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  • DanNeely - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    Can't say I'm surprised. For about the same price you can get an 11" atom based slate that is about as fast as the fastest arm based tablets (and much better than the tegra3 based winRT tablets being ignored on the marketplace), will last about as long on battery, and can also run traditional windows apps if paired with a keydock. Intel's success in improving standby/idle power levels destroyed the potential market niche for win 8RT.

    If metro apps are able to almost fully displace traditional windows apps then Win9 RT might make sense at the very low end segment of the market but that would come down to relative hardware performance levels between A57 and atom-2015 processors and the only people with enough knowledge to make informed speculations about this work for the chip makers and and snarled in NDAs.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Wasn't that kinda the not so subtle point of Windows RT tho? To force Intel's hand as far as pricing and Atom's update schedule (or lack thereof)... Even if RT ends up being an utter failure (tbh I'd be surprised if they put out a second ARM Surface), it still accomplished Microsoft's goal. I'm sure they'd take that half loss/half win if it means cheaper/faster x86 tablets in the end. I doubt they were ever gonna recoup the very low end of the market, sub $300's gone forever at this point. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    MS didn't need to blow almost a billion on unsold Surface RT tablets to make the threat. Just by it existing they've made that point. IF they'd done a better job of matching supply to demand and could point to a modest profit from the project even if it's market share was still miniscule their standing would be much stronger than the current situation where everyone is snickering about how badly they screwed up. Reply
  • skiboysteve - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    Even if winRT failed in sales it is a success.

    the point if it was to point a gun at Intel. Mission accomplished. Ms can go back to leaning on Intel innovation again.

    trust me, when MS told Intel about winRT years ago, they reacted. Even if sales failed... The roadmap of Intel now, and Intel products on the shelf now, wouldn't be the same without winRT.
    Reply
  • sixmemos - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    Those are some pretty rose-colored glasses sir. Microsoft wrote off nearly $1B last quarter in to account for RT's sales failure, to "point a gun"?

    The gun at Intel's head was already cocked, loaded, and discharged, not by MS, but by iOS and Android.
    Reply
  • chizow - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    "The gun at Intel's head was already cocked, loaded, and discharged, not by MS, but by iOS and Android."

    And ARM, but I think he does have somewhat of a point. Both MS and Intel were hedging their bets and peeking under the kimono of the other's main competition. ARM for Microsoft, and Android for Intel. By doing so, both showed they weren't going to be completely reliant on the other anymore, breaking the WIntel monopoly.

    I think Microsoft still has work to do, Intel's task is much easier (already plans to run Android on it's Atom Bay Trail SoCs). Microsoft really needs to put a TON of money into RT development to get all those Android and iOS makers to port their apps to RT, or it's going to be game over.

    Either that, or have some type of emulated version of x86/x64 Windows 8.1 running on their ARM powered surfaces.
    Reply
  • boozed - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    "Microsoft really needs to put a TON of money into RT development to get all those Android and iOS makers to port their apps to RT, or it's going to be game over."

    Then it is game over, since they tried that, and failed.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Why bother, it's not like they're every gonna give Windows RT away for free... They're never gonna be able to compete with the low end tablets like a Nexus 7 (much less the cheaper off brand stuff)... Silvermount/Win 8 devices should be able to fight those off and carve out their own space in the market below ultrabooks/Surface Pro and above ARM's assault, although I guess for that to work in the long run you still need a healthy Metro ecosystem. I'd cut RT off before long tho, it's simplify things so much... If they ever do want to move into the low end tablet space they can just do it thru WP. Reply
  • nofumble62 - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Win8 emulation on an ARM? who has the patience, beside does it has enough memory needed for Window?. Reply
  • Krysto - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    $1 billion RT loss (so far), $1 billion Surface Pro loss (so far), and $1 billion Surface advertising loss (so far).

    The losses are much bigger than they make them seem to be.
    Reply
  • boozed - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Which I find to be a bit of a shame because I think the Surface Pro is a good product, it's just not where the tablet market is. Reply
  • kyuu - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Which is fine, looking at it from the point of view of a consumer (instead of being an armchair CEO like most commenters). Another upsized smartphone OS on a tablet wouldn't have been interesting. If the only choices were iOS, Android, or Windows RT, I'd choose Windows RT any day. With full Windows 8 tablets on the market, it's understandable that Windows RT really isn't getting any traction. Especially now that Intel and AMD silicon will provide superior performance to any ARM solution with comparable battery life. Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Even with the pitiful app selection? Even iOS has had a full touch-based office suite for 3 years now. Reply
  • jwcalla - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    I hear a lot of criticism about Windows RT failures but has the Surface Pro fared appreciably better? Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    One device vs one whole range of devices. Not quite a good comparison. Reply
  • chizow - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    Surface Pro received a lot of criticism for it's high price, but it's utility and functionality is generally regarded as a success because it runs full x86/x64 Windows and all associated apps, and also opens some new usage patterns with the pen digitizer and tablet/typepad hybrid.

