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Microsoft To Sell Its Own Windows RT Tablet 288

Posted by timothy
from the end-to-end-integration dept.
Glasswire writes "ComputerWorld reports that Microsoft will announce a Microsoft-branded tablet on Monday running the Win RT (ARM-based) subset version of Win 8. MSFT choose not to offer a x86 Win 8 version, which could have given them a performance advantage over ARM-based Apple iPads. A PCMag opinion piece titled 'A Microsoft Tablet Would Be Dumb' says, 'The only real reason to introduce a Microsoft-branded tablet is because Microsoft couldn't get anyone else to make a Windows RT tablet.' No reaction yet from Microsoft's system OEM customers that it will now be competing with."
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Microsoft To Sell Its Own Windows RT Tablet

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  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @10:36AM (#40344109) Homepage Journal

    A PCMag opinion piece titled 'A Microsoft Tablet Would Be Dumb' says 'The only real reason to introduce a Microsoft-branded tablet is because Microsoft couldn't get anyone else to make a Windows RT tablet.'

    Looks like knee-jerk anti-Microsoftism to me. Nobody has said the same thing about Google branded tablets, despite the reports Google intends to release one in the next month or two. Moreover, several PC makers, noteably Asus [businessinsider.com], have already announced Windows RT tablets.

    Microsoft have engaged in some sordid business practices, and prior to Windows 7 their desktop operating systems were terrible. But just making up any old crap about them makes you look stupid, not Microsoft.

    • by Nutria (679911)

      Your problem is that you've actually given credence to PC Magazine.

    • by ganjadude (952775)
      exactly, its one thing for /. to go all kneejerk because, well do i even have to say it? this IS /. but you would expect pcmag to be a little more journalistic.
    • by westlake (615356)

      Looks like knee-jerk anti-Microsoftism to me.

      No kidding.

      Office 2013 RT includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and will ship as an integral part of Windows RT. ARM-powered Windows RT to run "Office 2013 RT" [arstechnica.com]

      MS Office never exits the top ten bestseller lists in OSX and Windows software sales.

      prior to Windows 7 their desktop operating systems were terrible

      The MSDOS and Windows OS runs well on hardware that is midline at the time of release and entry level a year or so later.

      The Ford Model T wasn't the most technologically sophisticated car on the road. But its design and engineering made perfect sense given

  • The light dawns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by overshoot (39700) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @10:38AM (#40344127)
    That helps clear up the mystery of why MSFT raised the price of RT for OEMs.
    • by DAldredge (2353)
      Or it could be that since RT has a full copy of Office included they made it more expensive so as to not get the various government antitrust agencies upset with them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Locutus (9039)
      or did they do this, decide to mfg their own tablet, because at those prices nobody wanted to make a WinRT based tablet and end up like Nokia? Yes I know some had announced they were planning a Windows tablet but we've also seen Microsoft on stage with vendors(HP) showing product before which didn't see daylight.

      So why a Microsoft built tablet? Has Ballmer really gone chair throwing ape over Apples success? His attack on the iPod didn't go so well( hello Zune ). Nor did Windows Mobile 6.5 or their latest 2
      • by macs4all (973270)

        So why a Microsoft built tablet? Has Ballmer really gone chair throwing ape over Apples success?

        Yes.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A windows tablet that can't run windows applications.
    Yep that'll go very well with your standard windows customer.

  • by lennier1 (264730)

    How's that different from Google, who supports the Nexus smartphone series to provide a reference for other companies?

  • competing with whom? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kbdd (823155) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @10:46AM (#40344191) Homepage
    'The only real reason to introduce a Microsoft-branded tablet is because Microsoft couldn't get anyone else to make a Windows RT tablet.' No reaction yet from Microsoft's system OEM customers that it will now be competing with."

    You have to make up your mind. Either MS could not find anybody to make an RT tablet, or they will have competitors in the RT tab;let market. It cannot be both.

