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Now That It's Here, Is There a Place For Windows RT? 287

Posted by Soulskill
from the stand-over-in-the-corner dept.
concealment sends this quote from Ars: "The argument back then was this: Windows on ARM would mean discarding the thing that makes Windows entrenched and important: Windows applications. Tablets need all-new applications, and if you're going to run all-new applications then you don't really need Windows. ... In the time it has taken Microsoft to bring Windows on ARM to market, ARM's once overwhelming battery life advantage has been erased. The ARM CPUs may still have a slight power use edge, but the difference will typically be dwarfed by the power consumption of the screen. The Intel processors, in turn, bring CPU performance that is probably best in class (or close to it), and most importantly of all the ability to run the full version of Windows 8 and existing Windows applications. The hardware could look identical to the user, but if it has Intel inside, the user experience will be quite different. ... With these constraints and limitations, it's hard to see who exactly Windows RT is for. I acknowledge that there are certainly some users who will be content to use the browser, mail app, and perhaps type the occasional letter in Word or balance their checkbook in Excel: people for whom the Windows Store's current gaps do not matter. But I think a much wider selection of users will be ill-served by Windows RT."
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Now That It's Here, Is There a Place For Windows RT?

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  • Windows 8 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CajunArson (465943) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:21PM (#41758323) Journal

    As a tablet OS, Windows 8 is actually pretty nice. It's just that it's being crammed down our throats outside of tablets that makes it a PITA.

    As for RT vs. x86, I'd lean toward x86 unless there's a major price advantage to ARM. The Clovertrail chip looks to have good performance and battery life, so there's no massive technological reason to pick one over the other. Application compatibility is a nice win for x86 BUT.. the truth is you'll likely not want to run desktop applications on a tablet anyway.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      RT is "Asking to be sued" by the EC. It'll be entertaining when they get fucked for trying to pull the same browser restrictions a second time.

      • But WinRT is a minority player, they have no monopoly to abuse
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by larry bagina (561269)
        The MS/EC agreement was for computers only. Tablets and phones (WinCE at the time) weren't included.
      • by jonbryce (703250) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @06:30PM (#41759141) Homepage

        They currently have a 0% market share, behind the market leaders Apple, Android and even Blackberry.

    • Re:Windows 8 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bananaquackmoo (1204116) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:28PM (#41758423)

      "unless there's a major price advantage to ARM"

      Hint: there is.

      • Re:Windows 8 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by viperidaenz (2515578) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:40PM (#41758581)
        Hint: A couple of dollars, since Intel are pricing their new Atom's to directly compete with ARM SoC's
        • by ClaraBow (212734)
          I"m expecting a couple hundred dollars difference. It really two completely different products. Why did MS decide to muddle the waters, I haven't a clue!
          • Re:Windows 8 (Score:5, Informative)

            by viperidaenz (2515578) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @06:21PM (#41759045)
            Atom CPU's have already sold as low as $19 a piece.
          • From a technical perspective there isn't much difference between two instruction sets: You can compile for either. From a business perspective, there is a huge difference. There has long been a 'way things are done' with x86, going back through three decades of the personal computer, and a 'way things are done' on ARM reflecting its dominance in the more closed world of mobile phones. Microsoft has determined that the ARM way can potentially be a lot more profitable, as the increased control they have allow
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's great that Windows 8 might be a good tablet OS, but that doesn't change the fact that tablets have proven themselves to be over-hyped fad devices with no practical use for most people.

      Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. There'll be a few people who'll respond to this describing their niche usage of a tablet, but they're in the minority. Most tablet purchasers got caught up in the hype, bought a tablet without thinking, and now they have yet another pointless device that they don't use. It sits there collecting

      • by SJHillman (1966756) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:53PM (#41758735)

        As you said, the tablet is a niche device, but I don't think it's entirely a fad. Sure, $600+ tablets are a fad, but the lower end tablets (such as my own Nook Color) fill a nice gap where my smartphone isn't capable enough, but my laptop is overkill. It has replaced my laptop for day or weekend trips when I don't plan on doing more than some web browsing and typing emails. The $150-$300 is a nice price point for tablets... much more than that and you might as well just get a laptop.

