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Asus CEO On Windows RT: "We're Out."

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,20 days | from the some-companies-like-making-money dept.

Windows 246

symbolset writes "AllThingsD's intrepid reporter Ina Fried has an interview up where Asus chairman and CEO Jonney Shih says they will not make any more Windows RT devices until Microsoft proves demand for the product. This leaves Dell as the only OEM who has not sworn off Windows RT. Dell is seeking to take itself private, relying on a $2 billion loan from Microsoft." Turns out people want things that are the size of a laptop to work as well as a laptop.

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maybe next time lose the lockdown (5, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434257)

So that you can make hardware that doesn't depend on MS?

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (1, Offtopic)

Weezul (52464) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434439)

I missread the title as Anus CEO ..

I'm glad a company of Asus' stature is abandoning Windows RT. :)

I saddened there is no knock off brand called Anus. :(

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (3, Funny)

jawtheshark (198669) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434587)

Nobody stops you to start the brand....

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (2)

nozzo (851371) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434735)

and call the consumer portal 'Your Anus' thereby completing the age old joke.

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434613)

You really want to see what comes from Anus?

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434661)

I believe the proper response to this is "Santorum", whether you're referring to the politician or otherwise.

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435431)

Come on, you've pulled that out of your ass.

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (1)

sageres (561626) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434753)

A Freudian slip [wikipedia.org] , also called parapraxis, is an error in speech, memory, or physical action that is interpreted as occurring due to the interference of an unconscious ("dynamically repressed") subdued wish, conflict, or train of thought guided by the super-ego and the rules of correct behaviour. *cough* *cough*

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434857)

Enjoy:

http://postarchives.entensity.net/040105/scam.htm

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434455)

According to Microsoft's annual 10-K report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), published on Tuesday, their total Surface revenue for all of fiscal 2013 amounted to just $853m. That's nearly $50m less than the $900m charge Redmond took when it discounted its remaining Surface RT inventory by $150 per box.

And that's not all. That $900m writedown was related to Surface RT only, but the $853m revenue figure includes sales of Surface RT and Surface Pro combined.

Further down in its 10-K filing, Redmond reports that it upped its sales and marketing budget for the Windows Division in 2013 by a jaw-dropping $1bn, which included an $898m increase in advertising costs "associated primarily with Windows 8 and Surface."

Got that? Microsoft spent more in a single year advertising the Windows 8 and Surface launches than it took in from Surface sales that same year.

And remember, none of this was even spread over an entire calendar year. Microsoft's fiscal 2013 ended on June 30. It launched Windows 8, Windows RT, and Surface RT on October 26, 2012. The Surface Pro launch came later, in February. But whichever way you slice it, Microsoft managed to mow through an $898m marketing budget in just eight calendar months – and consumers still didn't take the bait.

Strangely enough, Slashdot does not consider this news...

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (4, Interesting)

putaro (235078) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434537)

Heh - so if they had just given them away they would have lost less money.

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (3, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434747)

Even worse than that, when you consider that if Microsoft *paid* people to take them, they would have stood pat.

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (2)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435101)

a paltry sum of that was probably developer relations stuff.

What I'm saying is that MS actually paid people to develope apps for it and to take surface rt's.

What you had to do to get some of that pie was to not develop the same app for other os's. So none of the companies with actual existing well doing products on other os's got it and no companies which believed they have a good market on other operating systems for their app took the money.

(which is why I believe most of it went to games.. and to existing game companies since they're reputable.. in other words money down the drain).

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (5, Informative)

SDF-7 (556604) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435063)

Unless you are Neil McAllister, it would be nice if you'd signify that you're quoting his article in The Register rather than just plagiarize it.

Compare http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/30/microsoft_surface_sales_disaster/ [theregister.co.uk] for all but the last sentence.

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44435135)

My sincere apologies to Mr McAllister, I normally include the link.

Copy paste error, mea culpa.

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44435139)

slashdot is so biased against apple and pro-windows its pathetic!

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (2)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435363)

The shocking statistic I saw which shows the miserable demand is that Apple could have matched those figures if they sold ipads for $15.

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (4, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434457)

They can't. IIRC the requirements for bundling Windows RT include having the device locked down so it will only run Windows RT.

