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Did Microsoft Simply Run Out of Time On Windows RT? 305

Posted by timothy
from the time-is-always-limited dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft may have simply run out of time with Windows RT, Directions on Microsoft analyst Michael Cherry said on Friday. Windows RT, the name Microsoft slapped on the OS earlier this week after calling it 'Windows on ARM,' or WOA, for months, is the forked version of Windows 8 designed to run on devices powered by ARM SoCs, or system-on-a-chip. Cherry was referring to gaps in Windows RT's feature set, particularly the lack of 'domain joining,' the ability to connect to a corporate Windows network and the lack of support for Group Policies, one of the ways IT administrators use to manage Windows devices. 'This is pure speculation on my part, but it seems like they had to make a trade-off with Windows RT,' Cherry said. 'What we're hearing now about Windows RT is a function of time and how they wanted the thing to behave. It seems to me that the a key goal was to get battery life decent and keep the weight [of devices] down.' His analysis on RT's chance of success: 'I think you can take Windows RT off the table for enterprises,' he said."
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Did Microsoft Simply Run Out of Time On Windows RT?

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  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realityimpaired (1668397) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @02:36PM (#39764461)

    They didn't run out of time on it. They did what they've always done with what they see as "consumer" versions of their OS: they deliberately left out certain network- and enterprise-related functionality.

    • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Overly Critical Guy (663429) * on Sunday April 22, 2012 @02:41PM (#39764503)

      Microsoft has always had a strong enterprise relationship, so it's more likely that the lack of IT features is due to a rushed release schedule rather than sales strategy, especially considering that the iPad has been seeing rising enterprise adoption rates, which Microsoft is almost certainly aware of. Microsoft just didn't have a choice, because they're so far behind in the tablet market that they needed to release something at all costs.

      • Re:No. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @02:44PM (#39764537) Homepage Journal
        They could be trying to emulate the iPad. Keep in mind that it's done pretty well without features as strong as those on Windows.
        • Re:No. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Enforcer-99 (1407855) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:01PM (#39764699)
          They could be but I'd say that's a bad bet - trying to "out Apple" Apple. Microsoft has always had advantages in existing software compatibility and enterprise security features (say what you will - Windows Mobile had many more security features than Android or iOS for a long time). They seem to be casting off their only real differentiators in an attempt to copy the success of the iPad. This will fail spectacularly.
          • Re:No. (Score:5, Informative)

            by mystikkman (1487801) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:34PM (#39764951)

            They could be but I'd say that's a bad bet - trying to "out Apple" Apple.

            Microsoft has always had advantages in existing software compatibility and enterprise security features (say what you will - Windows Mobile had many more security features than Android or iOS for a long time). They seem to be casting off their only real differentiators in an attempt to copy the success of the iPad. This will fail spectacularly.

            What nonsense. There are a whole host of Windows x86 tablets coming with full touch support and with new form factors which will be fully compatible with existing software and enterprise features of PCs.

            And not to mention the fact that the author doesn't mention the enterprise features that Windows RT has.
            http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/04/19/managing-quot-byo-quot-pcs-in-the-enterprise-including-woa.aspx [msdn.com]

            Very telling that the author is Gregg Keizer, who was involved in the scandals with faking Windows benchmarks to drive page hits.
            http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/why-we-dont-trust-devil-mountain-software-and-neither-should-you/31024 [zdnet.com]

            And the submitter is CWMike, from Computer World. They know that Slashdot laps up anti-MSFT FUD and thus they use it to write drivel and get page hits from Slashdot. And judging from the comments, they're very successful in manipulating Slashdot for their own gains as they've historically with the fake benchmarks.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by oldbamboo (936359)

              They could be but I'd say that's a bad bet - trying to "out Apple" Apple.

              Microsoft has always had advantages in existing software compatibility and enterprise security features (say what you will - Windows Mobile had many more security features than Android or iOS for a long time). They seem to be casting off their only real differentiators in an attempt to copy the success of the iPad. This will fail spectacularly.

              What nonsense. There are a whole host of Windows x86 tablets coming with full touch support and with new form factors which will be fully compatible with existing software and enterprise features of PCs.