    RT on the other hand also has a high price (relative to Android), but the OS leaves it very limited in the apps and software it can run.
    Reply
  • dolph0291 - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    I don't know why Surface Pro proponents always point to the keyboard as something new, or a new way to use a tablet. ALL iPads and many Android tablets have keyboards available. The iPad in particular has many. So how is the ability to buy a keyboard to attach to a Surface Pro anything except old news? Besides, no one will ever convince me that a 10" screen is ideal for editing spreadsheets (the code phrase is "get real work done" or "be productive") or that tapping Windows File and other menus with a stylus on a 10" screen is anything but annoying and a waste of time. Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    A keyboard is more of a gimmick for an Android/iOS tablet... And I say that after living with an OG Transformer + dock for two years, I actually like the complete package and I'd buy it again if I were going back in time (got a good deal on it back then), but I wouldn't buy a similar package today. Sure it's useful to have a keyboard to answer emails etc... But at the end of the day if you need to get some work done or do any real amount of content creation then the ecosystem on iOS/Android just isn't conducive to it.

    OTOH you can definitely do anything you can do on a regular laptop on Surface Pro... I'm right there with you tho, I agree it's far from comfortable or ideal... But a lot of highly mobile consumers will take that tradeoff in order to carry one device instead of two. Plus you can always hook up Surface Pro to a real keyboard and a large display, very easily.

    Surface RT is flawed for the time being, whereas Surface Pro is simply more of a niche product and/or a tough value proposition for many, but also a perfect solution for some.
    Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    "I agree it's far from comfortable or ideal... But a lot of highly mobile consumers will take that tradeoff in order to carry one device instead of two."

    There's an awful lot of dreaming and wishing in this claim.
    Mobile (and non-mobile) consumers ALREADY carry two devices --- a phone and a laptop. For your argument to work you have to show that either
    - the laptop is so extra heavy and large (even a good Ultrabook or MBA) that people would rather suffer the lower productivity of trying to do their work on a tablet OR
    - the tablety things they want to do (play games? watch movies?) don't work well on their phones. And remember as you play this game that, if a large screen on a phone matters to them, they can buy a phone with a variety of large screens.

    Heck even if you still believe there is some space in between the phone and the laptop (maybe you really like reading eBooks?), for most use cases that can be filled by one of the really light 7" tablets --- iPad mini or equivalents, or even a classic Kindle. Those things are cheap to cheap as dirt, and very small and light.

    This fantasy that people would prefer a single crappy device rather than three different devices which each do their job well JUST because, yay single device, is precisely the delusion that has destroyed Microsoft. It represents a complete misunderstanding of compute history, compute present, and human nature. (It's actually VERY similar to IBM imagining that PCs would not threaten mainframes but would act as terminals to them because, yay, single device...)
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    I agree with you that the vast majority of people are better off with two (or three) discrete devices... But there IS a market for Surface Pro and several people even amongst these article's comments have voiced that. It might be a niche market but it does exist. Students, writers, and generally anyone that never stands still can benefit from carrying something like the Pro vs an Air and a small tablet... And it isn't even about the weight/space factor at times, more about having all your stuff in one place with a semi contiguous experience, or seamlessly go from reading to annotating or from taking notes to leisure, etc. Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    "more about having all your stuff in one place with a semi contiguous experience, or seamlessly go from reading to annotating or from taking notes to leisure"

    You mean EXACTLY the problem iCloud exists to solve...

    The whole point of iCloud is not to be a replacement for DropBox or Netflix or Pandora or Picasa.
    It is to make the use of multiple personal devices very easy by ensuring that the data that is important for sharing is in fact shared across all devices. Like any project which is both very ambitious and doing something completely new, there have been teething problems with iCloud, but it's mostly working now (apart from issues with Core Data object storage which will presumably be fixed in iOS7) and it really does work very well.

    What you're going to see going forward is just more and more small pieces of data and functionality moving to iCloud, so that all Apple devices work ever more seamlessly together. Things like making sure pages are synched across eBook apps on different devices are only the beginning...

    This is what I mean about MS solving yesterday's problems tomorrow. In theory MS has all the pieces in place to create the iCloud "experience" --- all the pieces except the vision. They have things like Skydrive, they've been working on "sync" as a problem forever, and that was, of course, Ray Ozzie's big obsession. But they cannot get their minds around the fact that the future is multiple devices, so they don't have the glue APIs to tie it all together, and the marketing message that this is what apps should be doing.

    Google is certainly closer to Apple in this respect than is MS. Personally I think they're starting from fundamentally the wrong place --- start with servers and the data living there, and work to having it sometimes live on the device. Apple starts from data lives on the device, and pushes changes to the server.
    IMHO Apple's model uses less bandwidth (bandwidth is ALWAYS going to be slower and less available than local storage because of physics), and is more respectful of the user --- the starting idea is "this is YOUR data on your device, and as a convenience we will store it temporarily (if you want) so we can push it to your other devices"; Google's starting point is "you've created the data to live on our servers, and if and when we find it convenient we'll let you cache it on your devices".