    • Re:Windows 8 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sir_Sri (199544) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:57PM (#41758769)

      And the thing is, MS is thinking long term. They don't want to be caught pants down 3 or 4 years from now if some ARM maker produces a chip that is serious competition to Intel.

      The only way that future windows applications will work on both ARM and x86 is if people start developing for that now. They need just enough marketshare to warrant the added development time* for developers to make both an ARM and x86 version so that windows 9 or windows 10 on both will actually be appealing

      *Supposedly it's just a simple recompile in visual studio. How well that will actually work in practice on applications that need optimization I don't know. I know where I am isn't worried about ARM versions of what we do atm, so I haven't had any justification for working on it.

      • Re:Windows 8 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@Nos ... t-retrograde.com> on Thursday October 25, 2012 @12:23AM (#41761331)

        The only way that future windows applications will work on both ARM and x86 is if people start developing for that now. They need just enough marketshare to warrant the added development time* for developers to make both an ARM and x86 version so that windows 9 or windows 10 on both will actually be appealing

        No. You see, C# uses a virtual machine. It's MS's version of Java. That's their strategy for cross platform. Thats how XNA code runs on my PC and on the XBox without change. They call it "Managed Code" -- Bytecode in a Virtual Machine. Hint: Android uses the Java language, and Davlik VM for cross platform.

        MSVC is not what developers really need to be using to ensure future relevance. OSs are becoming Irrelevant (actually have been for a long time). We developers only care about getting our software running on as much hardware as people want it too. There's no reason at all to limit our marketshare needlessly.

        With an entrenched code base tied to a proprietary compiler suite you're at the OS vendor's mercy. What's smart is to use a cross platform framework like Qt, GTK, or another OS abstraction layer and compiler toolchain, for any new projects. A minimal OS abstraction can be created in a weekend (I know because that's how long it took me to make my own GLUT replacement)... In this way I don't have to do ANY extra work to get code additions to compile for x86, x64, ARM, PPC on GNU/Windows, GNU/Linux, GNU/OSX, etc.
        I "git pull & make" and I'm done "porting" from any supported platform to another -- And this is for 3D Game Code (programs notorious for being hard to port). For any other programs it should be a no brainer. Cross platform toochain or bust. Ah but C# really only works well on Windows, so MS is pushing that hard -- Native compiled code instead of MS byte-code means they can't be your exclusive platform as easily.

        VMs are OK, but they're slow for things that actually need performance of running on the metal. What we need is a cross platform object code format that the OSs then link into binaries at install time... (Gee, someone ought to make such a compiler / OS) Since we don't have such a system the next best thing is either a VM with JIT compiling, or building binaries for each target platform.

        I gave up trying to create code that I could compile with all the popular toolchains: MS/Windows and LLVM/OSX & BSD as well as GNU/Linux. I could have gone with LLVM over GCC, but I'm more familiar with GAS, so I picked a GNU based userland & toolchain. An MS compiler wasn't even on the table -- They have no cross platform OS agnostic compiler (publicly) available. A brand new processor can come out tomorrow, say, a 48 core AMD 128 bit processor with a totally new instruction set: LEG. As soon as it runs GCC (read: Linux) all of my code can run on it.

        W8? An OS? ... OS?! ... Screw OSs. They're just the platform you use to get your software on. Your OS choice shouldn't affect what software you can run -- We solved that problem in the 70s, now it's time to actually start using the damn solution already. Not servicing market segments due to compiler choices is like throwing away perfectly good money.

        • Re:Windows 8 (Score:4, Informative)

          by sproketboy (608031) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @08:02AM (#41763321)

          Not quite. C# lacks a universal binary. You need to build for each platform which is a PITA compared to Java.

        • by Sir_Sri (199544)

          I don't think anything in your post is accurate. But thank you for the attempt at feedback.

