Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The last chance for Microsoft Windows RT?

Windows RT sketch
The reports of the difficulties for the ARM based Microsoft Windows RT have been released frequently lately. As known, Microsoft recently had to do a write off of $900 million due to poor sales figures for their Surface RT tablet. Another report highlights that only 200 000 units with Windows RT have been sold during the first quarter of this year, and even worse during the second quarter of this year.

To many, the next logical thing for Microsoft to do would be to give up its efforts and simply shut down the Windows RT project. However, this does not seem to be the case.

Instead, Microsoft seems to have found a new collaborator, being nVidia which has announced that it is developing the next generation of the Surface RT tablet. nVidia is known to want to enter the ARM CPU market, and probably sees the opportunity to work on the Surface RT tablet to be a splendid way to do so.

So far, not much details have been released on the next generation of Surface RT. The only thing that is known is that the software Outlook will be a central part of the Surface RT tablet. What is most surprising, considering this, is actually that Outlook was not delivered with the original version of Surface RT, something that makes very little sense and probably made the whole tablet much less useful. When it comes to Windows RT, it is especially important that good productive apps are delivered by default as obviously Windows RT cannot execute normal x86-based Windows apps.

I am curious to see how the new generation of Windows RT will do. But to be quite frank, I would not get my hopes up. Microsoft arrived simply too late in the tablet race and I cannot for the world see a reason why consumers would switch from their already familiar Android or iOS tablets to an unfamiliar environment given by Windows RT, unless it is a corporation that requires tight integration with other Windows server services.

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