    But the differences here between Google and Apple are minor. Both at least get the point of distributed devices --- the PERSONAL network is the computer. MS is so determined to recreate the desktop model in mobile that it's going to make the company irrelevant. Not bankrupt it --- IBM is not bankrupt, Oracle is not bankrupt. But no-one gives a damn what they do --- they are irrelevant. They matter to corporate IT officers, but no-one else, and that's where MS is headed.
    Reply
  • railhan - Sunday, August 11, 2013 - link

    That's both true and not. Casual users are a considerable chunk of the market but the corp world is still driving the car. And the corp world is where IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and etc., are doing very well. That's no place for both Apple and Google's OS ecosystem.
    If your corporate network is using MS services, Lync and a ton of Office documents then a Windows flavored device even with it's flaws will suit your needs best. MS products are still a preferred way to maintain a private network of thousands of users.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    I was with there until you said Oracle is irrelevant. They are anything but irrelevant to the business market. Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    It's perceived as a success by people who WANT to perceive it as a success...

    Personally I don't think they're being honest. Their success stories always boil down to anecdotes ("I have one and I like it") or unfounded claims ("It's perfect for students"), never to actual sales numbers.
    The demand for this sort of product is simply not there, never has been, because it's built on a fundamentally flawed model of where computing is headed.
    Reply
  • Ted T. - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    In fact the Surface Pro sales were much worse than those of the Surface RT. So the Pro, for all its positive press on tech blogs is an unmitigated disaster as a real life product. Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    They both accomplished some goals for MS tho, sometimes you have to take it I'm the chin to ultimately get what you want... RT might eventually turn out to be a failed product altogether and all it accomplished was putting some market wheels in motion, but Pro proved high end x86 tablets are very viable and they can be somewhat slim and consumer friendly (unlike almost every other recent x86 tablet short of recent Slates etc). They'll probably hang around and thrive even if they're never mainstream... Whether MS remains in the hardware game is another story. Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    "They both accomplished some goals for MS ". God that's BS. What goals for MS were accomplished here?

    The ONLY thing that has been accomplished it to make it absolutely clear that no-one considers MS software worth paying a premium for. Apple can charge what they do for iPhone and iPad and get away with it because people ARE willing to pay more for Apple software. What MS has shown is that this definitively does not hold true in any space where backward compatibility is not important.

    This not only means huge losses immediately (for RT, on Surface Pro, and, let's not forget, on that other failure Win Phone 8), it means huge losses on the future. Regardless of what MS' contract with Ford says today, they're not going to be able to get any future auto maker to pay them much for in-car software. They're not going to get anyone to pay them much for say future smart watch or smart glasses software.

    They're stuck to their ghetto of servers, desktops and laptops, and manufacturers are going to start chipping away at the latter two of these unless MS reduces prices, with experiments like laptops that run Android, but which ship with a good built-in Windows Remote Desktop client...
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    You think Windows 8 was a failure and you're simultaneously pinning for a laptop that runs Android and VNCs unto a desktop? I don't even...

    Surface Pro is a good concept, it just serves a very small niche... It does prove x86 can keep going into smaller and smaller form factors tho (in a more high profile way than stuff like Medfield etc). The only mistake was in trying to make such a big hooplah about it... None of the usual OEM partners were gonna risk a project like that tho, MS has the money to do so.

    RT had to happen in one way or another or we'd possibly be waiting another two years for Silvermount... It's ridiculous that MS has to resort to a project like Windows RT to pressure Intel in light of ARM's ever expanding reach, but it's reality.
    Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    In your fantasy world, how has MS pressured Intel into anything?

    - Has the price of Haskell's dropped compared to historical Intel prices? No.
    - The driving force behind Intel caring about low-power for the high end was APPLE, not MS.
    - The lead time to design an Atom-class x86 CPU is around 5 years (for Haskell class it's about 7 years). Which means the Atoms we're going to see soon were in no way, shape or form influenced by MS.

    Saying that Surface Pro serves a small niche is the same thing as saying it's irrelevant. You think MS are going to continue pouring a billion dollars a year into a business that has no hope of growing?

    And I am in no way pining for an Android laptop which offers limited Windows compatibility through Windows Remote Desktop --- I buy Apple kit so I don't give a damn what happens in the Windows or Android markets. But when I analyze the computing world, I analyze it based on what I consider to be reality --- what people seem to want to buy, at what sort of prices they seem willing to pay --- rather than based on the emotion of "My team, regardless of what the facts say".