              And not to mention the fact that the author doesn't mention the enterprise features that Windows RT has. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/04/19/managing-quot-byo-quot-pcs-in-the-enterprise-including-woa.aspx [msdn.com]

              Very telling that the author is Gregg Keizer, who was involved in the scandals with faking Windows benchmarks to drive page hits. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/why-we-dont-trust-devil-mountain-software-and-neither-should-you/31024 [zdnet.com]

              And the submitter is CWMike, from Computer World. They know that Slashdot laps up anti-MSFT FUD and thus they use it to write drivel and get page hits from Slashdot. And judging from the comments, they're very successful in manipulating Slashdot for their own gains as they've historically with the fake benchmarks.

              That's right - I need to look at this more, but you people should give MS a HELL of a lot more credit for what they are doing here. BYOD is the security nightmare du jour, ever since the iPad came out. Our security team have spent huge resources, and are still woefully under-resourced to make managing these devices day in day out remotely safe enough. The last thing you'd want to see, and the first thing you'd demand - from an info sec perspective - is that AD not be baked into this consumer oriented OS. U

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Tough Love (215404)

            I'd say that's a bad bet - trying to "out Apple" Apple.

            True. Apple has had more success at trying to out-evil Microsoft.

      • Re:No. (Score:5, Informative)

        by realityimpaired (1668397) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @02:58PM (#39764659)

        They had ARM-based code to join domains and apply system policies in NT4... this isn't some new reinvention of the wheel like "WinFS" was, this is a porting of existing code to a different platform, one for which they already had working examples of code to compare against.

        Quite aside from that, it's high level code. You do not need to write the algorithms to join an NT domain in assembly or machine code, you write it in C and compile it for the arch. Porting a Linux distro to ARM does not mean rewriting the code from the ground up, it means recompiling with different flags... why would it be any different for Windows?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by gstrickler (920733)

          Not quite. NT3.x/4.x supported x86, Dec Alpha, MIPS, and PPC processors. It did not support ARM or SPARC. And, of course, they dropped support for all except x86. They did have support for ARM in Windows CE/Mobile, but whether that ever included code to join domains or Active Director, I can't say for sure.

        • by sosume (680416)

          My guess is that the features which were left out for either consuming too many resources while running, too many threads or memory, or for having use cases that were a nightmare. Tablets are not very secure and easy to steal. Perhaps they have bigger plans to address these left-out features in further servicepacks, so Win 8 SP2 will be the version to look out for.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jonadab (583620)
            > My guess is that the features which were left out for either consuming
            > too many resources while running, too many threads or memory, or ...

            Very plausible, but also...

            > Tablets are not very secure and easy to steal.

            This.

            On a Microsoft Active Directory network, information about *all* accounts on the system, including the domain administrator accounts, is stored on every device that is allowed to join the domain. That includes information about the passwords. (Why? Because if a domain controlle
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Sprinkels (41102)

              Only logon information about accounts that have logged on onto that device are being cached. Not all accounts, that would too resource intensive. Also that information is not obtained from a domain controller, but from user input.

              So you can only compromise accounts that are used on that computer. However if you could steal a domain controller than you are correct. But the same goes for authentication servers from any other vendor.

        • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @05:09PM (#39765555) Homepage

          "Porting a Linux distro to ARM does not mean rewriting the code from the ground up, it means recompiling with different flags... why would it be any different for Windows?"

          It would be very different, because Linux was written from the ground up by competent engineers with portability in mind. Windows was written by some very competent engineers, and many more with -shall we say - much less competence. In order to port Windows to ARM they have to find every place where an assumption was made about internal representation of data structures, word size, endian-ness, and a host of other issues.

          Initially NT was DEC Alpha and x86, but they scrapped Alpha support. The reason is simple. Writing portable code, especially in languages like C and C++ take skill, significant effort, and additional time. Obviously, a company that couldn't be bothered to put the time and effort into develop secure code could not be bothered to invest the effort to make it portable either.

          • by cbhacking (979169)

            Psh, wow, idiotic MS-bashing ahoy! They've screwed up plenty of things, but portability of the OS is not one of them.

