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Falling Windows RT Tablet Prices Signify Slow Adoption

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the now-cost-only-3x-as-much-as-they-should dept.

Microsoft 290

angry tapir writes "Prices of Windows RT devices have started falling, signaling an attempt by PC makers to quickly clear out stock after poor adoption of tablets and convertibles with the operating system. Microsoft released Windows RT for ARM-based devices and Windows 8 for Intel-based devices in October last year. The price drop is an acknowledgment that Windows RT has failed, analysts claim. Though Microsoft has not publicly acknowledged the failure of Windows RT, there is already growing concern about the fate of the OS. IDC earlier this month said that Windows RT tablet shipments have been poor, and that consumers have not bought into 'Windows RT's value proposition.' PC and chip makers have acknowledged poor adoption of the operating system. Nvidia's CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, last month said he was disappointed with the poor response to Windows RT, and Acer executives have said that Microsoft needs to improve the usability of RT."

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hi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43344965)

first?

Re: hi (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43344977)

What - to buy a Windows RT tablet? ;)

Re: hi (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345193)

Never used! Just took it out of the box to hear that satisfying click between the keyboard and tablet.

Re: hi (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345365)

It’s pretty sad when the sound of a keyboard being attached was the biggest feature they could tout...

Re:hi (1, Troll)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345339)

1999: Windows ME, Mostly Excrement
2007: Windows VISTA, Vastly Improved Subpar Total Ass_shit
2012: Windows RT, Royal Trash
2013: Windows BLUE, ?

Fill in the blank!

Re:hi (0)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345575)

A Porterhouse Blue is a stroke brought on by an idle lifestyle of excessive consumption and privilege.

Re:hi (2, Interesting)

Dr Max (1696200) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345631)

Weren't android tablets dropping prices like this a year (and a half maybe) ago. I guess it's a dead platform.

Would I buy one? (2, Interesting)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344973)

Not even if it was free as in beer.

Re:Would I buy one? (3, Interesting)

nametaken (610866) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345013)

I don't get it. I played with the RT ones, and they're ok... but I kinda want one of the Pro's. They're certainly more appealing to me than an iPad.

Re:Would I buy one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345103)

Sure... Surface Pro with horrible battery life and a gimped storage.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/29/3929110/surface-pro-disk-space-windows-8 [theverge.com]

Get a proper Windows laptop instead of the Surface Pro.

Surface Pro gets hot enough to burn your nuts off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345151)

After you can't hold the heavy thing in your hands and you drop it in your lap.

Re:Would I buy one? (4, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345155)

They are ok for what exactly? You can't do too much with them.

Kinda expensive for a portable web browser.

Re:Would I buy one? (3, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345305)

Erm what? Did you mis-read the parent post?

The Surface Pro is a full Win8 x64 machine. It's usable for everything from running Android apps (BlueStacks works pretty well, I'm told) to playing AAA PC games (at lowered settings due to the Intel graphics, but it can run the games). Along the way, there's a few things it's great at; it makes an excellent artistic platform, for example (Wacom digitizer with pressure sensitivity and all that). It's also an acceptable tablet (heavier and thicker and lower battery life than a modern iPad, but still usable - and there are people who used old-school Windows tablets that make Surface Pro look absurdly portable), and an acceptable laptop (assuming you have one of the keyboard covers, which also provides a touchpad) and, while not excelling in either role, it's lightweight and fast and compact and gets good-enough battery life for most use cases.

Surface RT, on the other hand, is definitely more gimped. Even if you use the various unlock/"jailbreak" hacks that are available, there's still only a limited amount of software available for it right now.

Re:Would I buy one? (3, Informative)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345343)

I played with the RT ones, and they're ok

You might wan't to read it yourself. I was referring to that.

I know what the Surface Pro's are.

Re:Would I buy one? (1, Insightful)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345345)

Looks like you just described my 300$ 2 year old netbook! No wonder Windows RT is a failure.

Re:Would I buy one? (5, Insightful)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345373)

Your $300 netbook uses solid-state storage, has a Wacom digitizer, weighs 2lbs (under one kilo), has 4GB of RAM and runs a 64-bit OS to be able to use it all, sports a quad-core CPU (not "four hardware threads" dual-core-with-hyperthreading, but actual quad-core i5), has USB3, supports hardware virtualization, supports full-disk encryption using a TPM, has a multi-touch screen, and a 1920x1080 ("1080p" in merketing-speak) resolution, Gorilla Glass, and is durable enough it can be dropped from shoulder hight onto cement with no appreciable damage?

