SAN FRANCISCO – Microsoft has asked chipmakers that want to use the next version of Windows for tablets to work with no more than one computer manufacturer, three people with knowledge of the plan said.

Chipmakers and computer makers that agree to the terms will get incentives from Microsoft in exchange for accepting the restrictions, which tie a single chipmaker to one tablet design, said the people, who declined to be identified because the new program hasn’t been made public.

Seeking to limit variations may help Microsoft speed the delivery of new Windows tablets by keeping tighter control over partners and accelerating development and testing. Though the program isn’t mandatory, the restrictions may impede chip and computer makers from building a variety of Windows-based models to vie with Apple’s iPad, the people said. In past versions of Windows software, chipmakers could work with multiple computer manufacturers.

Under the plan being proposed by Microsoft, a given chipmaker would have to ally itself with a single PC manufacturer in order to qualify for certain incentives. Those may include features that ensure the device runs better or lower prices for the software, one of the people said.

Acer Chief Executive Officer and Chairman J.T. Wang, in an interview Tuesday at the Computex trade show in Taipei, said Microsoft was trying to set limits on other companies. He didn’t specify the restrictions.

“They’re really controlling the whole thing, the whole process,” Wang said of Microsoft. “They try to set the game rules,” he said, and chip suppliers and PC makers “all feel it’s very troublesome.”

This is the first time Microsoft has produced a Windows operating system that works with ARM Holdings’s technology, increasing the number of potential chip suppliers.

Still, the rules may constrain chipmakers’ ability to have their products featured in a range of devices. Computer makers whose designs aren’t chosen may be left out, one of the people said.