Update June 24: Microsoft has promised to continue to support Huawei laptops with software updates. Similarly, Intel told PCWorld that it would push out security and driver updates to systems using Intel chips.
“We remain committed to providing exceptional customer experiences,” a Microsoft spokesperson told PCWorld. “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.”
Well, this is a pleasant surprise. Just when we thought Huawei was done selling laptops in the U.S., a number of MateBook products resurfaced in the Microsoft Store.
A few weeks ago, Microsoft quietly yanked Huawei laptops from its online store. Now those products have returned. Twitter user WalkingCat (via The Verge) spotted the MateBook 13, MateBook and the MateBook X Pro listed as available to purchase. Of those three, only the Core i5 version of the MateBook X Pro is "out of stock" at the time of writing.
But those notebooks might not be available for much longer. In a statement to The Verge, Microsoft said it was "resuming the sale of existing inventory of Huawei devices at Microsoft Store." While we don't know for sure, that phrasing suggests Microsoft won't be receiving any additional shipments once they've sold out.
Huawei undoubtedly makes some of the best Windows laptops on the market, but we're wary of recommending them, at least, not until the company can regain approval from the U.S. government. If Microsoft revokes Huawei's Windows 10 license, as Google did with Android, owners of its laptops could stop receiving critical software and security patches. Microsoft has not yet provided a statement on whether it plans to stop licensing its software to Huawei.
It did, however, yank Huawei laptops from its online store a few weeks ago without giving a reason. While a slew of other companies openly cut ties with Huawei over the past few weeks, Microsoft remained silent on the issue.
Finally, the software giant is providing some clarity into its actions via a statement to The Verge, "We have been evaluating, and will continue to respond to, the many business, technical and regulatory complexities stemming from the recent addition of Huawei to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations Entity List."
If you're not caught up on Huawei's nightmarish year, the company was placed on a blacklist by the U.S. Department of Commerce after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that forbids U.S. firms from using telecom hardware or software made by a company the government deems a security threat. As a result, the Chinese tech giant is rumored to be dialing down the production of MateBook laptops and is said to be releasing an ARM-based laptop this year instead of the flagship MateBook notebooks it had planned on launching.
If you really want a Huawei laptop and aren't worried about the company losing favor with Microsoft, then this might be the last time you can buy one for a long time. But don't say you haven't been warned.