Yeah, didn't think so.

Re:Would I buy one? (3, Insightful)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345445)

Point was, my 2 years old netbook runs quite adequatly, have more than I need battery life, no smuge on the screen, enable me to set the screen angle to ANY angle, can be used on my chest if I feel like watching a movie in bed, can run multiple virtual machines without a hitch, enabled me to create content in HD and fiddle with blender quite well, can play 3D games, and since I do not look at my screen with a microscope, I DONT CARE it is not 1080p or whatever... It does the job quite well thank you. What should I trash it and replace it with something 4 times more expensive?

Re:Would I buy one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345503)

Well with that sort of reasoning, why bother advancement at all? A machine has suited your needs personally. Job's done everyone. Time to create the next big thing in the world after computers.

Re:Would I buy one? (2)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345525)

I dont see Surface RT as progress... obviously I am not alone. Also, the power in computers has been more than adequate for many years now, it is well known. Also, I will buy unlocked obsolete hardware before I enter the garden anytime. Now this is my opinion, and represents my needs. Nowhere I pretended my opinion represented a comprehensive industry-wide survey. But again, many people seems to agree with my by voting with their wallet.

Re:Would I buy one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345361)

My laptop does all of those things better...and it was cheaper...

Re:Would I buy one? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345381)

and there are people who used old-school Windows tablets that make Surface Pro look absurdly portable

Yeah, there must be dozens of those guys who really want a lighter version of MS’s last failure.

Apple figured out what MS did wrong with tablets for the decade before the iPad came out. What’s truly pathetic is that even after Apple showed them how to do it, they keep trying to shoehorn Windows into a tablet. They must be brain-dead.

What did they think was going to happen? (4, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344975)

Even forgoing "backwards compatibility" with x86 apps, maybe, maybe if you could actually compile desktop applications for it it would be a slightly more attractive platform, but being stuck with nothing but Office and what's available in Metro? It just isn't going to live up to many buyers desires or expectations.

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345097)

Even forgoing "backwards compatibility" with x86 apps, maybe, maybe if you could actually compile desktop applications for it it would be a slightly more attractive platform, but being stuck with nothing but Office and what's available in Metro? It just isn't going to live up to many buyers desires or expectations.

If you wanted to run Desktop apps, and wanted x86 compatibility, Surface RT is not the device for you. You need a Surface Pro.

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (3, Funny)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345109)

If you wanted to run Desktop apps, and wanted x86 compatibility, Surface RT is not the device for you. You need a Surface Pro.

Summary suggests Windows RT is not the device for a lot of folks ;)

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (5, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345247)

Which is the whole reason it failed...
By marketing it as "windows", buyers expected some level of compatibility. The compatibility isn't there, which left buyers feeling misled.

And being able to compile desktop apps wouldn't be much use, 99% of windows desktop apps don't come with source code so most of the apps you could recompile for it would be cross platform open source apps. And if you want to compile cross platform open source apps for ARM you have been able to do that in Linux for many years already.

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345519)

If you could target Windows RT with win32 desktop code, I'm sure many of the proprietary vendors would happily release arm versions of their products.
But the need to target a whole new set of platform APIs (Metro /Modern) for apps on the Windows Store / WinRT makes the barriers to entry significantly higher for the proprietary vendors.

Access to the source code is only required if the end users need to do the build themselves. Obviously a big advantage of FLOODS is that you're not as dependant on a vendor's business case to target a new platform, but I don't think there's much enthusiasm for targeting metro amongst OSS enthusiasts.

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345523)

Floods = floss, by the way. Yay autocorrect.

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345635)

If you could compile apps you'd see a bit of third party support. Perhaps some web browsers and some other stuff.

Now admittedly that was true of Alpha, MIPS and PowerPC but they didn't sell well enough to see much software getting cross compiled. Mind you at that point the world was x86. Now the world is x86/x64 - i.e. a lot more stuff is already running on two architectures. In fact quite a lot of mobile stuff already ran on Arm because of Windows CE/Windows Mobile - Opera Mobile for example.

So if Windows RT had allowed it you'd see some applications running on Arm. Banning all third party Win32 applications in the hope of moving everyone to Metro clearly isn't working.

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345265)

> If you wanted to run Desktop apps

Yes, I do.

> You need a Surface Pro.