            It's been policy, thoughout the entire NT project, to maintain a non-x86 port specificlaly to avoid letting non-portable code in. In the early days it was Alpha, then also things like MIPS and PPC, then Itanium (which, say what you will about it, is extremely far from x86 despite coming from the same company). With MS dropping Itanium support, they moved to ARM as the alternate platform. Then

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by recoiledsnake (879048)

        Microsoft has always had a strong enterprise relationship, so it's more likely that the lack of IT features is due to a rushed release schedule rather than sales strategy, especially considering that the iPad has been seeing rising enterprise adoption rates, which Microsoft is almost certainly aware of. Microsoft just didn't have a choice, because they're so far behind in the tablet market that they needed to release something at all costs.

        Exactly, you're perfectly explained why the XBox 360 can't join a domain either.

        They must have run out of time! After all they always had a strong enterprise relationship, so the explanation cannot be that the consoles are targeted at consumers. Maybe they'll have time to add domain join and group policy to the XBox 720, I can't wait to run SharePoint and BizTalk on it.

      • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:30PM (#39764903) Journal

        I have to agree with this, despite what others are saying. Microsoft bread and butter is the enterprise market. Microsoft usually is pretty sensitive and aware of their needs/wants. Just looking at the wide market place that exists for mobile device management solutions; packages that try to glue Windows Domain like management infrastructure onto ISO or Droid; its pretty evident the enterprise IT world wants tablet software they can manage like your typical corporate desktop.

        My guess Microsoft is aware that Enterprise IT has stalled as long as it can and pressure form the business both top and bottom to deploy tablets and smart phones to largish numbers of users is forcing them to act. Microsoft simply can't wait, once the F500 world gets substantial deployments of either Droid and IOS devices they are not going to switch.

        If Microsoft does not get an entry into the table space NOW they will NEVER be more than an also ran there. It will (DROID | IOS ) + (Good | Zenprise | McAfee | Mobile Iron ) in the work place. There will be no consumer market for them either, as DROID and IOS already have that space and the only foot in the door Microsoft could get is the "well its what we use at work," late comers, who won't exist.

        No this is pretty typical strategy on Microsoft's part. Get something out the door to stifle the "vaporware!" cries, even if it only delivers a tenth of the vision and promise the rest is coming in version inext.

      • There are great IT features on Windows 8. Just on the x86 ones. If it were not for Metro Windows 8 would be a great desktop upgrade. Virtualization support is very strong.

        It seems WOA is crippled because either
        1. Win32/64 has some x86 specific code
        2. MS can't sell Windows 8 WOA for $199 if the tablet is only worth $250. Especially if MS wants it to be competitive with Android.
        3. WinRT is battery efficient and this is important. Many researchers still use TRS-80s because they get 20 hours of battery life bel

    • by master811 (874700)

      They didn't run out of time on it. They did what they've always done with what they see as "consumer" versions of their OS: they deliberately left out certain network- and enterprise-related functionality.

      If that were true, I'm sure they would have an enterprise version of their tablet OS as well, but they still only have one version for the tablet. Either that or they simply think that the enterprise features just aren't needed.

      • Re:No. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by squiggleslash (241428) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:27PM (#39764885) Homepage Journal

        If it were true that the excuse was they "ran out of time", then someone somewhere would be lying. The ActiveDirectory integration of Windows isn't written in assembler, and there's no reason whatsoever to think it even has endian issues given it's all standard Kerberos and LDAP (OK, with some added functions, but nothing that involves decoding binary numbers in quite that way.) It's fair to say that enabling it is literally a matter of enabling a compile time flag, and running it through the test cycle a few times to catch whatever very minor issues might come up.

        So whatever the case, we can safely rule out "time" as being a reason.

        Here's a couple of more probable solutions.

        1. Microsoft sees tablets right now as being a consumer item.

        Microsoft is not ruling out there being a corporate need soon, but they know that tablet makers are not going to be trying to push them to small and medium businesses quite yet.

        And larger enterprises aren't going to want it either. Larger enterprises are conservative, they're not going to jump ship or start corporately purchasing swathes of devices that do not run the software they already have, which by and large is standard Win32 (or even Win16) stuff. The day larger enterprises consider tablets worth jumping onto is the day Microsoft is in for a world of hurt, because an enterpise that can do that can just as easily switch to Ubuntu or Mac OS X, or iOS, or Android, or whatever, too.

        So tablet makers are going to want a version of Windows that's aimed at the consumer. They're not going to pay extra, and waste precious Flash memory, on unneeded extras.

        The story is essentially hogwash. This wasn't a decision made in a high level tech meeting, but in a marketing department. Having been bitten many times before, Microsoft is being very careful in introducing their tablet operating system.

