analysis

  • Windows on ARMIt’s hard to believe that almost three years have passed since I wrote my first blog entry discussing Windows running on the ARM processor. Over that time, we’ve seen an increasing onslaught of client devices (tablets and phones) running on ARM, and we’ve watched Windows expand to several Windows RT-based devices, and retract back to the Surface RT and Surface 2 being the only ARM-based Windows tablets, and now with the impending Nokia 2520 being the only non-Microsoft (and the only non-Nvidia) Windows RT tablets – that is, for as long as Nokia isn’t a part of Microsoft.

  • Windows on ARMOver the past week, I’ve had the fortune to play with both Microsoft’s Surface 2 (which we'll have a review of very soon) and the Asus T100 Transformer Book. These are very similar devices – convertible laptops with detachable keyboards – except for one big and fundamentally life-altering difference: Where the Surface 2 is powered by Nvidia’s ARM-based Tegra 4 SoC, the Transformer Book has Intel’s x86 Bay Trail under the hood.

  • Windows on ARMWindows Phone has been a success for Microsoft in 2013, thanks almost entirely to very low cost but good value Nokia devices. But the platform itself advances at the pace of a continental shelf on a work-to-rule. Will the latest platform enhancements in GDR3 help?

  • Windows on ARMWe all know the original Surface RT failed badly, and there are multiple reasons for its lack of success, including overpricing, poor distribution, commercials that revealed nothing about the product, and of course Windows RT -- the operating system that was a total mystery to consumers. No one knew anything about it. It came out of nowhere, hidden in the shadows of Windows 8.

  • Windows on ARMGoogle is doing it with Android. Apple is doing it with iOS. So why shouldn't Microsoft allow its smartphone operating system to run on tablets? Obviously, the name would have to change, likely from Windows Phone to Windows Tablet. But would such a product be the right thing for Microsoft? One rumor points in the slate direction.

  • Windows on ARMMicrosoft's Surface tablets have an image problem. The company on Monday unveiled its newest tablets that feature jacked-up components and nifty new dual-position kickstands. The Surface 2, which runs Windows RT, now will come with Outlook, while the Surface Pro 2, which runs Windows 8.1, will continue to operate like a full PC. Microsoft fixed nearly every hardware issue that buyers criticized in the first versions of the devices while sticking with the same essential design.

  • Windows on ARMThough consumers are a big target audience for the new Surface 2 tablet, Microsoft is also hoping to woo businesses with features that could make the device easier to secure and manage in IT environments.

  • Windows on ARMAt a high level, it may sound like Microsoft’s $7.17 billion deal to buy Nokia’s Devices and Services business is similar to Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola in 2011. As such, Microsoft will still be licensing its software to hardware partners, just as Google does, right? Not so fast. Although Microsoft still hopes to do so, it’s not going to happen.

  • Windows on ARMJust two years ago, before the Surface RT was even on the horizon, another alternative entrant in the computing market was posting miserable (Surface RT-esque) sales after launching. The suspect in question, Chromebook, was only able to post about 5000 units sold for Acer in the two months after its launch in June 2011. Samsung supposedly fared even worse. Analysts across the industry were taking bets on when Google would throw in the towel on Chromebook. They all but called the device destined to fail.

  • Windows on ARMWhen the Surface RT launched back in October, it represented a new direction for Microsoft as the platform was running on an ARM processor. By using an alternative CPU, this opened up the possibilities for other vendors to supply the chips that power Microsoft devices. But, with sales not lining up to expectations, Microsoft was forced to write-down the current Surface RT inventory by $900 million and lowered the price of the Surface to help move units.

  • Windows on ARMWhile Microsoft continues to promote Windows RT, the version of its client OS designed to work only with software offered via its Windows Store interface, third-party support is fading fast. Other than Microsoft's Surface RT, try finding anyone else who offers a tablet with Windows RT. I swung by my nearby Microsoft Store, Best Buy and Staples, and the only Windows RT device I could find was the Surface RT.

  • Windows on ARMThings aren’t going very well for Windows RT, Microsoft’s new operating system developed specifically for tablets equipped with ARM chips. Sales have so far been pretty disappointing, so several large companies decided to completely abandon the product and focus either on the full version of Windows 8 or switch to Android.

  • Windows on ARMWhat if Microsoft (MSFT) merged its struggling Windows RT and Windows Phone operating systems into a single software platform for tablets and smartphones? That concept, which Mary Jo Foley proposed toward the bottom of a recent blog, makes a ton of sense for Microsoft's partners, developers and customers. Here's why.

  • Windows on ARMIn the days following Microsoft's $900 million Surface RT write-down, many have been questioning Microsoft's stated plan to remain committed to Windows RT and Surface RT.

  • Windows on ARMSummary: Windows RT was a massive gamble for Microsoft that didn't pay off. But with a few tweaks here and there, the platform could be great for those looking for a version of Windows that doesn't come with all the associated Windows hassles.

  • Windows on ARMMicrosoft recently revealed some sorry Surface tablet numbers. Its latest quarterly filing disclosed earnings of $853 million (£560 million) in revenue from Surface tablets, but it wrote down $900 million (£590 million) because too many were built and the unwanted surplus units are now stuck in a warehouse. Indeed, Asus is also dropping Windows RT.

  • Windows on ARMI know, I know; everyone has declared Windows RT dead and is having the grave dug as you read this. No one wants it, needs, it, or has any use for it. Personally, I have a lot of tablets and the one that currently sees the most use is a Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 LTE (I’m a fan of the Samsung mobile devices). I never even bothered to purchase an RT device because I couldn’t see any need for it in the way I work.

  • Windows on ARMOkay, Microsoft. You had your fun fling with ARM processors, serenading your newfound love with glitzy dubstep ads full of creepy dancing schoolgirls. Thin and light tablets packing a--gasp!--free version of Office? Freedom from Intel and AMD's x86 processors? Sanctity from traditional Windows malware? How dreamy.

  • Windows on ARMLate-yesterday, Microsoft released its latest financial results, for Q4 fiscal year 2013, revealing a whopping $0.9 billion charge that is "related to Surface RT inventory adjustments". The $900 million that the software corporation just wrote off is a telltale sign that its Windows RT-based tablet is not selling as well as the company expected, leaving considerable stock unmoved.

  • Windows on ARMComputerworld - Even as the market for Surface RT and other Windows RT tablets grows more dire by the day, chip supplier Nvidia said it remains bullish to the platform and is committed for the long term.


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Windows on ARM - Windows RT