Microsoft is partnering with Honor to make one of the first Windows 11 laptops

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Chinese tech maker Honor has announced that it has partnered with Microsoft to develop AI and other end-user devices, while also revealing that the upcoming Honor MagicBook V 14 will be one of the first laptops to ship with Windows 11 installed.

Microsoft GCR Chairman and CEO Dr. Hou Yang said, “With the advent of hybrid work and ambient intelligence, customers are expecting greater convenience, security, and better interaction from their mobile computing devices, systems, and applications, both for work and at home.

“Microsoft hopes to accelerate the integrated development of software and hardware intelligence by continuously deepening and expanding our strategic collaboration with Honor to bring a richer end-user experience.”

An honorable deal

Honor, once a sub-brand of the popular Chinese manufacturer Huawei, was sold by its parent company back in 2020 to allow the company to “survive a difficult time”, but has seen some success since then. Now that it has escaped from Huawei’s shadow, Honor mobile devices have regained access to features like the widely used Google Play Store in the west that could give it an edge over its old parent company.

Honor will develop and adapt existing AI language and translation services based on Microsoft Azure to support Honor’s smart assistant YOYO. We’ll also see Microsoft and Honor work together to develop computer, laptop, and productivity applications that are likely to help support Honor’s ‘1 + 8 + N’ strategy (which is tied to ecosystem development) .

We’ve been waiting for news to find out which brands will be offering the first wave of Windows 11 laptops, and while we know there will be little shortage, we didn’t expect to see Honor at the top of the queue.

Earlier models in Honor’s MagicBook range like the MagicBook 14 (2021) and MagicBook Pro have proven to be a decent buy, and with a partnership with Microsoft now under our belt, we’ve seen some exciting developments in the computer hardware market as a result.


Analysis: is an ecosystem in the works?

A range of Apple Ecosystem products such as a MacBook, Apple Watch and iPhone

(Photo credit: Summery Networks)

If there’s one thing Chinese tech companies do well, it’s ecosystems. We rarely see it in the West, thanks to various blacklists from countries like the US and UK against companies like Huawei, but this is a company that has created a thriving ecosystem similar to Apple’s, with cloud databases, smartphones, computing devices and smartwatches .

Of course, other companies outside of Apple have made their own attempt to create a self-contained device bubble to attract consumers with varying degrees of success, but the efforts of Samsung and Google have failed against Apple’s accomplishments.

Microsoft is unlikely to put all of its eggs in one honor-shaped basket, but with the announcement that this partnership will develop AI and end-user devices, we could see other well-rounded ecosystems finally letting Apple run its money.

AI and smart devices are booming right now, and while Honor is not yet a household name in countries like the US, it is known in China for its developments in smart home technology. It will take a push from both sides to overcome the current cultural and political barriers, but any competition is welcome to avoid a monopoly on technology ecosystems.


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