        2. We haven't moved to IPv6 yet

        That might sound like a weird comment to make but think about it for a moment. The primary feature we're talking about here is domain management. Domain management works when every computer that's in the domain is part of the same network. There's little or no point in it when that's not the case.

        Now... what are the characteristics of tablets? Well, tablets are ultraportable computing devices. If a business hands them out to employees expecting them to only ever be used on the corporate network, then... well, why is the business handing them out at all? Why not just go for regular PCs?

        And if they're expecting the users to use them anywhere, then without hacks using VPNs, there's not going to be a way of ensuring the tablets are always on the same "network" as everyone else until that network is The Internet, which is only going to happen once we have ubiquitous IPv6.

        Essentially, you're opening a can of worms by putting domain management features on a tablet in 2012. If "time" is the excuse, then it's not in the sense of "We can't implement domain management in time", because that's a load of crap. But it may be "We can implement it, but once we implement it, everyone's going to see a whole host of problems that have always been there, but weren't anything like as important back when you could expect even most office laptops to never leave the office network."

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Billly Gates (198444)

          Active Directory is the problem.

          Times are changing. People are working from home, on the road, and from other devices that are wireless. How does IT manage it? They can't. AD is static and not tablet or work from home family.

          The fact that these enterprises are still using IE 6 and 7 are showing the problem. They can't leave as it is unmanageable if you have 5,000 people in 4 continents.

          Windows 8 solution is to simply reset it to a previous state. That might work fine for every problem if all your data is on

    • by SpryGuy (206254)

      Or more likely, they expect Enterprises to buy new Win8 slates/tablets with actual Win8 on it to get the enterprise features.

    • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sir_Sri (199544) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:14PM (#39764803)

      They may simple not envision windows ARM as an enterprise product either. A windows 8 slate with an AM64/x86 CPU *should* be able to have comparable if not longer battery life compared to the arm counterparts, better compatibility, but probably a higher price. For an extra 100 bucks I could see the enterprise guys quite happy to keep it as 'regular' windows. Hell, for an extra 100 bucks I'd probably pay that as a home user device.

      The problem MS is making is assuming that the home market and the enterprise can stay separate. They can't. Your desktop should be your server, domain controller, manage your 'group' policy (for one device per user and 1-4 users I'm not sure the term group really applies but it's the same basic usage scenario). Someone who goes out an buys a windows RT slate and then can't take advantage of the things that make windows windows is going to be a very angry customer. Enterprise buyers usually won't have that problem because they will have someone who knows something about the tech decide what to buy hopefully.

      Put another way, I suspect Windows RT is going to be a consumer clusterfuck, but not because MS has 'ran out of time' on it, but because they don't understand how users will want to use it. If people want an ipad, let them buy an ipad. Windows slates need to be a different product than an ipad, but having a windows 8 RT shitty ipad clone that's basically a big phoneless phone, and a windows 8 x86 desktop without a keyboard sharing name and shelf space doesn't seem like a great plan.

    • So there is no expectation that businesses will use Windows on ARM? That sounds like they're giving up to Apple.
    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      This would be correct IF they had "WinRT Enterprise" but they don't. Since they do not the most likely conclusion is what I have been saying since the Dev preview which is Win 8 is a "Hail Mary" because they are getting curb stomped by Android and Apple in the mobile space and come hell or high water they are kicking that sucker out for the Xmas season.

      Personally with all the hatred I've seen from customers trying the consumer preview in my shop I think its not gonna matter WHAT CPU you slap this turkey on

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @02:39PM (#39764483) Journal

    WinRT does have [msdn.com] central administration capabilities, just not as extensive as enterprise editions of Windows.

    • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:28PM (#39764889)

      The real question is: why would you want an ARM powered Windows Tablet anyway? With Medfield http://www.anandtech.com/show/5365/intels-medfield-atom-z2460-arrive-for-smartphones/1 [anandtech.com] we're already seeing x86 not only competitive but actually besting some ARM devices for performance and battery life.

      Corporations are going to want backwards compatibility in applications and other x86 capabilities. If corporations need the full group policies and enterprise features they can just buy a full copy of Windows 8 Enterprise.

      If I was a corporate IT department I would prefer to support a single Windows version instead of trying to stay on top of both x86 and ARM updates and glitches.