    I am no fan of Microsoft, but I tend to like them better when they are the underdog. It seems it brings the better out of them.

    • by dimeglio (456244)

      You mean like when they released the Zune to compete against the iPod?

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        Can you imagine how horrible the Zune would have been if it had not been an iPod competitor?

        "Bringing the better out of them" doesn't mean the end result is necessarily good.

    • I don't know what the internal negotiations were but that would effectively say to any potential tablet makers not to bother. This puts MS at a significant cost advantage. I heard Asus was coming out with one.
  • x86 please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <`gro.oc-onpt' `ta' `ydenneks'> on Saturday June 16, 2012 @10:55AM (#40344247) Homepage

    As a network administrator/system operator/analyst/jack of all, I want an x86 tablet please. Why? Because I need a windows tablet in the enterprise that I can manage like a computer.

    RT is nice...for the consumer space...I guess. But I really want a windows tablet for the enterprise space please.

    • Re:x86 please (Score:5, Informative)

      by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @11:31AM (#40344483) Homepage Journal

      No -- you want administration tools that you can use to manage an enterprise's corral of tablets and smartphones. Surprisingly, Apple offered this for the iPhone years ago as part of their OS X Server package that allowed for the adding/removing of apps and permissions for all registered devices on the network. Not sure if it still exists in Lion Server -- but it stands to reason it should.

      Expecting them to come up with a brand new Tablet OS just for your IT dept needs did give me a chuckle though.
      But rest assured, I'm sure they'll rip-off Apple (as usual) and come up with a device administrator for you to play with.

    • by Locutus (9039)
      you'll have to wait until some super doper battery tech is invented then. x86 and Windows are not very kind to battery powered devices people are used to carrying around. Well, unless their is a shoulder strap involved. Or you can wait until Intel and others get below 20nm but even then the others will be that much lighter. Still, with sub 20nm and huge SSD's you might get something running the full x86 Windows APIs and services people can carry around without a shoulder strap but aren't we looking at close
    • HP Slate [wikipedia.org] runs Windows 7. However not many of them sold probably because they started at $799 and battery life on Win 7 was terrible.
    • by macs4all (973270)

      As a network administrator/system operator/analyst/jack of all, I want an x86 tablet please. Why? Because I need a windows tablet in the enterprise that I can manage like a computer.

      RT is nice...for the consumer space...I guess. But I really want a windows tablet for the enterprise space please.

      You had about a DECADE to purchase an XP one.

      Did you?

  • I mean seriously, wasn't Windows 8 having all this newfangled interface specifically for tablets?

    • From the article: Windows RT tablets are built on the Windows 8 OS

      • by Glasswire (302197) <.glasswire. .at. .gmail.com.> on Saturday June 16, 2012 @11:22AM (#40344405) Homepage

        From the post: "...running the Win RT (ARM-based ) subset version of Win 8."
        Clearly implies Win RT is based on Win 8, but a subset, since you cannot run legacy Win apps and is missing many other full Win 8 features.
        Full Win8 is only available in x86 version.

    • by Locutus (9039)
      what do you mean by Windows 8? If you mean something to run x86 apps and stuff you're used to doing on a desktop then it's because it would need to be a huge tablet just to hold the hardware required and wouldn't be even close to an iPad in size. Windows RT is based on the Windows 8 code but with massive amounts of it cut out and just a bare minimum to run that newfangled interface as you called it. And since we all know there's not much software for that, this has to be tied to Microsoft Office and that's
  • by guidryp (702488) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @11:22AM (#40344399)

    If previous reports of >$80 for OEM WinRT are correct, only Microsoft can reasonably afford to build low end Windows RT tablets, as the $80 becomes prohibitive software cost for low end tablets (where WinRT will compete). For Microsoft it is just inter-divisional funny money.

    How do HW OEMs compete with a $200 Kindle Fire (or rumored Google Branded $200 tablet) when saddled with $80+ OS?