    I have given you what I consider to be a number of very good arguments for why Surface Pro is a foolish product, a mistake that was obviously a mistake before it was launched, and what the effects of it and RT will be on MS' long term future. You're welcome to believe that I'm wrong. But if you want to convince people who don't already share your theology, you're going to have to do better than "Surface is a great niche product" or "RT was a genius plan to force Intel to do [what exactly?]"
    Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    The price of Atom based parts did drop significantly, AFAIK they now represent one of Intel's lowest profit margins in years. Not gonna bother arguing anything beyond that, you're being more than a little disrespectful with all the team/theology comments (nevermind the Apple rah rah chant, they're the biggest niche there is)... For the record, I don't own either Surface and the only Windows machines I use are DIY desktops and an old netbook occasionally. Reply
  • JPForums - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Interesting. You state it took 7 years to design Haswell. In 2006 Apple had less than 5% of the PC market: http://appleinsider.com/articles/06/06/01/apples_s...
    I thought the typical processor design cycle was about 5 years, but even then Apple wasn't fairing much better. Do you really think such a light weight in the industry at that point in time could drive the direction of the design cycle of Intel. While it is true that significant change can be introduced in the midst of a design cycle, the further in, the fewer things can change. Despite what a very vocal minority would have you believe, It is unlikely that such change would come as a result of the demands of a company that could offer so little return on investment (Apple even today is below 15% PC market share). Most likely it was the demands of the server market that drove Haswell's design. Power consumption and performance per watt is a huge deal here. Though minor changes that fell in line with this goal could certainly have been accommodated (I.E. the Mac specific processor package for the Air).

    In any case, IF Windows RT was meant to drive Intel's design, it wasn't the large chips that they were targeting. They would have been looking for cheaper, lower power designs (Hence Atom). In 2008, Android didn't have any real influence on Intel. Intel wasn't feasible in phones and Android didn't have any appreciable tablet market share until Honeycomb launched in 2011. It is possible that their success here had some influence on Intel. Apple, however, had zero influence on Intel in this sector as they opted to use their own in house designs. There was no realistic expectation that anything Intel did would get them any money out of Apple.

    Now consider that Intel assuredly knew about WinRT long before we did. Work on WinRT/Win8 started even before Win7 launched in 2009. Also, at this point in time, Intel had no reason to believe that WinRT would flop or that Microsoft wouldn't retain their >80% market share. There is every reason to believe that Intel would have acted to keep ARM manufacturers locked out. I think it is safe to conclude that WinRT did have some effect on Intel's Atom line, though I'd suggest that Androids post-Honeycomb success probably helped more than a little as well. Silvermont and across the board cheaper Atom processors are the current results of this influence. Most likely, Broadwell/Airmont will be the first designs fully under this influence, though as Sivermont was probably already in the early stages of development.

    Now, was Microsoft's reason for making Windows RT simply to give Intel a warning? I doubt it. They've stated multiple times that they are committed to WinRT. They are also putting out another one, even though the suggested goal has already been accomplished. No, I think Microsoft wanted the option to use ARM chips. If ARM makes headway into the server market, Microsoft would be foolish not to have an OS ready for the platform. From that standpoint, it makes some sense that Microsoft would want to continue with WinRT.
    Reply
  • Krysto - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    No, it lost about a billion dollars, too. Reply
  • nerd1 - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    RT is a joke - atom tablets are as light, as cheap and way more capable and why bother with winRT at all? Reply
  • chizow - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    MS wanted to break their reliance on x86 chips from Intel and also wanted to hedge their bets by breaking into the ARM market. It was a good strategic decision imo, just poorly executed. They made way too many Surface RTs and the price was too high, on both the Pro and RT, imo. Reply
  • fteoath64 - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Yeah. this is where MS blew it with RT mainly becuase it was a crippled feature product compared to Pro. It is also locked down so much so that app development is not conducive on it. Many said it was the incompatibility with x86 that was the problem but I think that was just an excuse to point out the key weaknesses RT has feature wise. Performance wise, it does not have much of an issue, price wise it does have an issue due to heavy Android tablet competition. iPad is NOT a competitor as that is a specialized tablet and way better built compared to Surface RT.
    MS has a chance to make RT open and full featured but they had to "protect" the legacy which always fails in the market. There is no focus on what RT wants to be!. Just a junior version of Pro is not a segment people want to be in especially with the variety of Android tablets with JellyBean OS. This would be the crowd who COULD consider an RT tablet. iPad users will buy it no matter what because it is Apple. MS is no Apple by a long long short.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    I don't know that an IPad is really way better built... I think RT's design was great, I wouldn't have bought one at launch even if it debuted at $350 with the keyboard included tho... Most people wouldn't unless or until MS lured enough developers, and I'm not sure that was ever really their intent.Honestly, other than some pricing/stock issues, they probably executed the whole RT strategy pretty well...

    It might've made more sense to keep it as a one off than to lure partners like ASUS in, but then it would've been taken even less seriously. The crucial decision will be whether to keep pushing it or know when to give up on the experiment and go full on with x86. Either way they still need more people developing for Metro, but it might be a whole lot simpler if they decide to kill RT sooner rather than later.