I need a Surface Pro at half the price or less.

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345513)

That is the crux of the issue. Apparently a LOT of people want more than Office and a few metro apps.

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345549)

Or hold out for the Microsoft Ultrabook.

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345189)

Even forgoing "backwards compatibility" with x86 apps, maybe, maybe if you could actually compile desktop applications for it it would be a slightly more attractive platform, but being stuck with nothing but Office and what's available in Metro? It just isn't going to live up to many buyers desires or expectations.

Oh, I don't know. I figure everyone who were talked into buying a Windows CE laptop back in the day is probably a candidate for Windows RT.

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (5, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345253)

It's also a marketing problem. What the hell is the difference between Windows RT, Windows RT Pro, Windows 8, Windows 7? Wait, there's no Windows RT Pro, but there's a Surface RT and Surface Pro, right? What's the difference again? One is thicker than the other, and the cheaper one runs ARM. I would do more research, but I just don't care enough. I'm sure I'm not the only one. People just want shit that works, they don't care if runs on ARM or x86.

Re:What did they think was going to happen? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345317)

Strictly speaking, this is actually possible. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2096820 [xda-developers.com]
It requires some hacks, though, and RT is missing most of the legacy libraries plus missing any form of OpenGL support. Nonetheless, there are a reasonable handful of programs which have been ported ( http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2092348 [xda-developers.com] ) and a few written specifically for (desktop mode) RT ( http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2095934 [xda-developers.com] ).

Look Out! (2)

jennatalia (2684459) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344979)

The prices are falling, the prices are falling!

Let me guess... (4, Interesting)

elashish14 (1302231) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345033)

Redmond is gonna blame OEMs for this one too eh?

(Reference: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/24/windows_8_blame_game/ [theregister.co.uk] )

Re:Let me guess... (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345517)

Yes. If those candy ass OEMs would have just used rope and a rubber hose in their marketing campaigns it would have been just fine.

It has less to do wtih Windows RT (0)

tehlinux (896034) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345043)

IMHO, the Surface RT is way better than any other RT device on the market.

Re:It has less to do wtih Windows RT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345087)

IMHO you have a bald head, do the monkey dance, and throw chairs.

This is exactly the problem. (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345579)

It's the millions of comments and reviews like this that are killing Microsoft's hardware partners on WinRT. "Loved WinRT - intuitive, responsive, loved the hell out of the OS. Returned this (VivoTab RT, Dell XPS 10, Lenovo Yoga 11) to the vendor because I also bought the Surface RT and prefer it because x,y,z. Four stars for this though, as you might like it." And where do these comments and articles come from? Microsoft's own marketing campaigns, fed by the billions in profits their partners funnel them, amplified by their Bing search engine. With friends like this Microsoft's hardware partners don't need enemies.

If you want to survive as a manufacturer never ever ever screw your distributors. Word gets around.

Who is the core audience for Windows? (4, Insightful)

TheGeneration (228855) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345051)

I just don't understand who the core audience for windows is any more. Who are they trying to sell to?

Office workers? Great, Windows is a pretty good system for that usage since office workers have admins that can unf*ck their system when they pick up a virus off browser exploits.

What about the 90% of home users who aren't computer professionals? Are they better off with a Windows operating system that comes preloaded with so much bloatware it can make in Intel i7 chip work hard just to boot? What about when good old Mom or Dad accidentally downloads that trojan horse "anti-virus" that takes over her system to the point where it is unusable? Is Windows still a good value for them then? Wouldn't they have been better off buying a mac with it's easier to use interface, bloatware free on day 1, and far fewer viruses circulating?

Gamers of course are stuck with windows since so many games use Direct X instead of OpenGL.

What about programmers? Windows is SH!T for programming (unless of course you are developing windows applications.) Mac OSX and Linux are both far superior for programming. (OSX after all is a posix compliant Unix Operating System under the hood.) Considering how limited DOS was (and, apparently no longer even present in the current windows) programming from the command line in a Unix/Linux machine is a far far superior option.

So if you're an office drone, or a gamer you're really the only two people who still have a reason to have Windows.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (5, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345095)

Nevermind who Windows is "good for", let's look at what Windows has going for it:

1 - A ton of users familiar with its desktop UI
2 - The mother-load of desktop software
3 - A ton of games compiled for native x86/x64
4 - Office

With Windows RT Microsoft basically said "Screw #1. Screw #2. Screw #3." That leaves a tablet for .. people who want to use Office on.. a tablet? Oh and they also added Metro. Except that the market for portable devices is already full of app platforms that are far more established.

