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Tablet maker BAK USA switches from Android to Windows 10

A Buffalo, New York-based tablet maker, BAK USA, has announced a new partnership with Microsoft. BAK is now an official Microsoft OEM and will make tablets using Windows 10 after previously making devices using Android.

According to Microsoft, BAK is the only company that assembles tablets in the U.S. It was founded in 2014 by Danish electronics entrepreneur JP Bak, with the goal of creating jobs to help the economy of Buffalo. According to The Buffalo News:

"The partnership gave BAK entree into Microsoft's network, gave it instant credibility in the marketplace, and allowed the company to bring its newest tablet, the Seal 8, to market with incredible speed. Microsoft partner engineers in China worked alongside the BAK development team to produce the technology, Microsoft-vetted partners manufactured the parts, and BAK was able to assemble a finished product in Buffalo in just five months."

The new tablets will be rugged in design and will be priced starting at $450. BAK USA currently employs 32 people in Buffalo and can make 5,000 tablets in a month, with the capability to make as much as 40,000 tablets a month if the demand increases.

103 Comments
  • I know it is rather petty and all but I like these sort of small victories for Microsoft :) Sent using Windows Central for Windows 10 on my Lumia 1520
  • And "made in America" with the expressed intent on providing employment in Buffalo... that's great.
  • I live in Buffalo and had no idea that company even existed!! 
  • Is Buffalo a 200-people community?
  • The city of Buffalo has close to 300,000 people.
  • I don't mean to sound pedantic, but they can only claim to be assembled in America (as they do) because "made in in America" means that a certain percentage of the product has to be U.S-made (something like 60-75% I believe) whereas none of the parts in these tablets are made in the U.S.
  • Yeah, the article kinda obviates any question that parts aren't entirely made in the US when it speaks of MS helping with suppliers... We know all those parts can't be made in the US, and that's pretty much standard for a lot of American made items. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ROJO > ARLINGTON, TX > LUMIA 1520 ≥ 950... WAITING FOR 6.2" SURFACE PHONE
  • From the article: "BAK is the only company that assembles tablets in the U.S" I don't think it mentions anything about parts being made in the US. Sent from my Windows 10 PC.
  • You should read into why China has the monopoly with parts. It has to do with minerals used in electronics and them having the biggest stash and equipment to get at it.
  • Really?... Wow! That's interesting. Never thought of that.. Do you have a link? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ROJO > ARLINGTON, TX > LUMIA 1520 ≥ 950... WAITING FOR 6.2" SURFACE PHONE
  • So lazy ;) first hit on bing. http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/04/15/chinas-rare-earth-metal...
  • Now, if you could only C&P that into my browser for me? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ROJO > ARLINGTON, TX > LUMIA 1520 ≥ 950... WAITING FOR 6.2" SURFACE PHONE
  • It's not just that, though. They have much cheaper labor and because of that they have created the infrastructure needed to make the parts. It would take a lot more than the raw materials for the U.S. to be able to produce its own computer parts on a large scale.
  • On another note.... If BAK can make a tablet, then they can make a phone. I bet MS is working on one with them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ROJO > ARLINGTON, TX > LUMIA 1520 ≥ 950... WAITING FOR 6.2" SURFACE PHONE
  • But since these are Windows tablets, they are likely powered by an Intel x86 CPU and since Intel has it's own foundries in the US, that means a very significant part of the tablet, the chipset is manufactured in the US.
  • Now that you mention it, BAK should make a x86 phone... Thanks for bringing that up. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ROJO > ARLINGTON, TX > LUMIA 1520 ≥ 950... WAITING FOR 6.2" SURFACE PHONE
  • Fabs for the Atom are Malaysian I believe.
  • This might sound tiny, but I like the steady sort of momentum MS is gaining with it's ecosystem. It seems to have a sort of direction, finally.
  • What's Android?
  • It's a Nexus 6.
    And it has to be...Retired...
  • There's only two things that Windows based tablets can do.. Either fail miserably, or climb the ladder... They aren't failing miserably. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ROJO > ARLINGTON, TX > LUMIA 1520 ≥ 950... WAITING FOR 6.2" SURFACE PHONE
  • They aren't climbing either. Your hypothesis is wrong. They could fail due to not climbing fast enough. They could remain at their current market share and not climb. There are all sorts of ways Windows tablets can fail, not just miserably. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I say it's a win/win/win situation, not petty at all. It was companies like this that helped build the nation. Now with Microsoft's help, they could win numerous governmental contracts.
  • Nothing can compare to full Windows... Well, apps would be nice, but for these struggling OEM's full Windows is their best bet. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ROJO > ARLINGTON, TX > LUMIA 1520 ≥ 950... WAITING FOR 6.2" SURFACE PHONE
  • There are probably a couple of million of "apps" for the Windows ecosystem. Maybe tens of millions. Sent from my Windows 10 PC.
  • Pertaining to tablets?... Mobile apps are probably even more critical, for the average consumer. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ROJO > ARLINGTON, TX > LUMIA 1520 ≥ 950... WAITING FOR 6.2" SURFACE PHONE
  • You can use both mobile and regular apps. Sent from my Windows 10 PC.
  • Can you, really????????⛽
    ....