    The whole concept of writing an app once for phone/tablet/laptop seems nice, but ultimately few things actually need (or benefit from) that level of inter-operability... And a lot more is shared between tablet and phone than either and laptop/PCs. WP probably needs to gain a whole lot more traction before their tablet strategy will. Otherwise people will just keep looking at convertibles as an oddity... Which would be a shame, since Silvermount convertibles could do a lot to keep ARM tablet pricing in check in the long run.
    Reply
  • Krysto - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Atom is also a joke for the full Windows. It's a low-end chip that gets frustrating when used with the full blown/bloated Windows. Reply
  • MartinT - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    I'm almost certain that this era will soon be a textbook example of how to hasten one's demise in a declining market by screwing one's partners, screwing one's customers, and generally over-estimating and over-playing their perceived lock-in.

    Can't help but wonder if Microsoft could've gracefully ridden this wave down, while still trying to gain a foothold in the maturing mobile and tablet markets. Clearly, they didn't think they could.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Ehh, I wouldn't count them out just yet... It'll take a much bigger screw up for this to cease being a three way race. If they push ahead with a second Surface RT and basically repeat their mistakes for a second year (now that there's nothing to gain from developing RT) and somehow Intel doesn't deliver with Silvermount, then that could be the first nail. Acting like this was a complete fiasco is a bit much IMO. Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Sales show that Surface Pro and Surface RT have both been flops. Tablets are expected to overtake PC sales *this year*.

    What is your definition of "complete fiasco"?
    Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    That's a good point, if you think a compete fiasco is MS failing to get any traction in the tablet market within 12 months then yes, it's a COMPETE fiasco (nevermind it took several years for Android and even the iPad was largely viewed as an oversized phone at first). It's not a complete fiasco yo the extent that the above comment is making it out to be tho, Surface by itself won't lead to MS demise... There's a lot more to the world than tablets, a good chunk of the people buying one today probably weren't gonna buy a new PC anytime soon so tablet sales overtaking PC isn't some doomsday scenario for the former. Reply
  • MartinT - Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - link

    Apple didn't sacrifice the Iphone market to come out with the Ipad, Google didn't sacrifice it's advertising business for it's push into tablets.

    Microsoft screwed the OEM partners it relies on to ship Windows. Microsoft screwed the 99+% of its current users that don't use a touchscreen devices. Microsoft even devalued Office by bundling it with the mess that is the Surface RT.

    My point is that Apple and Google made (relatively) small, low-risk bets on a newly popular product category and won big so far. Microsoft came in late, put a lot of chips on the table, and has nothing but bruises to show for it.
    Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    IMO, the RT tabs launched at the wrong price. Selling for $500+ was too high. ARM is for affordable hardware, and Surface and others failed to do that. Had these tabs launched for $350, then I think we'd be saying something quite different today.

    For the record. I just bought a Surface RT at the new price. With 8.1 preview, its a nice device
    Reply
  • chizow - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    Even at $350, it's pitted against the high-end ARM tabs and if it came to a decision between Android and WinRT, I think the nod still goes to the Android tab (for now).

    Question though, with Win8.1 preview on the Surface RT, that's still ARM version OS right? It can still only run the legacy RT apps?
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Obviously, the internals aren't gonna transform and magically run x86 Win on Tegra... Was that a rhetorical question? :P Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    I bought a Transformer with keyboard dock for $420 two years ago, I've generally been pretty happy with it and I was exited about the new Windows tablets initially... But I doubt I would've bought an RT tablet at launch even at $350. Not when I know Atom tablets exist and can be way more versatile with little to no sacrifices, obviously at that point Atom devices would be $100-200 more expensive... But I don't see how RT can manage to prosper in that tiny sliver of a market, the price doesn't change much in the end (other than saving a bit of face for MS, but they would probably anger partners like ASUS even more if they went after margins that thin). Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    I wouldn't buy a $400+ Android-based convertible in today's market either btw (maybe a $350 one, if it came with the dock). Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Can you scroll through Twitter without jumpy lag all over the place? This has been the low bar set in 2007. Reply
  • jnmfox - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    Microsoft scaled the wrong OS: They should have scaled up Windows Phone to work on tablets, not scale down Windows 8.
    This would have also forced them to invest more and iterate faster. Kinda sad to see a former monolith slowly dying.
    Reply
  • speconomist - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Now that's an insightful comment.
    Thank you Sir.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Definitely not. We didn't need another upsized smartphone OS on tablets. iOS and Android already have that covered. Windows RT on its own was already a far better experience for tablet usage due to things like having an honest-to-god file browser and real multitasking (which it inherited from desktop Windows). With full Windows 8 running on silicon that's higher performing than ARM solutions but still providing competitive battery life, personally I can't find a single reason to choose an iOS or Android tablet. Reply
  • jnmfox - Sunday, August 11, 2013 - link

    Sadly for you and Microsoft only a very few agree. If someone wants those features there is the Surface Pro. Windows RT gives the perception of Windows performance and usability but it is just a poor tablet experience and too limited as a Windows machine.
    If they had used Windows Phone they would have a touch centric OS to build around and apps that were designed for touch.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    You're firmly in the minority in that opinion, but I would guess you're well aware of this.