Why would you buy a Windows RT tablet? Beats me. Clearly someone thought they could toss their core value propositions but win in the app space because... because something?

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (3, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345165)

Windows 8 is a massive paradigm change. The only people using Windows 8 are those forced to replace their computers. Microsoft's whole point around Windows 8 is that it's a thin-client. All future applications and data will be stored in the "cloud". See Office 365 and SkyDrive for example. The idea of CPU architecture should only be important to the software developers, not the end user. Again, the idea being your data in the "cloud" is architecturally agnostic. Never mind the fact that the Windows 8 UI is an anathema to end user multitasking. They still haven't figure that out after the preview of Windows 9. In fact, they actively do not want too. The corporate world reality is an inconvenient truth. The disconnect will always be there from the start of Windows 8.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (0)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345443)

Thats not true. I upgraded to Windows 8 from 7. Its a great OS. Its essentially the same as 7 with a start menu change, and some performance improvements in the area of start up. I actually like a lot of the windows ui changes. The start menu is fine, I rarely ever use it. The biggest problem is that the App store is terribly designed, and theres no killer app that really warrants the start menu. Actually I take that back, Netflix's app is pretty damn good and you can split screen it with the desktop. I do this while rendering, because netflix app uses gpu for video processing, and it doesnt hurt my rendering performance at all.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345603)

I chose to upgrade to windows 8. It's pretty much the same except for the start menu, which actually is a bit better in some ways. All my desktop applications still work.

Branding Branding Branding (2)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345237)

Microsoft seems to be tied to the Windows brand when it is not appropriate and even harmful to the prospects of a product. Would you buy a Microsoft Windows Xbox?

Windows RT brought to mind all the negatives of the Windows brand: viruses, instability, insecurity.
Yet the Windows RT name here, as DigitAl56K noted above, did not include the brand positives: Familiar UI, existing software and games.

Coming up with a new product name is difficult, especially for a global company. Using the existing brand plus two random-to-consumers letters was a wimp-out that added nothing to differentiate this radical departure from the rest of the Windows brand.

Re:Branding Branding Branding (5, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345289)

The worst problem is that the brand name *implies* a familiar interface and existing software, leaving users extremely disappointed and frustrated when they find those two factors lacking.

MS seems to have an obsession with putting the windows brand everywhere, they are seemingly too arrogant to realise that their brand is viewed extremely negatively by many and only tolerated because in its core markets users are stuck with it or even completely unaware that alternatives exist.

They are like the east german trabant, a car almost universally derided and yet people still queue up to get one because nothing better is available to them.

In the phone and tablet markets, users are not locked in to windows, non windows systems are well known and widely available.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (3, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345383)

1. Users are NOT familiar with the Windows UI. The UI changes every damn release, in substantial ways, requiring retraining or lots of trial and error. Ironically, Windows 7 with its new large task bar and large icons, looks almost exactly like my GNOME 0.9x desktop on Slackware Linux 3.x, circa 1996.

2. Windows has a lot of software to fill in missing pieces and fix broken-ness of the OS, which are entirely unnecessary in other OSes. You bet, Windows has a lot of disk defragmenter programs, and Linux has practically none, but that's not a bad thing. FOSS software has reached a point that damn near anything you could want on Windows, can be done on any other OS as well, and usually BETTER.

3. I'll concede games, though I, and I believe most people, prefer bypassing the topic, and using a game console instead. PC gaming was a big deal back in the 90s, but these days consoles are just as capable, games are as good if not better and cheaper all-around.

4. OpenOffice and LibreOffice are superb. With Microsoft's absolutely moronic switch to the "ribbon" interface, I find MS Office to be the second-class citizen... the also-ran that I avoid if humanly possible. MS Office is now the crippled knock-off version, where there are tons of things users want to do, but can't figure out how to do, to save their life.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (3, Informative)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345555)

1. Users are NOT familiar with the Windows UI. The UI changes every damn release, in substantial ways, requiring retraining or lots of trial and error. Ironically, Windows 7 with its new large task bar and large icons, looks almost exactly like my GNOME 0.9x desktop on Slackware Linux 3.x, circa 1996.

No, the theme changes. The UI design itself has stood relatively untouched since its inception. Most major UI changes up until Windows 8 were purely cosmetic and almost universally had a means to revert to older forms.