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434813)

It wouldn't take much to circumvent that - Compaq used to get around that limitation (albeit w/ WinCE and their iPAQ PDA product) by providing an "unsupported" bootloader [google.com] . (sadly, the original HP/Compaq page is no longer available).

Basically, Asus only needs to build and provide an "unofficial" and "unsupported" replacement for their UEFI that turns off the BS Microsoft lockdown, and boom - all set.

Now will they do it? Dunno.

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (-1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434969)

Lol, what a stupid statement.

Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44435105)

... and yours is any better? I find your signature to be quite appropriate.

Makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434293)

Company doesn't want to make a product that the market doesn't want to buy. The interesting part is that this is, somehow, news.

Re:Makes sense (2)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434425)

Nope. The "news" part is that they're confirming that Microsoft's bet-the-company strategy is failing.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434547)

Again, how is this "news"? If you asked any /.er they'd tell you it would fail even before the first WinRT tablets came out.

Re: Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434677)

Because these are facts, while prior opinion, no matter how well founded, was just speculation.

The Win8 hardware OEM market getting halved is certainly news as well.

Re:Makes sense (5, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434567)

Also even if Asus was in it still, there are millions of RT units from MS sitting out there unsold to compete with. I would say that someone at MS was wildly optimistic about RT projections or very bad at math. While we don't know the actual number some estimates have it at 6M unsold RT units. Surface RT was launched Oct 26, 2012 and was only sold at MS stores which only number two dozen or so. 6,000,000 units / 25 stores / 275 days / 12 hours means a MS store would have to sell 72 Surface RT units optimistically. And those are in addition to the ones already sold. I don't think that even Apple stores sell that many iPads during holiday season. What was someone thinking?

Re: Makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434855)

Cognitive dissonance, drinking their own kool-aid, forgetting that in the tablet space MS is not a monopolist but an also-ran and all that.

Re:Makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434885)

What was someone thinking?

An iPad with Office? That'd be awesome!

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44435199)

who needs office? That piece of shit needs to go for good.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44435375)

who needs office?

Almost everyone with a job which involves some kind of use of a computer.

online? (1)

slew (2918) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435387)

FWIW, of course Microsoft (like Apple) has on-line [microsoft.com] sales...

Of course it's really easy to forget you can buy things online these days, right?

Not that online sales helped at all in this case, but it just illustrates that often math rears its ugly head in straw-man arguments...

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44435147)

It seems you don't know what it means to "bet-the-company." If this is what either MS or Asus calls "betting the company" then they're in much worse shape then anyone else ever imagined.

Yes it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434555)

Company doesn't want to make a product that the market doesn't want to buy. The interesting part is that this is, somehow, news.

I don't have the time or inclination to study the sales of all the different products and OSes out there. The headline has told me many things and if I want to develop a new Windows RT app, I'll know that my only market is going to be a Dell device.

And after whatever transaction happens with Dell in terms of takeover, any Windows RT products that aren't selling well may be getting cut to streamline the business so that they can pay back the debt or backers of the buyout.

Windows RT is doomed.

ASUS is Out of the RT Market?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434297)

ASUS is out of the RT market? Which hardware companies are still in?

Re:ASUS is Out of the RT Market?? (2)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434319)

Couldn't even RTFS?

Re:ASUS is Out of the RT Market?? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434411)

Ya but how well did they want this thing to work anyway?

Re:ASUS is Out of the RT Market?? (2)

interval1066 (668936) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434489)

Judging from the highly (over?) produced tv ads that were out for these things I'm guessing pretty badly.

Re:ASUS is Out of the RT Market?? (1)

rullywowr (1831632) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435167)

Couldn't even RTFS?

This is Slashdot, nobody RTFA. You must be new here.

Re:ASUS is Out of the RT Market?? (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434419)

No idea. Doesn't say in the summary or the article.

Re:ASUS is Out of the RT Market?? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434521)

> Doesn't say in the summary

????

"This leaves Dell as the only OEM who has not sworn off Windows RT."

Re:ASUS is Out of the RT Market?? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434615)

Whoosh!

A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (5, Insightful)

xtal (49134) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434373)

How many MBAs does it take to miss that mind-boggingly obvious fact?

Here's some free advice if anyone important is reading this (haha):

Want to be wildly successful? Go invest a lot of time and money into figuring our how to make a 8.5 x 11" replacement for paper. That includes being able to write and draw engineering diagrams with a 0.2mm tip.