      • by Mabhatter (126906)

        I'd argue that plenty of people are buying NEW apps for iPads (that didnt exist three years ago) at a record setting pace. The king of the hill is Citrix and they already have a client out for iPad... That means any native apps you need are already covered. For a standard "sales monkey" business traveler, iPad is nearly enough. iPad even supports remote wiping when paired to a windows exchange.

        Microsoft should have moved their core apps to pure managed .Net years ago. Then Windows RT would have been their b

    • Wait wait wait, WinRT [wikipedia.org] is completely different from Windows RT [pcworld.com]. The first is an API (which has nothing to do with "realtime", although they probably have some of that in there to be extra confusing), the second is an operating system that runs on ARM processors and is not a realtime OS. It does implement WinRT though, maybe that's why they named it that. Except Windows 8 implements WinRT too.

      The whole thing is so stupidly confusing, there has got to be some motivation behind it, although I can't for the life

      • I don't know what's up with branding, but the API is not really WinRT - it's "Windows Runtime" (that's how it goes on MSDN); "WinRT" is just a shortened version of that. The OS, on the other hand, is "Windows RT". It's confusing, I agree.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @02:41PM (#39764501) Homepage
    ...and put this part in bold so I'd have known not to bother reading the rest of TFS:

    This is pure speculation on my part

  • WOA (Score:5, Funny)

    by 88NoSoup4U88 (721233) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @02:48PM (#39764583) Homepage
    I can't help myself but see Keanu Reeves as Ted saying "woaaa".
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @02:54PM (#39764625)

    I have to disagree that Microsoft ran out of time. They just have an insane insistence that everything must but "Windows" even the Windows model doesn't fit. For style of tablets that compete with the iPad, they don't have to be desktops like Windows or OS X. Yet MS felt that they needed to spend development to shove the tablet model into Windows and label it as Windows 8. If MS focused on creating a new OS just for the tablet, they might have worked out all the enterprise features instead.

    To clarify the article, Windows programs will run on Windows RT and Windows 8 but only if written specifically that way. Legacy programs are important to the vast majority of enterprises and are not compatible with Windows RT. So Windows RT was never going to be legacy compatible, why do they need to rewrite the desktop Windows model just to call it all "Windows".

    The best use case I can see for Windows 8 hybrid approach is unfortunately something that MS has done in the past but never worked out. Hybrid tablet/laptops would have been great for Windows 8. But there is nothing on the horizon that remotely fits this vision. Intel is pushing for ultrabooks favoring less weight and more power efficiency instead of multi-touch transformable tablets. Seems like MS designed an OS for hardware that doesn't exist and even if it did is a very small percentage of users instead of optimizing for the hardware that is in the near future.

    • Saying that MS ran out of time is like saying that the iPad's missing enterprise features are because Apple ran out of time. The iPad's adoption is about user experience, not making CIO's lives happier.
      • Saying that MS ran out of time is like saying that the iPad's missing enterprise features are because Apple ran out of time.

        If Apple had a huge installed base in enterprises, with the types of centralized management features Windows AD/GPO offers, then your point would be valid. However, Apple basically didn't have such an installed base, nor did they offer such centralized management features. Theerfore, they didn't have that legacy expectation to fulfill. And almost as important, they didn't have any established competition in the iPad market, it was a new category of product, that happened to have >200k apps available at l

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        It's hard to criticize the iPad. They are making them as fast as they can and selling every one at huge margin. It's just impossible under that condition to make a compelling argument that the product is missing something it really needs. You can't sell more than "all of them".
    • Hybrid tablet/laptops would have been great for Windows 8. But there is nothing on the horizon that remotely fits this vision. Intel is pushing for ultrabooks favoring less weight and more power efficiency instead of multi-touch transformable tablets. Seems like MS designed an OS for hardware that doesn't exist and even if it did is a very small percentage of users instead of optimizing for the hardware that is in the near future.

      Have you been living under a rock?

      Have you checked out the Ideapad Yoga with 10 multitouch points? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIGUwyAXpgQ [youtube.com]

      And the news that around 32 touch models will debut this year with Windows 8? http://www.informationweek.com/news/hardware/handheld/232900536 [informationweek.com]

      More: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/04/intel-cove-point-ultrabook-tablet-hybrid-running-windows-8/ [wired.com]

      http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9226083/Intel_working_with_10_vendors_on_Windows_8_tablets?taxonomyId=12 [computerworld.com]

      I think the re

      • Most of the hardware you describe doesn't exist except for the Yoga which is Intel not ARM. Windows RT is for ARM.