    That would be a good argument, but Windows is severely lacking mobile apps... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ROJO > ARLINGTON, TX > LUMIA 1520 ≥ 950... WAITING FOR 6.2" SURFACE PHONE
  • So use "real" apps. Sent from my Windows 10 PC.
  • Can you find me one for Insteon that works at least the same as the one on Android. Including your real apps? - Posted via W10M device
  • According to the Insteaon Product page it has support for: "Free iOS, Android, Windows and Windows Phone apps." Forget the phone app, though. It lists Windows as an application platform, meaning that any Windows tablet or pc device has support.
  • Does this mean it is time for everyone to start abandoning Android? We know that if one unheard of company with few sales stops creating Windows devices it is a sign of Microsoft's complete and total failure and time to switch to some other OS, so the same would hold true here too, right?
  • No its just smaller OEMs really cant compete with odm devices in Androids ecosystem
  • Well, if we go by the logic of some of the commenters here; Yes. :) Sent from my Windows 10 PC.
  • BTW, where is our local Android fanboy who likes to tell us how Windows is doomed, Android is the future and all everyone needs? Getting a bit worried, this article has been up for 40 minutes and he/she/it is not here to defend their precious Android.
  • Is this the only manufacturer Microsoft can get to make tablets? They obviously failed with Android, the biggest platform in the market. What are the chances they will be have any luck Windows, by far the smallest platform in the market. It certainly didn't work out for Nokia when they did the same. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Because there is more opportunity in Windows market. Android market is saturated. - Posted via W10M device
  • Isn't that exactly what Nokia said?
  • Nokia would have died faster trying to compete with Samsung for Android marketshare.
  • Or, being one of the premier phone manufacturers at the time, they could have challenged Samsung. They at least had a shot and either way they have to compete with them. Lumias are still on the shelf next to Gakaxy phones. Going Windows Phone only was effectively tying their hands behind their back. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I don't think you realize how horribly strapped they were at the time. On their own they would have had maybe one flagship device to turn the ship around. Could it have worked? Maybe. But it's a crazy risk, and it may still not have paid off. The Microsoft partnership infused them with cash and kept them afloat for several more years despite low sales. At the time, MS seemed like the better option. For all we know it still was the better option.  
  • "They obviously failed with Android" How do you know they failed with Android? Maybe they just wanted more, and decided that Android couldn't deliver like Windows.
  • If Android was successful for them, they why would they leave it?
  • Dude, no one needs to defend Android... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Because it's indefensible.
  • Well, according to how some commenters seem to think... Yes. This means Android is doomed. Sent from my Windows 10 PC.
  • This company should be supported by Americans
  • Yes 100%  
  • Another arm based Android OEM to ruin intels reputation?
  • Well, as I always say, a tablet with Windows 10 it's still a full computer, whereas a tablet with Android/iOS is just a tablet.
  • Exactly
    That's why I've been holding off buying a tablet and waiting for a windows device that has a nice price tag where i live Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I have been holding off buying a Windows tablet because of 2 universal Windows apps - Kindle and Safari Books Online. I also want the tablet to be an 8" tablet.
  • If you don't need GPS and are OK with a 1280 by 800 resolution then check into Winbook. I have their 10 inch tablet and it's surprisingly zippy and an overall solid tablet.
  • I prefer Windows on a decent sized tablet but I'd be lying if I said that Android wasn't capable and more comfortable to use on smaller tablets. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I thought all Danish entrepreneurs were in Bacon?? Good to see a smaller firm, employing locals. These are the people that should be supported. Maybe not Made in USA, but assembled, by real people, in the US deserves the support. Big thumbs up from the other side of the pond.
  • I'm not sure they are in bacon, but they might make some bacon selling this? Sent from my Windows 10 PC.
  • Mmmm, bacon.
  • I ❤ bacon This comment was posted on Windows Central for Windows 10 UWP.
  • But but but, Tim Cook told us that Americans lack the skills for these jobs.
  • Did he say that? Apple assembles their desktops in the U.S.
  • They assemble their Mac Pro computers in the US, not all desktops. Apple does not break down numbers between iMac, Mac Mini, or Mac Pro (even though the Apple fanboys demand Microsoft break down the number of m3, i5, and i7 Surface Pros sold, if you ask for numbers from Apple it means you are a hater) so we have no idea how many that may be. They could have three people standing around waiting for an order to be made so they can get something to do for all we know.
  • I actually forgot they made desktops other than the Mac Pros.
  • Americans have the skills to assemble the components. They don't have the skills to manufacturer the components. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • What's the tablet like? The Windows Central Universal Application for Windows 10 Mobile on a Nokia Lumia 830
  • Took a look at their website. They make a rugged tablet, laptop, a two in one and are still in the process of turning out an 8 inch consumer tablet. All with good design
  • Yeah... I didn't expect such good design. And the homepage is also very nice. Seems like a company to watch in the future. :) Sent from my Windows 10 PC.