I've wanted one of those forever, I'd be willing to bet a lot of professionals out there have the same problem - the ipad is close, but not quite big enough, and it doesn't have written input.

"Me too" doesn't cut it. Have some vision, Microsoft. I dare you.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434481)

It would be nice if tablet designers, OS designers, and app coders stopped treating tablets like media consumption devices and started treating them like actual replacements for people who need to do actual work. Try working on a spreadsheet on one. Yes, you can do it. Yes, it's a colossal pain in the ass. Wanna reset a password in Active Directory from your tablet? If you're on Android or iPad, there's MAYBE one or two apps that can do it and then not very well. Oh, but if you want to listen to music on the crappy little speakers, there are about a thousand music players out there. There are any number of freemium games out there, too.

Tablets are fine for what they are, but you can't sell them as a productivity tool without actually designing it as one, and that's what Microsoft tried to pull with Windows RT.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (4, Interesting)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434605)

It would be nice if tablet designers, OS designers, and app coders stopped treating tablets like media consumption devices and started treating them like actual replacements for people who need to do actual work.

They have. It's called the Surface PRO.

I have one, and it works like a charm. It's a Core i5 running Metro + Win 8 pro. Runs full Office and has access to all network resources. At my desk it has its desktop extended to another monitor (try doing that with a f*cking iPad) with attached keyboard & mouse. Away from my desk it's got a detachable proper clicky keyboard and a nifty stylus.

All my colleagues carry two devices (iPad + Notebook) - I carry one. Every time I pull it out at a meeting or at the airport people say "oooh... what's *that*?" The RT noise is distracting people from what is otherwise a very cool machine.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434733)

And since the OP mentions being able to write and draw on it, it should be mentioned that the Pro is really good at that stuff also.

Gabe from Penny Arcade has a pretty thorough review http://www.penny-arcade.com/2013/02/22/the-ms-surface-pro.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

WillAdams (45638) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434849)

I've been considering the Surface Pro as the closest thing to a replacement for my ancient Fujitsu Stylistic ST-4121. Concerns:

  - display readability in full daylight --- I use my Stylistic, which has a Transflective display as a map and ebook reader when traveling and to control my CNC milling machine when I set it up on the back porch --- I can't find anything on how readable the display is in full sunlight, I'm guessing no better than any other normal LCD?
  - battery life --- I use a pair of high-capacity batteries and can manage up to 12 hours or so w/o needing a charge
  - Windows 8

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

Joshua Shaffer (2895571) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435187)

If battery life is really important to you the Pro probably isn't your best bet. About 5 hours is pretty accurate. Maybe after the hardware refresh, whenever that is, but the battery life pays for the form factor and power of the processor inside.

As for Windows 8, I don't think I'd like my Pro if it didn't have 8... the desktop side is just really poor at touch. When I'm at a desk and have a mouse? Awesome, I can go into full desktop mode, but anywhere else I'd prefer a Metro app. Hell, I went back to using IE instead of Chrome (when I'm not using a mouse, anyway) because Chrome's metro UI is absolutely abhorrent (it's just a copy of the desktop UI, which hates my fingers).

Can't say I've used it in sunlight so I don't have much to add there.

Nobody wants to work on a tablet! (3, Insightful)

xtal (49134) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434895)

You're missing my point.

I have three 30" screens I work on. It is wonderful.

I want a device that acts like my trusty pad of paper, but better. I like to be able to read and flip through reference papers leaned back in my chair, or over a coffee. I'm not going to sit down and work in that environment - certainly not to code, design a CAD part, work out a tooling process, design a PCB, figure out a circuit, or even write a long memo. I have a great work setup for those tasks.

Microsoft completely missed the mark and the consumers have spoken. You and some others want to work on a tablet, fine - most don't.

Re:Nobody wants to work on a tablet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44435211)

I think I agree with you more than Scutter. I think MS's mistake was even -beginning- to try to make a tablet into a work device as opposed to a media consumption device. The market for this is miniscule compared to the consumer market for products like iPad. Yes some engineers would like this, but the mobile world doesn't revolve around engineers (I say this despite being one myself). It revolves around salesmen who need things like phones, email, contact lists, address book, GPS, web browsers, media players, pdf viewers and a tiny tiny tiny TINY amount of data entry, and young consumers with disposable income.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

X.25 (255792) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435319)

It would be nice if tablet designers, OS designers, and app coders stopped treating tablets like media consumption devices and started treating them like actual replacements for people who need to do actual work.

