatever isn't nailed down. Their government hacks whatever isn't hack proof. Their government can not be trusted. One large Chinese telecom has already plead guilty to charges similar to those leveled against Huawei. Huawei was founded and is still run by a man who was a high ranking Chinese military official. His family is still running that company. The Chinese law that mandates company's there to cooperate with the government in its endeavors relating to foreign espionage and counterintelligence is a huge problem to their credibility. They have already been caught lying about Iran and transferring our technology to the Iranians contrary to US law. Not Donald Trumps law. US law made by our representatives. They should be blacklisted. We should stand up for ourselves and stop being walked all over. I don't care how good their stuff is. They probably stole it from someone else. Why you would stick up for them? I don't know. This is what we know they did. What don't we know? Like an iceberg. It's that government over there. Not the people. They will steal everything we have if they can get away with it. I don't care if our law is right or wrong. You want to do business in our country you must comply with our laws. Would the Chinese government give you a break? Get real. Don't be sheep to the slaughter.

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