    I, on the other hand, can't think of a single reason to call RT a "far better experience" than either iOS or Android.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Well, multi tasking is better... But there's less relevant apps and services to multi task between so... :P I'm sure they could implement the side by side stuff on a scaled up WP based OS. Reply
  • CBone - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    I think the low sales were due to the vivotab being expensive garbage. I tried it in 2 stores with 3 different devices and they were all crappy with touch recognition problems and lagging.

    Didn't help that RT was called windows rt instead of just Microsoft RT. Microsoft could have changed the game if they could have let go of windows and all that name entails.
    Reply
  • Krysto - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    The problem with using the "full Windows" as the base for Windows RT is that even the *highest end* ARM chips that run Android or iOS amazingly well, feel like "low-end chips" when you make them run Windows RT/Windows 8(when we're talking about Atom).

    Windows RT/8 are just not "mobile" operating systems in any way, form or shape. They're bloated operating systems that needed something like a $300 Core i5 to run well.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Did you actually pick up a Vivo or Surface RT and find them to be laggy or slow? That wasn't my experience at all when I tried them, but maybe I'm just a lot more tolerant... After all, I've got a first gen Atom netbook (with an SSD upgrade) that still gets some use... Granted, a lot less use than the two Android tablets I've had. I don't know that performance was really RT's biggest issue, there just isn't any reason to get one over an iPad or a cheaper Nexus... Everyone knew that'd be the case before they even launched tho. Reply
  • maximumGPU - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Nothing really wrong with RT tablets. What was wrong was the price. not only the price of the tablet itself, but more so the insulting amount they wanted for a keyboard.
    the price should have reflected the middle of the road hardware such as the SoC and the low res screen.
    Reply
  • Wraiththe - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    I suppose this would have nothing to do Google dropping Samsung and contracting with ASUS to manufacture the new Nexus 10 tablets?

    It is a shame that the aps seem to be less available for MS as Android or Apple.
    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think the RT's Achilles heel also has to due with:

    Screen Resolution as well as price. (Android, Kindle, Ipad)
    Pricing games for features are annoying.

    ***The Asus did not come with the office RT suite; pushing it even further above the price of the Surface RT.

    All to often the market is determined by the masses, which all to often is based on mass uneducated choices frequently based on marketing... Also unrestrained by a lack of understanding of ULA's and awareness. I am guilty too (takes one to know one.) It just seems to me that we are all being herded as sheep.

    It is unfortunate as Google/Android can market it all so cheap. Not just because of hardware, but because the user pays in non cash ways. The user is basically whored out in terms of personal data and marketing. Most people do not understand or care.

    Having to deal with the different companies (hardware, software, OS.) should problems arise they often do not get resolved (Worse with android.)
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    That's a good point about Office, even tho Windows RT was a decent strategic move they might've been better off following the Nexus model (commissioning one popular OEM for Surface RT rather than going it alone) or simply leaving RT devices to their partners... I'm not sure a lower price and higher res screen save RT tho. Would that attract more developers? It's a catch 22 deal, but none of those factors would make anyone buy an RT device over similar Android/iOS devices unless they were gonna undercut or out-iterate either (fat chance). Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Vivo RT came with Office 2013. It was largely the same guts as Surface, but different shells and keyboards. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, August 11, 2013 - link

    I've read the rumors that ASUS is going to make the Nexus 10, but unless you have an official confirmation they're just that: rumors. We'll have to wait and see, but if they do make the Nexus 10 it's certainly a sign of where ASUS thinks things are heading. Nexus 10 couldn't possibly be less of a success than the VivoTab at least.... Reply
  • jwcalla - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Let's also not forget that the overarching strategy for Microsoft here is to get people out of the freedom of the desktop and into their app store. They recognize that app stores are the cash cow that they need to get a piece of and that's why they followed the Apple model (locked down walled garden, etc.). We see this clearly in the design of Windows 8, even the desktop version which placed an emphasis on the Modern UI, a kind of synonym for "get your stuff from our app store". Clearly they can't cut off the desktop cold turkey, but they would love to if they could. In that sense, RT isn't necessarily irrelevant as it's their ideal goal (all apps come from the app store only). Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    "Of course, long-term the story for Windows RT is far from over. Microsoft needs Windows RT or they are locked out of a huge market. "

    This is not true. MS COULD try to save the situation by moving Win Phone 8 up, rather than trying to move Win 8 down. Of course this would mean admitting that Apple had the right idea all along, which will be a bitter pill for MS to swallow internally, but easy enough to spin externally: "Customers have told us they love Win Phone 8 so much they would like to experience it on a larger screen..."