They have. It's called the Surface PRO.

I have one, and it works like a charm. It's a Core i5 running Metro + Win 8 pro. Runs full Office and has access to all network resources. At my desk it has its desktop extended to another monitor (try doing that with a f*cking iPad) with attached keyboard & mouse. Away from my desk it's got a detachable proper clicky keyboard and a nifty stylus.

All my colleagues carry two devices (iPad + Notebook) - I carry one. Every time I pull it out at a meeting or at the airport people say "oooh... what's *that*?" The RT noise is distracting people from what is otherwise a very cool machine.

Wow.

You have a laptop.

Welcome to 1999.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

PrimeNumber (136578) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435377)

Knowledge of Pro was why everyone waited until it came out and skipped RT. And to further complicate things it uses a wildly different CPU architecture (ARMs or tegras) than Pro tablets that use Intel, so traditional windows apps will *not* work. One of many colossally stupid decisions made by Ballmer during his illustrious tenure as CEO.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (3)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434729)

Office RT was neutered. No macros, no add-ins, no forms, etc. They didn't design it as a productivity tool, they designed it as a direct competitor to what you get on Android and iOS.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (2, Insightful)

sageres (561626) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435003)

Sorry but it seems to me the MsOffice has been first neutered when they went into mandatory ribbon interface making it quite unusable.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434505)

I wonder if a retina display on a tablet would do that trick...?

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434623)

If you want something that emulates paper perfectly go buy a pencil and a stack of paper. And a scanner. Done.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

xtal (49134) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434725)

..that's what I do now. Stack of engineering paper and a mechanical pencil. Same technology I used in 1990.

The problem is the stack of specification sheets I work from and need to reference constantly. Scanning doesn't help me review notes and designs; if you look at them on the a tablet, the screen isn't the right size. Nevermind tracking and sorting all the paper.

There's rumors Apple is considering a 13" ipad. The bigger issue is the input, but I don't see why that can't be solved with some actual R&D.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44435131)

It's expensive as hell, but the Axioton Modbook Pro should meet those needs. It's an aftermarket modification of a Macbook Pro to a tablet form factor with a WACUM digitizer for stylus input.

The only real down side is that since toy have to buy the Macbook retail then buy the mod kit (or pay for the modification) it's something like a $3,000 machine.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434651)

http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/17/sony-prototype-e-ink-slate-video/

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

sageres (561626) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435081)

Nice! I want to get a hold of this prototype! The only two questions that I have is does it have an audio port and can they make it a color e-ink device for the same amount of battery consumption? (I don't know about this particular one, but my Nook Simple Touch lasts me one month on one charge and I use it every day.)

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434665)

The best I have seen so far for tablets is a galaxy note 10.1 or galaxy note 8. I picked up an 8 and so far it is working pretty well but there is still room for improvement.

The surface pro is supposed to work well for that also since it has an active digitizer. Overall though I would say the tablet makers are missing a huge market. They have something that is notepad to paper size and makes a good surface to write on but almost none of them support it.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434693)

I'm intrigued by your suggestion but would like to add that before attempting to replace paper (which won't work, in the short run at least) it would be nice to have displays that can be read in broad sunlight. Or, at least give us the mate/non-glare screens back. Or, at least make durable ebook readers whose display is large enough to actually read books (PDFs) as opposed to pretending to do so. Not the whole world consists of kiddies who love to watch themselves in their reflective mirror displays...

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (2)

oGMo (379) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434775)

Samsung is rumored [phonearena.com] to be working on a 12" Galaxy Note. This may not be a perfect replacement for paper, but with a full pressure-sensitive stylus and sufficient size, it's a good start. I can't wait.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (2)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434879)

A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point
I keep hearing this on Slashdot, and I disagree. It's not the easiest form factor to use for some things, and has some limitations to it ... but it's definitely a computer, and it's definitely personal.

My Nexus 7 lets me open a VPN connection, and remote desktop to a Windows machine. With a Bluetooth keyboard I can type without using the touch screen, and apparently you can buy a Bluetooth mouse for Android devices. It would be like a little tiny laptop -- not where I'd want to do a full days work, but when travelling it's at least nice to have a lightweight option instead of dragging my entire laptop.