        And the news that around 32 touch models will debut this year with Windows 8?

        32 touch tablet are expected, but they are not hybrids that I was talking about. Also when the iPad was released, CES 2010 [pcworld.com] was full of Windows tablets that were going to launch in the same year. Except for the HP Slate, what happened to them?

        Intel's Cove Point was shown off by Intel as a prototype not by an OEM.

        Currently, no OEMs have made a Cove Point announcement, but we would be surprised if manufacturers ignored the ultrabook-hybrid form factor entirely.

        First Cove Point uses an Intel chip not ARM and second, no word on if this will be

        • >Most of the hardware you describe doesn't exist except for the Yoga which is Intel not ARM. Windows RT is for ARM.

          Your OP said, "nothing on the horizon" and now it's switched to something that "exists"?

          So you want an ARM tablet/laptop hybrid and x86 ones don't qualify the requirement?

          I think ASUS is going to come out with one of those, but they're of limited utility since only Office(comes bundled) will run the desktop and no existing Win32 apps.

          • The Windows 8 hybrid approach would work great for hybrid tablet/laptops. Nothing in the articles you mentioned about Windows 8 tablets suggested they were hybrid. They would only describe them as touch tablets with some of them ARM and some x86. The CovePoint is great as a proof of concept and Ideapad Yoga would be great for this if they actually released it. But my memory of previous CES (especially 2010) says not everything that is announced is released. But that is just one OEM releasing the hybri

    • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:20PM (#39764841)

      The largest advantage of a Windows Tablet is that everything just works. You can run Starcraft if you feel like it. You can run not some butchered Google Docs or HTML5 version of office but the real application. You can run the real version of flash, silverlight and everything else if you really really need to. You can fail-back to a normal desktop experience if needed.

      I have an Android Tablet and it is incredibly frustrating to constantly run into limitations and gaps in the software and OS. For instance the other day I just really wanted to send a link to a friend on facebook messenger. I didn't have the Facebook App installed so I figured I would just fire up Opera. Much profanity later I finally got the message out but even with awkward finger interfaces in Windows I would have been able to send it much more quickly. There is a popular web forum I read that doesn't have an app. I was trying to write a comment but their javascript WYSIWYG comment window wasn't registering my typing correctly. It's that kind of incompatibility that just-works on a PC that no tablets offer yet.

      What will differentiate Windows 8 from Android and the iPad is that it's a full blown honest to God OS for when you really really need the real honest to god versions of applications. If you want to see what your idea of Windows 8 would have looked like in the market look at WP7. Microsoft knocked it out of the park according to the consensus of reviewers but it just isn't different enough to convince people to use it. If Microsoft tried to offer an OS specifically written for tablets then it would probably make 3% of the market and offer nothing of interest. Microsoft did the right thing. They are offering something very unique, the full windows experience and app compatibility but also with a mode which is friendly to touch. But they took it a step further and ensured "if you buy Photoshop for your tablet you also get photoshop for your PC and if you buy angry birds for your tablet you also get it for your PC." I assume the next step will be 'if you buy angry birds for your PC you also buy it for your tablet and phone.'

      I used to use an Android phone and it's obnoxious that I have to repurchase all of my apps for my new phone OS and that I can't play them on my Xbox or PC. Microsoft and Apple are both in the near future fighting to offer the "Buy once, run anywhere" model of applications. If you had to buy separate applications for your laptop and your desktop there would be a revolt.

      I don't think Microsoft ran out of time. I think Microsoft just doesn't care about WindowsRT. x86 and ARM are going to performance and battery life parity by the time Windows8 Launches. Microsoft is going to go "Look you can buy a WinRT computer with no backwards compatibility that only runs new apps or you can buy Windows 8 and get all of your old applications and the new ones. Which do you want? The hardware is the same in performance and battery life." People are going to choose x86 because once again ARM just can't stand up to the unstoppable juggernaut that is Intel's foundry and development arms. And in 12 months when Microsoft quietly kills their ARM fork they're going to say "See you asked for ARM and we ensured it ran on ARM but the market has spoken and Intel won out again."

