Honor, the phone unit sold by Huawei, announced on Thursday that it has signed an agreement with Microsoft and will use Windows 10 as its official laptop operating system across the globe.
This is the first time Honor, as an independent brand, has reached a strategic cooperation with a foreign party.
Honor said that the new generation of Honor MagicBook series products equipped with Microsoft Windows 10 will be launched in China in January 2021. The Honor notebook MagicBook Pro equipped with Microsoft Windows 10 and Intel Core i5 processors will land in overseas markets in January.
"Honor is very pleased to reach a global cooperation with Microsoft. Through mainstream operating systems and technologies, we will bring consumers PC products with outstanding design, powerful performance and first-class experience. Honor insists on taking consumers as the core and maintaining a fully open attitude and will work together with global industrial chain partners to create a new world of wisdom for everyone," Honor CEO Zhao Ming said.
Huawei sold its budget smartphone unit Honor in middle November to a Chinese consortium of over 30 agents and dealers to ensure the brand's survival after the Trump administration cut off the Chinese tech giant's access to global technology suppliers.
Analysts said previously that it's likely that the sale will enable Honor to use US affiliated technology and software such as Google, and there's also a possibility that Honor can regain shares that Huawei lost in its overseas market.
PCs developed by Huawei are still allowed to use Microsoft's Windows system, but it's facing risks of a total cut off. And Huawei's high-end smartphone businesses are also in danger due to a US chip cut.
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said previously that he hoped Honor would become Huawei's strongest global competitor and even surpass it in the future.
Meanwhile, he urged Honor to embrace globalization, including enterprises from countries and regions like the UK, the US and South Korea. "Being a tech power, the US has many excellent companies. You should be courageous and cooperate with them," he said.
Honor recorded revenues of about 90 billion yuan in 2019, with net profits of some 6 billion yuan. Honor brand's revenue accounted for between 15 to 17 percent of the total revenues of Huawei's consumer business group and about 8 to 9 percent of the company's total revenue.
It's not clear yet whether US chip giant Qualcomm can now resume supplying Honor, while Qualcomm has previously voiced willingness to talk and cooperate with Honor in some sectors, according to media reports.