Want to be wildly successful? Go invest a lot of time and money into figuring our how to make a 8.5 x 11" replacement for paper. That includes being able to write and draw engineering diagrams with a 0.2mm tip.

Everyone says this, and then forgets that they're a small part of the market.

You're describing a fairly niche product ... not everyone is planning to draw engineering diagrams with a 0.2mm tip on a tablet. You aren't the entire market, and I suspect that most potential buyers of tablets would be thinking "I don't need that". I've seen small-tipped styluses for touch screens. Likely nowhere near 0.2mm.

But "wildly successful" can't come from the small chunk of the market for high-end professional tablets that can do the stuff you describe. At this rate, give it a few years and you'll end up there anyway. For now, they're mostly a small consumer device not intended for doing all of your work on.

"Me too" doesn't cut it. Have some vision, Microsoft. I dare you.

And, when was the last time that happened? Microsoft has been doing "me too" for a VERY long time, and while they have occasionally brought something innovative to market (the Kinect for instance) it's often technology they've bought from someone else (the Kinect for instance).

I'm just not sure that as a company they're capable of doing that.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

sageres (561626) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434931)

If it is replacement for paper, a regular e-ink device that is modded to be a little more than just an e-reader does a hell of a job, like for example Nook Simple Touch.

Re:A tablet isn't a PC. That's the point. (1)

itsdapead (734413) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435425)

How many MBAs does it take to miss that mind-boggingly obvious fact?

Well, I think part of the MBA philosophy is that if you need something to be true or possible, then it must be - and Microsoft need it to be possible to run desktop apps on a mobile device.

Microsoft are late to the post-iPad tablet party, and Windows Phone has a sucky reputation. Their main hope for a distinguishing, unique selling point is to leverage their PC near-monopoly by offering tablets that can offer the same UI and household-name Office software.

They can't - of course. Windows RT Office is "office" in name only, and the Surface Pro is interesting, but more like an Ultrabook than a tablet. The latter might succeed if the guys ARM sit around playing Angry Birds waiting for Intel to catch up and overtake them on low-power performance.

The even bigger risk for MS is their policy of forcing a tabletized UI on their established desktop customers, presumably on the assumption that this will make them queue up to buy mobile devices with the same UI. Anybody other than Microsoft, that would be suicide, but....

The joke is, I'm sure the tablet bubble will burst soon. I'm not saying that they will disappear - but I suspect that the smaller tablets will converge with phones and the bigger tablets will merge with laptops.

Mind you, the wonderful adverts showing how, with a Surface RT, you could, er, sit around in the sun clicking the smart cover on or off and looking cool probably didn't help. Apple might just have something with those ads showing people doing stuff on an iPad (not that Apple don't make the occasional vapid advert as well).

No killer app (4, Insightful)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434375)

A version of MS Office which supports touch poorly is not a killer app.

Re:No killer app (2)

dingen (958134) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434389)

I can't believe they thought it would be. A touch-friendly version of Office might be good, but even that probably will depend heavily on a physical keyboard to do some actual work. And guess what? People already have machines with a physical keyboard running Office on them.

Re:No killer app (2)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434541)

And guess what? Most people use Office sitting at a desk, not on a Sofa.

Re:No killer app (2)

dingen (958134) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434581)

Exactly. And even for typing on a sofa, a laptop is much more convenient than a tablet.

A tablet cannot succeed when it depends on accessories to be useful, especially when those accessories are optional and hurting mobility.

Re:No killer app (2)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435273)

Exactly. And even for typing on a sofa, a laptop is much more convenient than a tablet.

I beg to differ.

I bought a Nexus 7 a while back, and have subsequently bought the case with the Bluetooth keyboard. Separate from that, the Google keyboard app has "swipe to type" where you basically connect the dots of the word and it figures out what you intended. I didn't even know that was there until recently when I stumbled on it.

I've found with the ability to drag your finger around means I can type at what I'd call a reasonable speed, but definitely not my usual typing at a keyboard and a desk. It's not handwriting, but I can waggle my finger around where the letters are and type at a fast enough pace that it's usable. In fact, it's a pretty damned good compromise.