It wasn't until Windows 8 when achieving any of the older functionality was pretty much universally removed.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345469)

Why buy a Windows RT tablet? Because you've always bought Windows for PC, and you don't think about computers all that much.

And yup, MS screwed up #1 #2 and #3. Which is awesome, because it means the tablet format is wide open for an OS fight-out more like the 80s but probably better. MS has blown porting their 800lb gorilla presence into this market. It's going to be more like phones, but without the contracts. Their will be lots of Cloud and lots of web-apps that don't particularly care which OS you have. It'll be interesting.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345587)

Thanks to Unity3D now there is a ton of games for every OS.

Sure, they are not spectacular as the high end PC games, but we are not talking about this type of games now.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (-1, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345145)

considering MS dos has not been a part of windows since windows 2000, I assume you are also unaware of how modern windows works? For instance my dad gets some garbage on his computer he hits a button for system restore, waits a few min, and he is back to where he was.

Windows is for people who dont want a 1400$ i5 and limited software support(mac), or people who dont want to dig though 40 years of legacy bullcrap in a text window to make a widget, with zero support outside of spartan core functionality(linux).

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345419)

The command prompt in Windows may not be called "DOS" any longer, but the commands are still DOS commands.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345569)

And you obviously haven't used Linux in a long time. One install DVD and you're good to go for development. You can choose your favorite approach from the good old command line and make on up to eclipse. No need to count seats, plan a software budget, or store funky holograms in a fireproof safe. If you want/need it, just install and be happy.

Meanwhile, I'd love to know how you manage to program in windows with no text...

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345591)

considering MS dos has not been a part of windows since windows 2000, I assume you are also unaware of how modern windows works? .

You mean Windows ME. Windows 2000 was NT-based- no DOS in there.

System Restore is not a fool-proof way of removing viruses. Often to remove viruses, you need to hunt around in the file tree and muck with the registry. That's pretty damned user-unfriendly. Anything that constitutes "complex computing" is always difficult, on all platforms; that's just the way of the world.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (1)

Therad (2493316) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345259)

Gamers of course are stuck with windows since so many games use Direct X instead of OpenGL.

Are they really? Doesn't most games use a commercially bought graphics engine today? And can't many of them use OpenGL as a backend? I am genuinly curiuos about this, since I don't have that much information about the different game engines out there.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (1)

TheGeneration (228855) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345447)

You can use WINE to play DirectX games on a Linux or Mac, however it is a subpar experience.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345271)

Windows is a terrible system for office workers, it is expensive, unreliable, insecure... Sure the admins can fix the system once the users have screwed it, but thats a classic case of treating the symptoms... Far better would be to have a system that didn't break in the first place.

Windows is also a terrible platform for gaming, the overhead of the os plus any third party cruft has a significant impact on the performance of games...

Home users are actually better off with a walled garden system like an ipad... A fully featured os is an extremely poor choice for home users, as they will inevitably get it owned. Average users are simply not competent enough with technology (and dont want to be) to safely use such a complex system on a public network.

People buy windows because...

1, they are locked in and have no choice - the costs in both time and money are too high to escape from the lock-in, or a short term view is taken on doing so...
2, they aren't aware anything else exists - try to buy a desktop or laptop, you *might* see apple occasionally but other than that everything comes with windows and its quite an effort to find something that doesnt.

Re:Who is the core audience for Windows? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345583)

Every OS comes with bloatware when bought in a store. Even the phone, there is so much crap on it it's unbelievable.

Need a common platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345059)

As with PCs in the last few decades, you should be able to get a blank phone/tablet with an ARM cpu and install your favorite OS on it.

Re:Need a common platform (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345091)

Note to Windows RT hardware suppliers: Unlock the boot ROM, so we can run linux on the fire sale devices - I've got several netbooks running linux from Microsoft's last attempt. I'd buy unlocked Windows RT Tablets at the prices that Netbooks got dumped at.

Fire sale? (3, Interesting)

longbot (789962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345063)

I, for one, cannot wait for the clearance fire sale as MS dumps and runs from the tablet market. I love my $150 32GB HP Touchpad!

Re:Fire sale? (2)

ocratato (2501012) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345137)

Since its locked down so it can only run Windows RT, and the App Store would probably be shut down, what are you going to do with it?

Re:Fire sale? (1)

longbot (789962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345161)

I take it you don't remember this [cnet.com] .