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        The largest advantage of a Windows Tablet is that everything just works. You can run Starcraft if you feel like it. You can run not some butchered Google Docs or HTML5 version of office but the real application. You can run the real version of flash, silverlight and everything else if you really really need to.

        But, um, that's rather the point. The tablet claims to be 'Windows', but you can't do any of those things.

        All you'll be able to run are ARM apps, Metro apps and the limited subset of .Net apps that can run on ARM. If you try to run some random Windows program on your tablet, you'll probably find it won't run.

        • You're taking my statement out of context and making it in response to something other than the OP.

          The OP said that it was a mistake for Microsoft to force its TabletOS to be "Windows" and should have simply pursued a "Windows-Tablet".

          My point was that the ARM Tablet market running on a "tablet-OS" is already over-saturated and deficient in many areas that are important to customers.

          I went on to say that my prediction is that the ARM branch of Windows 8 will not be very successful and will be killed in the

        • You won't be able to run any non-Metro apps not written by Microsoft.
          Apparently they won't even let you run command line .NET apps that aren't tied to any specific architecture.

      • The largest advantage of a Windows Tablet is that everything just works. You can run Starcraft if you feel like it.

        So you're saying that Starcraft will run on Windows RT? MS specifically says this will not happen unless Blizzard goes back and rewrites it using .NET. This applies to all legacy x86 software. If Windows RT does not have the advantage of running legacy apps why did they need to make Windows desktop fit RT? A consumer seeing Windows 8 on desktop will only be more confused that their legacy apps will not run on their tablet as not only do they are "Windows" but also the metro UI is the same.

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        These obvious advantages haven't amounted to a successful Windows tablet for the last 17 years, when they've been available and not sold well the whole time. What makes this new one different?
        • These obvious advantages haven't amounted to a successful Windows tablet for the last 17 years, when they've been available and not sold well the whole time. What makes this new one different?

          Speaking as a Niche Windows Tablet owner I can actually say with a high degree of confidence why I own a Windows Tablet and an Android Tablet.

          1) Battery life. Until now Windows tablets get about 3 hours of battery life. If you are on a long flight and spend an hour or two in an airport your battery is dead mid-flight.

          2) Weight. Until now Windows tablets weight a metric ton and are treated like laptops not tablets.

          3) Performance. With a processor small enough to avoid #1 and #2 windows is too slow to r

    • by arkhan_jg (618674)

      Yet MS felt that they needed to spend development to shove the tablet model into Windows and label it as Windows 8. If MS focused on creating a new OS just for the tablet, they might have worked out all the enterprise features instead.

      The problem for them doing that is that they'd be a third entrant to the market, with an even more dominant leader - the iPad - to beat than they face in the smartphone market. And we've all seen how that's working out for them. Their biggest problem is the lack of killer apps

  • 'I think you can take Windows RT off the table.'

    FTFY

  • by wjsteele (255130) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:11PM (#39764779)
    The fact that the Win RT based devices can't join a domain doesn't matter. In fact, the iPad has never been able to join one and it doesn't seem to be a problem with them. Corporate infrastructures are adapting to support the comsumer based devices being brought in by employees... it's just a simple fact. Corporations save a lot of money when they don't have to buy their employees devices, so the trade offs are worth it.

    Bill
    • by 0123456 (636235) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:14PM (#39764805)

      The fact that the Win RT based devices can't join a domain doesn't matter. In fact, the iPad has never been able to join one and it doesn't seem to be a problem with them.

      I think you miss the point. Why buy a Windows tablet if it doesn't have the Windows features that you're used to?

      If a Windows tablet is no easier to integrate into your business than an iPad, why not just buy an iPad?

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:17PM (#39764827)

    Remember Windows Vista? Not finished. The finished version is called Windows 7.

    This is Microsoft SOP. There is a shipping date, which shall be met. Functionality and bug fixes will be added later depending on what complaints they get in the press.

    • Remember Windows Vista? Not finished. The finished version is called Windows 7.

      This is Microsoft SOP. There is a shipping date, which shall be met. Functionality and bug fixes will be added later depending on what complaints they get in the press.

      Um... did you not notice how many times Vista's "shipping date" got pushed back? It was four or five years later than initially intended [theregister.co.uk]!