Sometimes, I'm willing to sacrifice a little speed in typing for the comfort of doing it from my lazy boy or my backyard. Or in an airport. Or in the hotel bar. Or avoiding bringing my laptop when I travel but still need to keep some minimum connectivity.

Nobody is suggesting a tablet is going to replace your desktop machine just yet, but it's getting to the point where you can at least use it for some stuff. The ability to VPN into work and remote desktop to my machine from my Nexus is nice to have as an option that can cut down how often I need to bring my laptop with me.

A tablet cannot succeed when it depends on accessories to be useful, especially when those accessories are optional and hurting mobility.

I don't see those accessories as hurting mobility. I see them as making the device more flexible and useful in more situations.

I can noodle about on it and not ever do anything but basic typing or viewing content. I can use the on screen keyboard to at least be able to respond to emails from a more mobile device in a comfy chair, and the drag and type allows for a decent speed. And I can put it on a desk, turn on the Bluetooth keyboard, and have access to a small keyboard which is faster than the on-screen one. All without taking it out of the case that has the keyboard.

For what I paid for the Nexus, there's a ton of utility in that device for me.

It's at least a generation of technology away from being able to replace my desktop machine, but given that the latest version of the Nexus 7 is running at full HD. And a generation of technology is about a year or so now.

And given the Google is making that $40 thing that allows you to stream to a TV onto HDMI -- the technology exists that you could very quickly plug your tablet into your TV and with a wireless keyboard and mouse and turn pretty much any TV and tablet into a workstation.

Re:No killer app (5, Funny)

guytoronto (956941) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434395)

A version of MS Office which supports touch poorly is not a killer app.

Well, it killed the Windows RT tablet pretty well.

windows RT is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434433)

bets?

Re:windows RT is dead (1)

tommituura (1346233) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434551)

What does Netcraft have to say about it?

Cheap over touchscreen (4, Informative)

simonbp (412489) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434535)

The Samsung ARM Chromebook is still the best selling laptop on Amazon. The second best seller is the cheapest Windows (not RT) laptop from Dell. Windows RT devices do not appear on the list at all. It appears the market really doesn't care about touchscreens, but does care about price and battery life.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Computers-Accessories-Laptop/zgbs/pc/565108 [amazon.com]

Re:Cheap over touchscreen (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434751)

For some reason microsoft has it in their heads that "windows" is a premium brand and people will pay a premium even higher than the one apple charges. They are wrong.

Re: Cheap over touchscreen (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434959)

Indeed, reality is that people are willing to pay a premium to avoid Windows...

This is one area where Ballmer's decision to build a cult to rationalize away the glaringly unethical and predatory nature of the Windows monopoly is hurting them big time.

Re:Cheap over touchscreen (1)

timeOday (582209) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435071)

I'm really surprised so many people are willing to go for a Chomebook, and do without Windows. For years, Linux netbooks didn't really take off... yet the Chromebook is exactly that, with a new UI, and no access to 25 years of free software.

Re:Cheap over touchscreen (1)

cbope (130292) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435271)

Ah, yes... but the Chromebook sounds shiny... nice and shiny... people like shiny. It's got chrome in the name after all, so it must be shiny.

Otoh, Linux doesn't sound shiny. Not that that's bad... but consumers like their shiny.

Re:Cheap over touchscreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44435257)

Hey.. #50. is a netbook running Ubuntu...

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-1015E-DS03-10-1-Inch-Laptop-Black/dp/B00COQK8QY/ref=zg_bs_565108_50

2 Billion - It is small change (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434569)

I think the summary is a bit skewed. Yes, Mr. Dell will be getting a 2b loan from Microsoft – which in the entire buy out thing is not a big deal. It’s a loan, so no equity, so no control. And it is not even the largest loan.

Good Riddance (1)

BigDish (636009) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434583)

I own an Asus WinRT tablet - I actually love the tablet software, but hate the hardware. I say this as a person that owns multiple other tablets (2 Android tablets, a HP Touchpad, and brought but returned an iPad) WinRT is "enough" Windows to be useful that I can use it in place of a laptop in a pinch, but still enough tablet. My beef is the Asus hardware sucks, such as:
Poor design (dock connector digs into my hand, needs adapter for USB port, etc)
Poor reliability (3 warranty repair trips, including one time it didn't even work when it came back)
Poor support (Warranty turnaround time slow, have to provide my own box/pay for shipping, etc)

I very much like Windows RT, but hate the Asus tablet and wish I bought an MS Surface. Asus, you're the problem on this one, not MS.

