Linked by timl on Sun 5th Jun 2011 16:25 UTC
Microsoft "Microsoft and Nvidia have an agreement in place that spells out terms relating to a possible acquisition of the graphics and mobile processor manufacturer, regulatory documents indicate. The deal gives Microsoft the exclusive right to match any offer for 30% or more of Nvidia's outstanding shares by a third-party." The agreement appears to be over 10 years old, dating back to the time of the contract for the GPU of the original X-Box. It has likely gained relevance again now that Microsoft allegedly wants to more closely control hardware of tablets running its upcoming Windows 8 OS.
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RE: yeah... no.
by timl on Sun 5th Jun 2011 20:31 UTC in reply to "yeah... no."
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What piques my interest is that the agreement is still in effect, and even seems to be open-ended.

I find it perfectly understandable that Microsoft would have wanted some insurance for the availability of a key part of the Xbox, which at the time was a huge investment. The horror scenario for Microsoft must have been Sony buying Nvidia, and cutting them off. But such an agreement far outlasting the expected lifetime of the product in question seems a bit strange to me, let alone an indefinite one.

So I wouldn't be surprised if even back then, Microsoft also had some other, more strategic motives for this agreement. Perhaps nothing very concrete yet, and almost certainly not envisaging the current landscape of smartphones and tablets. But the fact remains that, even if they don't actively want to acquire Nvidia, they can certainly still prevent others from gaining a strong foothold within that company.

So in selecting Tegra 2 as one of the "sanctioned" chipsets for Windows 8 tablets, they have chosen a platform that cannot be easily yanked away from them by competitors.

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