  • Windows CE all over? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by linebackn (131821) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:26PM (#39764879)

    It seems as if Windows 8 for ARM is simply turning in to another Windows CE. That is, it is a fork rather than a direct port of the Windows OS with many unique differences.

    Back in the NT 4 days you could sit at a DEC Alpha machine and not even notice you were running on a different architecture until you tried to run an x86 executable. (Even then it could run 16-bit Windows 3.1 via an emulator that visually looked exactly the same as running a 16-bit program on NT 4 x86 and later there was FX32) The point is it had the same functionality as the other ports.

    • by cnettel (836611) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @03:33PM (#39764939)

      Windows on ARM is far closer to Windows 8 than Windows CE ever was to NT. CE was a clean-slate implementation, maybe borrowing some NT code. Windows on ARM seems to be more similar to something aking to XP Home or Media Center Edition, with the extra twist of another architecture and an arbitrary group policy decision (it's nothing more, really) not to allow third-party binaries in the traditional Windows GUI (e.g. only Metro apps). It is even so that Win32 API calls will be allowed for some Metro apps, including web browsers, even on ARM.

      So, in the end, it is a marketing and feature set decision. Apple has been successful with the walled-garden approach, and that's what Windows RT will be marketed as, with the slight bonus of offering the "real" Microsoft Office.

  • As much as I'd like to imagine MS bumbling a release, I'd wager this is intentional. I also don't think of it as an 'enterprise' v. 'consumer' play. As some has pointed out, there is little reason to believe it couldn't be trivially carried over from the x86 codebase, but MS may not see it as relevant to the way a tablet would likely work, even in an enterprise scenario.

    AD is built upon a strategy that was explicitly designed for fixed position systems in a corporate environment, owned by a company, loggi

  • by mr_lizard13 (882373) on Sunday April 22, 2012 @04:45PM (#39765369)

    It seems to me that the a key goal was to get battery life decent and keep the weight [of devices] down.'

    And that's exactly what the priorities should be for portable devices.

    His analysis on RT's chance of success: 'I think you can take Windows RT off the table for enterprises,' he said."

    Why? Apple's iPad doesn't support the feature set that Cherry describes either, and yet it's become the fastest growing tablet in the enterprise. In fact, it's the only tablet device with any traction in that space at all. Something like 60% of the Fortune 500 have deployed iPad or have a deployment plan in the trial stages. When did that last happen with a piece of technology less than 2 years old?

    There are plenty of reasons why I think Microsoft's efforts in tablets won't be successful, but the iPad's success has shown that not supporting a core Windows feature set needn't be one of them.

  • Oh, for fuck sake! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alex Belits (437) * on Sunday April 22, 2012 @04:59PM (#39765453) Homepage

    Windows on tablet did not get those features because they require uninterrupted network connectivity with a "mothership" domain controller. What does not happen on handhelds.

    The whole "analysis" is a ploy to proclaim Windows on ARM "Enterprise-ready" once Microsoft will figure out how to produce domain support with everything cached on the client. What will eventually happen even though it makes no sense.

    In reality, handhelds have to be treated as insecure clients, must allow user flexibility in applications configuration and should never be allowed direct filesystem access, however Windows developers are too dumb to make an equivalent of FUSE, rsync and a package manager. My almost-abandonware Nokia N900 has better "enterprise support" now than those Windows "analysts" (marketing people) can ever imagine.

  • Strategy is where it's at.

    Microsoft and Intel are companies that have a co-dependent relationship: MS depends on Intel to bring out new chips - driving better computers, because when someone buys a new computer they pay the Windows tax. But Intel got into bed with Apple too, because being dependent on MS alone is an uncomfortable place to be; remember what happened to [fill in your own long list of companies]. So MS needed to explain to Intel who is in charge in the relationship. And spending a few million

  • I know the tech folks get warm and wet over arm although they have a hard time articulating why anyone else would want it. If I wanted it, I sure as shoot wouldnt want big fat honking windows on it. Its a lightweight processor. Put a lightweight operating system on it like one of the 5000 we already have.

    Windows is dead anyhow. Just hasn't quit moving yet.

    • by SpryGuy (206254)

      WinRT/Win8 isn't really "big", "Fat", or "Honking". WinRT by itself is pretty lightweight actually.

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