Re:Good Riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44435159)

I couldn't agree with you more, the Asus Tablet (which I own) sucks - the screen sucks too. The WIndows OS is fine for a lot of stuff I'm doing. I too wish I purchased a Surface.

Microsoft's money - now with strings (1)

BeerCat (685972) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434619)

Back when it was "beleagured Apple", $150m from Microsoft in AAPL non-voting stock, and the string was "Microsoft will continue to develop Office:Mac."

Now, $2bn to take Dell private, and the string is "don't do anything non Microsoft"

So, it's "Here's a token amount, and our commitment to support you", or "Here's a large amount, and we pwn you"

Michael Dell, I'd re-negotiate, and go for the small amount...

Re:Microsoft's money - now with strings (2)

MachineShedFred (621896) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435201)

Everyone seems to forget that the deal with Apple was really "$150m non-voting stock, a commitment for Office on Mac, and a cross-license agreement so that you won't win a billion dollar suit against us because we stole QuickTime, but you're losing patience for because you're out of cash."

A matter of value (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434631)

In my opinion, Windows RT just hasn't proved its value. With the exception of the Surface (RT), I can't think of a single RT device that made me think "Oh, I want that!" I do own a Dell XPS10, but It certainly wasn't a value at its original price. I purchased this from craigslist and didn't actually make a move on one until the 64GB model I kept my eye on dropped to $280 (with keyboard). Sadly, it's a buggy affair, as Dell hasn't quite figured out how to implement the dock properly in my opinion. Back on topic, however, while the included Office is a nice touch, the only reason the tablet works for me is my simple needs. I basically need a browser for couch and toilet surfing. My Xbox music pass is a nice touch, though not a selling point on a tablet (my phone is a different story). The app selection is still woefully lacking, but I can't complain too much at $280. I'd be very upset if I'd paid $500-600 for a device with the same restrictions (and no, I won't buy an iPad or Android tablet at that price either). At that price, I'd rather save a little more for a Surface Pro or something along that lines.

Another victim of the Microsoft Tax (4, Interesting)

RocketScientist (15198) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434719)

Apparently some reports say that Microsoft is charging $90 per tablet to license RT. Consider that most retail "stuff" has a 100% markup to MSRP, and that means in order to compete with the cheaper offerings from Google ($200) and even Apple ($249) they'd have to be able to build the tablet for $10 to $60. You're not gonna get build quality for $60. That's the real reason the Surface tablet exists: nobody else really can make one and be profitable, so Microsoft wanted to show how to make one profitable (go high-end and put everything in it, despite that it cost a bit more than a nice iPad with less features, and rely on the Microsoft name).

If Asus wanted to make Microsoft look bad, they could ship the same tablet, one with Android and one with RT, and just have one be half the price of the other, and see how they flew off shelves.

Re:Another victim of the Microsoft Tax (1)

o2binbuzios (612965) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434897)

Retail markup on a pair of Levi's may be 100% - but on commodity electronics it's more like 10-20% or less. Throw in your typical Sunday morning loss-leader promo and you're looking at more like low single-digits and the retailers *pray* that you buy an extended warranty or a $30 cable so they actually make some money.

But your point about the $90 license fee is a good one. On a low-end $500 list unit, M'soft makes $90, the manufacturer makes maybe $30-$50, and the retailers make $10-$50. If it ends up on clearance - the manufacturer and retailer numbers may go to zero or negative. M'soft keeps their check on the license and the manufacturer says 'No Mas'.

Re:Another victim of the Microsoft Tax (2)

sageres (561626) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435113)

No wonder MS has still tons of unsold tablets in stock. I would buy the device in a hart-beat if it were much cheaper, and if a clear way of wiping the current OS and putting Linux and subsequently Android on it would exist.

Out of touch ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434739)

So I'm forced to conclude that Microsoft is either exceedingly out of touch with what consumers actually want, or they've lost a lot of good will over the years and people are deciding they don't want their products.

For years Microsoft has more or less allowed the hardware makers to keep up with the needs of running their stuff -- but it sounds like they're not willing to foot the bill (and carry the risk) for getting a Microsoft product to market.

Sounds like Windows RT is fast becoming a complete flop.