    • by dimeglio (456244)

      Remember that MS is a huge company with many many mouths to feed. They need to sell them at a fairly large profit to feed the machine.

      • by guidryp (702488)

        They need to sell them at a fairly large profit to feed the machine.

        Microsoft does pour money into markets for years at zero or negative profits in hopes of eventually winning. Just look at Bing.

        They still have Desktop OS/Office monopoly machine printing money until something they pour money on catches fire.

        This could be their way of seeding the WinRT market that doesn't really make sense for OEMs (anyone?).

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        Remember that Google is a huge company with many many mouths to feed as well.

        Yet, last time I checked, Android is available for free, and it's open sourced under the permissive Apache license to boot.

        • by teg (97890)

          Remember that Google is a huge company with many many mouths to feed as well.

          Yet, last time I checked, Android is available for free, and it's open sourced under the permissive Apache license to boot.

          That's because Android isn't a product Google is selling. You are the product.

          Android is just one more gateway for selling you to their real customers.

    • As Steve Ballmer has taught us, hardware will be free and only software will cost money.
  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @11:23AM (#40344419)
    Why is it that Microsoft can't seem to do anything until some one else does it and it's usually Apple? Apple used a windows environment before Microsoft. Zune came after virtually everyone else had a music player so it never had much of a chance. Now they suddenly decide it's time to get into tablets? FYI there are other examples, just making a point. Just seems like a poor business model to wait until market saturation to launch a product. If Apple launches a TV can we expect a Microsoft TV a few years after? I didn't include things like a portable OS because they have tried that before but it didn't take off where as Android and iOS have done well. They just seem to wait until others take the risk then get their feet wet once the pool is full.
    • by wvmarle (1070040) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @12:03PM (#40344685)

      I don't have the feeling that the tablet market is exactly saturated. Sure there are many players, but it's a fast growing market, and there is definitely place for more players.

      Whether MS has what it takes to compete in that market, that's a totally different matter.

      And by the way, Apple launched their first-ever mobile phone offering in a mature, and far more saturated market than the tablet market is now. I can't say they didn't do well. So launching a new product in a saturated market is not a recipe for failure - you just have to offer something good that can compete with the rest.

      That the Zune was a flop was not because the digital music player market was saturated, it was more because it was a lesser offering than the iPod.

      • The difference between the iPhone and the Zune was Apple went after a highly targeted and under-served segment of the market. Smart phones existed way before Apple but most companies focused on business smart phones. They put out "consumer" versions which were only slightly modified versions of business ones. Apple and later Android made their phones specifically for consumers. The Zune simply went after the iPod. For a while there it was slightly better than the iPod Classic; however, Apple moved the

        • by Belial6 (794905)

          The iPod Touch wasn't just a media player. It was a portable computing device that was also a media player, internet browser, email application, etc.

          A.K.A. a PDA.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)
      I don't think "suddenly" quite sums it right. MS has been making Windows tablets for years but has had to change their strategy. Slowly turning behemoth is more descriptive of MS. They've failed to sell many tablets. In fact in 2010 at CES, Ballmer stood in front an array of tablets and gushed about the year of the tablet [pcworld.com]. He was right but it would be the iPad that Apple launched a month later and not any Windows ones.
    • by hey! (33014) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @12:38PM (#40344911) Homepage Journal

      Why is it that Microsoft can't seem to do anything until some one else does it and it's usually Apple?

      Corporate culture. Microsoft is famously a competitive environment, but from what I've read it's not companies like Apple that's the enemy, it's other projects at Microsoft that might siphon resources from yours. When an outside vendor introduces a successful product, nobody can say, "it'll never sell." When the product is *wildly* successful, like the iPad, it can even overcome "we tried that before and it doesn't work."

    • by Dr. Evil (3501)

      That's the strategy in the Ballmer era. He's an idiot.