Re:Fire sale? (2)

ocratato (2501012) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345191)

To quote from the referenced article:

"The specific value can't be permanently altered on devices enabled with Secure Boot"

So not much use really.

Re:Fire sale? (1)

longbot (789962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345275)

I am aware of that. It however proves that the device can be hacked, which means the hardware has some value on it's own.

Re:Fire sale? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345607)

Not really, no. They were really careful to make sure that without Windows RT these devices are paperweights. There is not, and is not likely to be, a crack in time for it to be a useful hacked device while the hardware is still interesting. Buy a secondhand Transformer Prime for $150 on eBay instead - that's all this is anyway, except the TF201 doesn't have this lockdown problem.

Re:Fire sale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345363)

De-Microsoft-brand it and release it with an unlocked boot ROM. Hardware makers just want to sell product. It's Microsoft that wants to force WinRT on the hardware.

Re:Fire sale? (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345627)

To make it really useful, you'd need to flash a proper bootloader on it and install a proper OS on it. That procedure might or might not involve a soldering iron.

I told you so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345093)

Dead on arrival, collecting dust in inventory and destined for the bargain bin etc.

Please, Microsoft, keep Steve Ballmer as CEO for as long as you can.

I'll probably witness the demise of Microsoft within my lifetime.

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345101)

Is this surprising for anybody?

And yet they look expensive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345125)

As I wander around my local electronics shop, Android tablets start at $150, with lots around $300, iPad minis are $369, and the Windows RT tablets seem to start from $500 and up. "Falling prices" aren't surprising as the darn thing was priced about 50% higher than where the market is to start with.

It is not 2009 any more; iPad minis are cannibalising more expensive iPad prices, and no tablet OS can afford to have it's "entry level" that expensive any more.

Re:And yet they look expensive... (1)

ocratato (2501012) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345169)

I was watching a couple of youngsters trying to play with a Surface in one of our local electronics stores. It must have been that the keyboard was not connected correctly since nothing worked unless you poked at the screen. Not very impressive, and WAY too expensive compared to laptop computers.

Landfill (2)

ocratato (2501012) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345135)

The only way these could have succeeded was to price them below Android and recover the losses from the App Store.

The way these are heading, we will see Microsoft soon abandon them and because of their locked down nature they will be consigned to landfill.

Re:Landfill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345435)

I'd rather own a load of E.T. carts than Windows RT devices. Maybe they can swap secret landfill sites to dump it all.

Re:Landfill (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345613)

Well they built 3 million and have sold 1.1 million so far. Since the stock is getting old (hell, it was born old in mobile-device time) something has to break.

I just checked Amazon - (4, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345147)

I wouldn't say these things are priced into the dangerously low zone. They're still more expensive than the equivalent Android tablets and right around iProduct pricing. Even if I could put Android on one there wouldn't be a reason to buy one for that reason, a native Android tablet would still be the better dollar based choice.

Re:I just checked Amazon - (1)

ocratato (2501012) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345211)

If you could put Linux on one it would be a sweet little machine. One of the reasons they are so expensive is the Windows requires a higher performance CPU and more memory than the other brands. This in turn pushes up the battery requirements as well as the cost. It would be nice to be able to put something more efficient on them.

Well, duh! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345175)

Seriously, with a locked-down Metro tablet, why bother?!

Corporations are so stupid sometimes!

of couese! (1)

jameshofo (1454841) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345177)

its ok microsoft tends to screw up the first re-design. but don't worry windows 8 is the re-design of the re-design. So, we just need to wait for the re-design of windows 8 and well have a solid windows os again! I'm not exacly sure how many microsoft re-re's it takes to make a good OS but I'm sure by now we know, it's a lot!

Re:of couese! (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345429)

Windows 8 is fine. This is Windows 8 RT, which does not run any existing windows applications. That is just something no one asked for.