  • You're right, I just checked their site out. The two in one looks nice ;)
  • good luck to them that is good news.
  • News like this always brings a smile to my face. :)
  • The more partners the better! It doesn't matter how small or large the partner may be. The important thing is that Microsoft and its partners have a successful partnership by offering products the consumer wants and enjoys. Cheers.
  • Tablets should be Windows 10 Mobile. Windows 10 is to touch clunky to be used on a fully, solely touch device.
  • Samuel L Jackson there, assembling BAK tablets Posted on a L950XL with Fingers 10
  • Maybe if all black people looked alike...
  • Not at all. You can't deny he has Jackson's look. Posted on a L950XL with Fingers 10
  • I thought the guy was Muslim (at first glance )
  • Do you know who Samuel Jackson is? Or have you visited your optometrist lately? :)
  • I love the way people look for racism in everything. If he'd have been a white guy and I'd said, "he looks like Steve Martin", no one would have had any problem, except for agreeing or disagreeing. But oh no, he's a black guy and he is saying they all look the same. Jesus. IMO his facial features are more akin to Jackson, or as John says, Fishburne than Jay Z or Will Smith or Obama for example. Wow, four black guys that look different, who'd have thought it. Move on.
  • I thought it was Lawrence Fishburne. ;-)
  • I'm black... He looks nothing like him but I understand why you think so. I'm from the Caribbean and all white people look alike to me too. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That is inaccurate. All races have more trouble telling others apart than their own but it's certainly not the case that all black people look the same to me and I can see some resemblance to Samuel L Jackson in the picture. Noone is going to genuinely mistake one for the other but there are some similarities. It's much like when you can see that two people are related even though they are easily distinguishable. It may well be that the similarities in this case don't seem as pronounced to a black person who is more likely to see the differences in black faces than a white person is but the similarities are there.
  • Also, it's quite possible that the resemblance is only from a particular angle. Often times you can, for instance, look at two people in profile and they look similar but the effect disappears when they're facing you. In this case too, When I see the full picture there is less resemblance than if the top of the picture is cropped.
  • Raining hardware !!!
  • Jobs in America, nice to see!
  • Where are the Windows Mobile tablets?  Can somebody make it already?
  • Where is the OS?
  • Um, the OS is RTM already. There are a number of Windows 10 Mobile devices already out there. What's taking time is for older devices to be upgraded from Windows Phone. As such, your argument, such as it is, holds no water.
  • Good luck.
  • That's an incredibly persuasive argument.
  • Oh god, one more company ruined, if it's Windows 10 PC then fine!
  • It is. http://bakusa.com/products/seal-8/
  • I think we'll see more of this as OEMs struggle to make money with wafer-thin margins on Android devices. Windows tablets are gaining in popularity and may well be seen as a better money-making proposition than Android.  Of course, that's just until competition does the same to Windows prices. Hopefully some of this interest will rub off on the phone sector for Windows, but I think that any genuine turnaround for Windows on phones is rather long-term affair.
  • Hi Windows Central staff. Please review the Seal 8 tablet :)
  • Can they make some bloody WP phones too, so that WP doesnt die... Im so concerned for the phones, dangit.
  • Wp is already gone. No one can save it now.
  • Yes there's Windows 10 Mobile! so Windowsphone is about to be gone. Windows 10 Mobile is the new rising sun! ^^
  • Now that's Optimism! Yes as long as I have the live tiles going on, is giving a synced feeling of Oneness on all my devices; im down. Lets hope the Surface Phones are not TOO much towards enterprise and serves a general consumers' needs too. Hopefully, after just some daily app gap e.g. Snapchat and some bank apps. It should be proper. Dont care about garbage apps and games - we have an Xbox for that lol.
  • Ahh.. Yeah, still trying not to get my hopes up. Love the live tile and all.
  • Jyada bak bak mat kar. :P
  • Lol, Desi Boys!!! :D
  • Makes sense! W10 in tablet can run Win32 programs! Android cannot do that in tablets! :D I never myself wasn't even thinking about getting tablet before I knew there's full Windows in tablets!
  • Sp3 is serving me well bro. Now waiting for SB2.
  • I don't want to sound down, but if I do the math, 1 person makes 8 tablets in a day. That seems low. 5000 tablets / 32 employees / 4 weeks / 5 days = 7.8 tablets per day per employee. That's less than 1 per hour on an 8 hour shift. Maybe they are testing them as well? It looks like 1 piece flow from the picture, which is good. How can the make 5,000 in a month, but then have capabilities to make 40,000 in a month? Maybe they have the ability/space to hire 6X the current number of employees. Seemed confusing to me.
  • I think it is great to have a cottage industry in Buffalo making good tablets. Simply excellent. Using windows 10 is probably a good differentiator which will lead to more traction in the market for them, again good news and likely a smart move. But seriously, I much prefer Android or iOS to windows 10 on a tablet. My wife has a surface 3 and I find the thing a mess compared to a mature dedicated tablet platform. I will not be buying another Windows 10 tablet again. As the volumes that they need to shift to brake even as relatively small, they will find enough customers, I am sure, who want windows 10 enough to pay the premium for a USA assembled product. This is and will remain a niche product. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android