    Doing this also helps Win8 by increasing the pool of target devices for developers.

    Of course this IS Microsoft we're talking about, so rather than move forward on a plan like this, with results due this year, we'll get a year of internal fighting over it, then a year of dithering after the decision has been made, and by the time anything ships the world will have moved on and no-one will care anyway.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Even tho we may disagree on the value of Surface Pro and whether RT should've happened, I can completely agree with that. They need to make a decision on RT quickly and not drag it out... x86 convertibles could still carve out a market after Silvermount, and there'll always be space at the high end for something like Pro even if it's a niche... But both of those as well as their WP strategy depends on attracting developers, and RT muddles matters a lot.

    If they can absorb a blow like Vista surely they can shuffle RT away in a somewhat timely manner... WP8 tablets don't even need to happen overnight, just don't keeppromoting RT and alienating more customers.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    What the hell is the difference between an upscaled Windows Phone and Windows RT? The Win8 start screen basically *is* Windows Phone upscaled. You just also get the benefit of inheriting things from desktop Windows like proper multitasking, a file browser, a device manager, support for lots of USB peripherals and USB thumb drives and so on. The price is a little bloat on the size the OS. Big whoop, especially with USB thumb drive support, microSD, and the progress of storage technology in general.

    We didn't need or want another feature-crippled, upsized smartphone OS. iOS and Android have that covered.
    Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    "The price is a little bloat on the size the OS. Big whoop, especially with USB thumb drive support, microSD, and the progress of storage technology in general."

    You (and the five people who actually bought a Surface RT tablet) might consider that "price" a reasonable tradeoff. The rest of the world does not.
    This is the thing about selling products --- you have to design them based on what the BUYERS consider important, not what YOU consider important.
    Reply
  • domboy - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    "You (and the five people who actually bought a Surface RT tablet) might consider that "price" a reasonable tradeoff. The rest of the world does not."

    I guess I'm one of those five people, sort of. I also don't want Windows convertible tablets to run a mobile OS... I bought a Surface RT because it was very much like a full desktop OS... though I will admit I wouldn't have if it weren't for the jailbreak. I want to make use of the desktop on RT as well. I would never have given it any consideration if it had been running Windows Phone OS.

    While it is sad that Asus is canceling this product... I don't like where Microsoft is going with Windows RT... i.e. a locked down modern UI only OS. I had hoped that they would open it up more, but it isn't looking good with the 8.1 RT preview. So far that reason, I think Asus is headed in the right direction.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    What's the desktop useful for beyond Office tho? Everything else kyuu mentioned is doable on a mobile OS, they don't need full blown Windows on ARM for that... Android already has file managers, USB storage/device support, etc. Multi-tasking on RT is nice but I don't see why that too couldn't work on WP (there's OEM/user takes in the concept on Android...). Blowing away a few GB on the OS is a pretty high price IMO, and RT was headed in that locked seen direction from the start. Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    The things you keep mentioning simply aren't important to consumers in 2013. Reply
  • Subyman - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    MS's biggest problem is their lack of a strong message to the consumer. Why Windows RT? You say that to a normal consumer and they think of PCs. "I don't want a PC tablet." They need a better name, a name that distinguishes it from Windows so people don't automatically think of their Dell when they hear it. Android and iOS are interesting names and the consumer knows it isn't a Mac or Linux or they have no idea and want to know more.

    They should have just called the entire ARM line Metro and marketed that. Its a neat name and it throws aside any comparison to a PC, its new and fresh. Consumers are interested. They need to liven things up. Having the Windows name anywhere near it will immediately bring Dell, 90's computing, Vista, or whatever other baggage people associate with the name to people's minds. Something that you do NOT want to do if trying to be new and interesting especially when competing head to head with Apple.
    Reply
  • ET - Sunday, August 11, 2013 - link

    I think that Microsoft really needs to replace Windows RT with Windows for ARM. Basically, allow desktop programs to run on it. That's the strength of Windows. Sure, ARM and x86 aren't compatible, which means a more limited software selection, but if Visual Studio could just retarget to ARM, if .NET programs could be run as is on ARM, that would provide a decent and growing selection of software. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, August 11, 2013 - link

    That was the whole point of Windows RT. It was called "Windows on ARM WOA)" during development and then eventually the name was changed to RT -- likely because that means MS has the option of porting it to more than just ARM devices. Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Did they ever indicate it'd be opened up to more than just market apps tho? Making development easier is nice, they're still not attracting a significant number of developers tho, or giving people a reason to pick RT over Android/iOS. Reply
  • eanazag - Sunday, August 11, 2013 - link

    I'm for RT and ARM based Windows. I'm against the execution. I think the lack of a desktop environment results in a cut down user experience. It needs to be priced in the same low end Android market. It simply lacks the software today to be a large market device.