Awww CRAP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345209)

Shit guys! Sorry! I just remembered!
It was my job to send Microsoft the memo that they were no longer relevant.
Sorry! My bad!

windows RT experience (5, Informative)

chentiangemalc (1710624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345221)

so I've been using Surface RT 64 GB as my primary device now for several weeks. The good * working with office documents clearly superior than existing tablets * jail break to run .NET (non-WPF) and re-compiled native apps to ARM is great. I have SharpDevelop, full C# IDE on tablet and it works great. * remote desktop capabilities works great * can achieve 80wpm+ on the "touch" cover The bad: * The Windows Store Apps/Games suck big time * Windows Store Apps Quality * Windows Store Apps Launch Speed * No official SDK to compile desktop apps to ARM * jailbreak required to run 3rd party desktop apps * Mail app search is totally non functional for me (but works on my Windows 8 x64 dev) * Not sure if Touch Cover will be durable * Screen too reflective * Auto brightness is either lacking totally or works poorly * can't dual boot an alternate OS (yet) * gcc not ported yet to target Windows RT (ARM) desktop apps * WinDbg for ARM not publicly available * citrix Client is TERRIBLE (worse than iPad/Android versions) HTML5 client is slightly better. I find overall I'm happy with it,use it to remotely access full Virtual Desktop with external monitor and keyboard/mouse, and then take it away to cafes &c or crammed public transport for document reviews/editing/creation. In my opinion main thing MS needs to do: unlock desktop apps (at least as system setting) and rapidly get QUALITY in Windows Store, and ensure apps like MAIL search works flawlessly and launch time is super quick. I think the product has potential but if the app quality issue is no rectified fast doubt it can survive.

Re:windows RT experience (5, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345291)

When you mentioned "the bad", you forgot to include the apparent inability to format Slashdot posts.

Re:windows RT experience (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345313)

The problem there is that windows applications are primarily closed source, so even if you can recompile existing applications and run them many apps don't come with source code, and the majority of those that do are cross platform and probably already worked on arm based linux long before windows rt existed.

Did you post this from your RT POS machine? (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345621)

Did you post this from your RT POS machine? Or do you need to pause and take a breath because you talk nonstop like that? I ask because somehow you neglected to put line-breaks at anyplace appropriate in your posting, like perhaps just before the "good" and the "bad".
:>p
Line breaks, and paragraph marks, or even emoticons of a face sticking a tongue out at you, help break a document into logical parts and make it easier for people to read. Oh, wait, I get it. You were trying to demonstrate another failing of your RT tablet. Thanks!

Improve usability? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345255)

Isn't Windows RT pretty much Windows 8 without the normal Desktop mode?

That would pretty make it a statement that Metro itself is a failure, and what's more we're talking about a tablet device, the very thing the Metro interface was created for.

Forget trying to make it work for a desktop OS, Microsoft. Your creation can't even cut it on its home turf.

Re:Improve usability? (2, Interesting)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345359)

It actually has the normal desktop mode. Office, the legacy Control Panel, Windows Explorer, all the old admin tools (from Task Manager to Registry Editor and Local Security Policy editor), all the command-line or scripting environments (CMD and PowerShell, plus WSH scripts), the built-in Remote Desktop (there's another one in the store), and one of the two Internet Explorer modes (the one that looks like, and includes all the features of, IE9 on Win7) all must run in the Desktop. It's definitely still there.

However, by default, desktop mode applications must be signed by Microsoft before they can run on RT. This has only limited impact on scripts - there are .CMD and .PS1 scripts to automate a number of things in RT, both written by MS and by independent third parties - but it means that the average independent software vendor can't just distribute an ARM-compiled version of their Win32 app and expect it to work. That said, there's a hack which has been out for months (and multiple Patch Tuesday cycles) which unlocks (some say "jailbreaks") Windows RT to remove this signature restriction. At that point, you actually can just fire up Visual Studio, set the target platform to ARM instead of Win32/x86 or x64, compile your app (VS will complain a little, but it's easily fixed), and run it on RT. In fact, you can even just download a .NET 4.x (4.0 or 4.5, currently) app and run it right on RT with no forther effort at all, assuming it was compiled with the "AnyCPU" target platform.

Link: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2092158 [xda-developers.com]

Re:Improve usability? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345625)

This is really for the grandparent. Nobody can write apps for the desktop mode of Windows RT except Microsoft. It is forbidden. Also, the "desktop" doesn't support legacy apps. Sideloading is likewise forbidden, and it's not Win32 capable anyway as it's ARM. These bits of trivia were overlooked by the parent poster for some unknowable reason, even though they were the point of your question.

Microsoft must make good lube. (0)

kurt555gs (309278) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345311)

The Surface RT is total and complete piece of shit thad there are some here praising it. Given some are paid Microsoft shills that still leaves what" Fanbois? Does Microsoft have any of those left after Windows 8? And W8 on an ARM with no software or sales or hope?