Re:Out of touch ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44434807)

... Microsoft is either exceedingly out of touch with what consumers actually want, or they've lost a lot of good will over the years and people are deciding they don't want their products.

Yes!

A Great Machine In There Somewhere (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,20 days | (#44434805)

Secure boot was a disgrace that should not have been allowed. I am getting increasingly concerned that the old duopoly is Apple and Microsoft has no interest in evolving its Desktop machines, Windows replacing their OS with a tablet interface, and Apple is replacing it with a cylinder...and the choice of expensive external hard drives. All in pursuit of those early adopters money in the tablet (mobile) market ironically a market that has been taken from them by Googles Android(67% Market share) faster than the smartphone market; Apples(28% Market Share) "Sold" suddenly means "Shipped" and Millions of Tablets Disappear in Inventory adjustments(Channel stuffing perhaps?) and the margins are vanishing from it even faster; The Microsoft(5% Market Share) Surface price even massively discounted looks overpriced.

The sad fact is I am convinced there is a great machine in there somewhere. I personally would be happy with surface running GNU/Linux with android compatibility...and the Play store. In my opinion apart from an unnecessary low resolution screen which is indefensible in a Nexus 7 1920 x 1200 with 323 pixels per inch (the return) world. Yet they have made such future impossible with their(not your) hardware. I am now waiting for the next generation of touchscreen chromebooks which will also solve the problem of price as Intel and Microsoft gouging their hostages on 70% gross margin, A major factor when you face competition.

As I said Secure Boot is a disgrace. Ironically Asus CEO and chairman Jonney Shih sees the of Android with a keyboard too (If only Asus would add GNU/Linux to Mix) as the future http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000185493&play=1 [cnbc.com] (Jon Fortt really really likes Apple and should be sacked) even though Asus are selling significant Android tablets including the incredibly popular Nexus 7 (both generations).

FYI Tablet Market figures from here http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/29/apples-ipad-market-share-chopped-in-half-as-android-takes-over/ [venturebeat.com]

Apple didn't pretend iOS was OSX (3, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435009)

And Android has never claimed that you would be running full Linux on your device. Microsoft's blunder wasn't that they made a tablet OS, it's that they tried to pass it off as their full fledged desktop by giving it the same name when they had already spent 8 years with their desktop software already on tablet computers, and doubled down by simultaneously releasing a looks-and-feels identical version which really did run all of Windows desktop software.

Never thought it would fly (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435025)

Windows RT's a dog that was never going to fly unless they'd done it 5 years earlier. All the surface stuff is overpriced but why would you buy a computer no one is writing software for? Even the pro version you're still locked in and cant significantly mod the product (Add more memory/storage etc) but at least its got a USB and I bed the BlueTooth works.

Re:Never thought it would fly (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435315)

Come on, don't insult man's best friend.

Can't Believe Microsoft Thought it was a Good Idea (5, Insightful)

macromorgan (2020426) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435189)

The main strength of Windows was its ability to maintain an impressive amount of backwards compatibility. A few applications aside, things I bought 10 years ago still work on my Windows 8 x64 machine (without virtualization or emulation). To attack two well entrenched competitors Microsoft went in guns blazing without what is historically been the most compelling feature of Windows. I have an MBA, and even I saw this coming...

I personally believe that RT is done (1)

bravecanadian (638315) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435215)

There is no purpose to it. It has no advantages over the existing lower power tablets except Office which is something that people who are using those tablets don't care about.

As intel improves the power requirements of their main chips the Surface Pro is where Microsoft should be focusing their efforts. A single device that functions both as a full fledged PC when needed and a tablet when needed is the immediate future. At least I know I don't want to lug around multiple devices.

You miss the deviousness of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44435233)

The original gripe from the OEMs was that MS was producing hardware that competed with them. Now that they've washed their hands of it, MS has a free hand to build whatever they like without OEMs being able to whine about unfair competition or go to regulators to complain.

It's truly brilliant. /. is merely too dense to see it.

Windows RT was a mistake from day one (1)

jonwil (467024) | 1 year,20 days | (#44435333)

They should have stuck to x86 (including x86 tablets) to leverage the huge base of software already written for x86 rather than porting Windows to a new platform with basically no advantages over x86 and a bunch of disadvantages (including the fact that existing software wont work).

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