      Apple almost died in the Gates era. Either Gates jumped ship just as Jobs and Google was taking the market, or Gates' Embrace-extend-extinguish or "cut off their air supply" strategies were so effective at stifling innovation, that things didn't take off until he took a back seat to focus on his philanthropy.

      Jobs' innovation in iTunes was not the iPod BTW. Apple was a over-priced, featureless also-ran. 5GB HDD, Firewire interface and 10h battery

      • Yep. Gates used to be ridiculously paranoid that "someone will do to us what we did to IBM".

        If the old MS crew was running the show, as soon as they heard the rumor that Apple was working on a touch-based phone, they would have started a crash program and bought the talent they needed. Now with Ballmer, you get the crash program, but its coming 3-4 years too late.

        To a great degree, Internet services have defanged MS's monopoly power & ability to "cut off the air supply". But really they just got lazy af

    • Why is it that Microsoft can't seem to do anything until some one else does it and it's usually Apple?

      You seem to be under the impression that Apple do things first themselves. MP3 players, tablets, smart phones, personal computers, set top TV boxes, routers, online music services operating systems.... there were products in all of these categories before Apple introduced their offerings. In some cases Microsoft had products in these categories before Apple!

      I think the point is, someone always did something like your product before. It doesn't matter if you're Apple, Microsoft, Google or whoever else. Th

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 16, 2012 @11:28AM (#40344455)

    Look, we can all see this will flop, but when it does, can this time the shareholders dump Ballmer?

    He makes terrible choices, and that impacts their products. They have talent in Microsoft, they have money, they have a market to leverage, yet time and time again he fails to marshal them.

    So at some point the shareholders have to say enough and dump him.

    Oh and BTW, the Acer A700 tablet has sold out on pre-order. That's the *Android* Quad Core Tegra 3, with bigger than HD screen (1920x1200), so Windows RT will face incredibly tough competition out there.

    • They have talent in Microsoft, they have money, they have a market to leverage, yet time and time again he fails to marshal them.

      Yes, don't you think this is excellent? Why interrupt him when he is busy doing such good for the human race?

  • If they are about to buy Nokia at a fire sale price.
  • RT ? (Score:4, Funny)

    by vlad30 (44644) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @11:43AM (#40344553)
    It only requires 5 words to bring down a leader

    Doesn't Windows look Really Tired

  • Smart Glass. This is a bit different than a phone. Just like they make Keyboards, Mice and Joysticks. This is primarily for the smart glass living room marketplace, and they are going to explore ideas that are best for that space and application, as well as all the other cool stuff you can do with a tablet.

  • So let's see it's not Windows and so it does not run the millions of Windows software packages. And it's not Windows Phone either so it does not run those apps either, It only runs Metro UI apps compiled especially for Win RT (ARM) which is is let's see hmm... Nothing! It's a whole new platform in a space that MS has zero market share. Google making a tablet makes some sense they already have an Android market full of apps and people that would buy a sweet Android tablet and they already sell the Nexus line

  • Some people have been claiming for years that Apple needed to go back to the clone days and allow other OEMs to sell Mac OS X on their PCs too.

    Now that it appears Microsoft will be getting directly into the Windows-on-hardware business I suppose we'll find out if that above demand makes business sense.

    (Yes these are tablets but I believe the tablets are tomorrow's PCs)

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @02:36PM (#40345605)

    Projects like the Courier were killed because the MS Office and Windows divisions felt threatened. Microsoft is afraid of having products that do not somehow directly tie into the Windows and Office culture and because of that, they will not have a successful product beyond the XBox and their Windows PCs and servers.

    Microsoft needs to dump Ballmer and reorganize into several organizational units like Sony so that they can have products that do not necessarily interoperate and sometimes even fight each other in the market.

  • by sociocapitalist (2471722) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @03:40PM (#40346003)

    "Microsoft To Sell Its Own Windows RT Tablet"

    Well it's not like they're going to sell someone else's tablet now are they.

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