    Including Office is a great move, but it was a necessary one. People get high on "Brand" thinking because we are doing it then it will sell. It is too much like an iPad and at the same time not an iPad. The same simple interface with a lack of software. It is ironic to think that the whole reason Windows is so popular is because my program runs in Windows. The reason Linux is not mainstream. And the reason Mac OS X is the second desktop OS behind Windows.

    Real world example:
    I'm trying to get my Surface Pro to do everything my iPad does. VMware view, so I download the version from the MS App Store and the first time it is missing a certificate function. Fail. An update comes out for it and I update. Now the app fails again for a different reason. I give up and install View in desktop mode. RT users are complaining in the reviews. I had an out. RT users are hosed. It isn't MS's fault, but it is reality. This is one of the use cases for RT and it fails for now till VMware cares enough, which may never happen.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    "I'm trying to get my Surface Pro to do everything my iPad does. "

    That there, my Surface-using friends, is when you know your product is a flop.
    Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Sunday, August 11, 2013 - link

    When RT was first announced, I was so excited. I feel like Microsoft flubbed this. Windows RT needs a userbase quickly. They shouldn't have locked the bootloader, which is a requirement for RT. When RT was first announced, before Surface was, I had high hopes to install RT on my Transformer Prime. The locked bootloader, coupled with the 1366x768 requirement (1280x800 screen), nobody could attempt it. An open OS is what Microsoft got popular in the first place.

    Microsoft didn't become to dominate the desktop market by only giving licences to OEMs and setting strict standards.
    Reply
  • Visual - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    I wanted to buy one so I can try developing for RT.
    But I wanted a maxed out one - at least 64GB, 3G, GPS, keyboard dock.
    They never released this combo here. They kept trying to sell cut-out versions missing at least some of these aspects, without adequately lowering the price.
    Reply
  • CosmoJoe - Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - link

    I've said it many times; MS blew the Surface RT and Pro launch by pricing them too high. I have 2 RT devices (won them both at tech shows) and I love them as web browser devices and for watching movies. We bring both devices with us on long trips and the kids can watch recordings of their shows. While I could certainly do this on an Android or Apple device, I have a pretty extensive Windows network infrastructure at home with Active Directory, so it is very easy for me to just copy media files back and forth on these devices as needed within the Windows UI.

    My Surface RT by the way ... to give you an idea of how solidly those things are built, I left it on the roof of my wife's SUV and we drove away; the thing flew off on the highway and was run over a few times before we could stop and retrieve it. The thing is scratched up and touch doesn't work on a portion of the screen but aside from that the device still functions just fine.

    I think Microsoft should have taken a page from HP with their Touchpad firesale and really just aimed to flood the market with these devices at very low prices. The 32GB RT should have been priced at $149 and the 64GB at $199. The Pro should have started at $350. When you are trying to make inroads into an established market, you need to give consumers a huge incentive to choose your product.
    Reply
  • wumpus - Monday, August 19, 2013 - link

    "The gun at Intel's head was already cocked, loaded, and discharged, not by MS, but by iOS and Android."

    In other words, Windows on ARM is an ongoing attempt to get onto ARM when (not if) they barge into the server room and datacenter. They already are bringing Android and Linux (and Apple would have to not care or fumble badly to miss with iOS there: looks like don't care), and Microsoft needs to get windows in that mix.
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Monday, August 19, 2013 - link

    RT needed to have x86 compatibility. Simple as that. Even slow emulation would be 100x better than nothing. It needed to be open like real Windows too. Even then it would be an uphill battle against AMD's CPUs which IMO make a lot more sense in a Windows tablet, but MAYBE it could have competed with 8/x86.

    Regarding small notebooks...maybe there's not the glut of ultra-low end ones that there were a few years ago, but I'm not sure that's bad for the industry. XP's gone, I haven't seen Windows 7 Starter (is there even an 8 starter?) in years. There's still tons of better-than-ever small notebooks, but they cost more like $350-1000+, and use Bobcat and its successor, and Intel's full chips. Doesn't seem like a bad thing.
    Reply
  • cheshirster - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    Why do you think W8 x86 needs "Core i3 or faster" ? Forgot about Atoms?

    Asus's Atom tablets with full W8 are CHEAPIER then theirs RT tablets. What were they waiting for?

    Everybody is going crazy while trying to analyze last generation MS products.
    Reply
  • andrejg - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    The biggest advantage of RT tablet is MS Office, USB and cover keyboard with Surface. The rest is more or les comparable to Android or Apple. I wouldn't buy Asus tablet without kbd. Just too expensive. It's the duality of RT machines, that could lure buyers that need to write, travel and exchange with MS oriented environment.
    Just the tablet would have to be very cheap, if I was to buy it...and it is NOT.
    And Windows8 with RT are still lacking some features, promised to be fixed in 8.1 in a month or so..
    Reply

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