No. They all must be paid shills. The comments don't make sense any other way.

Windows advantages (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345377)

In the enterprise market, iPads and iPhones are everywhere. The reason Microsoft could in theory have won back that enterprise market was providing a device that:

1. Could join a domain and be managed by Microsoft tools
2. Run existing Windows legacy apps

So Microsoft provided

1. An OS/tablet that can't join a domain to be managed by Microsoft tools
2. Can't run Windows legacy apps

So is arguably worse than existing Android/iOS tablets on price and hardware. The software provides less value. And the OS eats up all your storage space.

Honestly, I can't see anyone making an argument for buying a Windows RT tablet.

Bingo. MS still owns the enterprise, but... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345471)

they crippled RT so that enterprise would buy(more expensive) Tablet Pros. Which killed any incentive to buy an RT device. It's too bad, my wife test drove an RT tablet for a week and liked it a lot, but limitations made it a no-go.

Even though Surface looked great in paper... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345405)

Backwards compatibility with real windows is not a feature, it's fucking horrifying. If Microsoft wants a piece of the tablet game they will have to go touch all the way, and ban apps that still embrace the old UI.

I recently bought a W7 tablet. Jesus fucking christ, what a piece of shit. It's like a Cyrus Cybernetics Corporation product. And I LOATHE apple products, so don't call me a shill. But W7 could never be considered usable by touch by anyone sane who is not a shill.

Seriously. Metro is a step in the right direction (for those who care about touch, I don't give a fuck) but backwards compatibilty with real windows apps MUST GO.

disclaimer: if you have not experienced the horror of a W7 tablet, don't argue with me. It's that horrible. You MUST use one to understand how broken it is.

Re:Even though Surface looked great in paper... (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345473)

I recently bought a W7 tablet. Jesus fucking christ, what a piece of shit. It's like a Cyrus Cybernetics Corporation product. And I LOATHE apple products, so don't call me a shill. But W7 could never be considered usable by touch by anyone sane who is not a shill.

All tablets are useless pieces of shit.

Re:Even though Surface looked great in paper... (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345633)

I'm quite happy with my Asus Transformer. The only problem I had with it was it cost me an unplanned $300 to buy the kids junior level Android tabs so I could use it without too much interference.

No one wanted Windows without Windows Apps. (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345417)

MS made a mistake, although its not a big mistake. Microsoft wanted to have their OS running on ARM just in case ARM took over every aspect of computing. It makes sense that they invest time and money in a potential future.

However what consumers wanted, was not a windows 8 for which they could not run windows applications on. Thats the biggest problem with Windows 8 RT. It just fails to do everything Windows is known for, having ALL of the windows applications.

The windows 8 Pro tablets are far more appealing and rightfully so. They are great devices.

Good. Damn UEFI on ARM to Hell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345423)

Let this abomination of OS lockdown die the fiery death it deserves. Keep telling everyone you know, if they even had thought about a Windows RT laptop or tablet (thankfully, I've never met such a person) that this is just a bad idea, period.

I'm sure this won't matter to the haters (4, Insightful)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345455)

but my surface RT is the best travel computer I've ever owned. When I'm on the road I don't need to compile apps or do heavy lifting. I need to check email, use word / excel and browse the web. So why is it better than any regular tablet? It's as light as a tablet when I want tablet mode but has support for a real mouse / keyboard when I don't.

Re:I'm sure this won't matter to the haters (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345491)

but my surface RT is the best travel computer I've ever owned. When I'm on the road I don't need to compile apps or do heavy lifting. I need to check email, use word / excel and browse the web. So why is it better than any regular tablet? It's as light as a tablet when I want tablet mode but has support for a real mouse / keyboard when I don't.

This is a trick question. A portable computer with a keyboard and mouse is called a laptop not a tablet.

An RT device is an iPad replacement period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345639)

I think MS has poorly marketed RT and removed some core functionality that would make it killer.

RT devices are not an ultra book replacement they are iPad replacement. I had an iPad and it used to drive me nuts trying to read my cashflow spreadsheet every morning - the RT device runs excel native - no longer a problem. Have your ever tried to create a document or spreadsheet on an iPad - its really difficult with Windows RT your just using Powerpoint, Word and Excel, its much better.

I think some key functionality is missing that would have made an RT device killer for the regular joe.
1. Outlook RT (heard a rumor it is coming).
2. Silverlight.
3. Ability for Visual Studio to compile RT desktop applications.

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