          I appreciate what you're trying to get at, but C# isn't a virtual machine like java. You're on the right track, that Apps is an antiquated concept and we shouldn't be tying functionality to a specific OS when we have the web, but people buy apps, by the dozens, so people make and sell apps.

          I don't have to do ANY extra work to get code additions to compile for

          As I explicitly stated, that's MS's intention with being able to recompile for ARM vs x86, but you still needed a compiler to do

    • by JohnFen (1641097)

      Application compatibility is a nice win for x86 BUT.. the truth is you'll likely not want to run desktop applications on a tablet anyway.

      But you might want to be able to run apps that Microsoft hasn't given specific approval to. For that, you'll need the x86 version.

  • is it's rt distribution. Haven't tried it on a tablet but I am sure it's great for it. However, keep that crap away from my desktop where I need to get work done!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It has an active surface and digitizer, and it runs MS Office, which puts it light years ahead of the iPad in terms of productivity. Plus, it is an MS OS, which means that it probably comes with a lot of tools for IT managers to make it easier to deploy within an organization.

    Sure, android might be better for nerds who want to hack their OS and the iOS might be better for the average Joe who wants to surf the web, but Windows RT and the MS Surface offer a much better choice than the iPad for corporations a

    • If I want to work on spreadsheets and documents I have a net book, a notebook and a desktop. Why would I need Office on a tablet or a phone?

      • by geekoid (135745)

        To replace the net book. You drop into a keyboard, office. Going someplace and want to use it for music, or vids, or games? Take it with you and leave the keyboard on your desk.

        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @06:03PM (#41758851) Journal

          But my netbook is still far more functional than a tablet or a phone. For what I use those devices for, I don't actually need to do much in the way of actual office app work. In fact, even a netbook is too cramped for that, which is why I still have my PC and my notebook, because they have full sized keyboards and bigger displays (the latter is absolutely key to spreadsheets, many of the ones I have I normally work with on dual monitors).

          I'll be honest. If my tablet or phone can just display the powerpoint presentation or Word document, that's good enough for me. I cannot imagine anyone seriously want to use a tablet as some sort of out-of-office workhorse. For a touch typist like myself, I doubt I can get much beyond 20-30WPM with considerable errors on a touch screen. A real keyboard, even a crappy neo-chiclet keyboard, is infinitely superior.

    • by gravyface (592485)
      This. We can't wait for the Surface so we can deploy RemoteApp (Remote Desktop Services, i.e. Terminal Server) versions of our legacy applications.

      All the Executive types see these Apple iPad ads where Doctors are manipulating ultrasounds, or sales guys showing off an amazing PowerPoint deck and we're the ones who have to bring them back down to earth with, "well, it doesn't really work like that because your ERP system doesn't have a native iPhone app".
  • I remember (Score:5, Funny)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:26PM (#41758377)
    I remember WindowsNT. What happened to WindowsOT, WindowsPT, and WindowsQT?
  • Oh do shut up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:26PM (#41758379) Homepage

    Another in the seemingly endless torrent of stories about how Windows RT is imminently about to fail. Get back to me after xmas at the earliest. It is too soon too tell, all we know now is that a bunch of big name manufacturers are at least willing to give it a try.

  • Windows RT == Zune (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tekrat (242117) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:27PM (#41758411) Homepage Journal

    in other words, supported for a few years and then dropped when there's zero financial incentive to keep it going. It will be treated by developers as a dead-end, so there will never be compelling apps, which will sign the death-warrant.

    • by cynop (2023642)

      Keep in mind though, that apps made for windows 8 "metro-style" will be compatible with windows RT. So the ecosystem will build up anyway. I see them changing the marketing direction after a couple of versions down the road. "Bussiness" for those needing old x86 compatibility and "Home User" for those who just use the latest version of an app

      • by tftp (111690) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @07:03PM (#41759449) Homepage

        Keep in mind though, that apps made for windows 8 "metro-style" will be compatible with windows RT. So the ecosystem will build up anyway.

        Now you need to answer a different question. Why would anyone develop for Metro? What is the advantage of having one or several huge monitors dedicated to one application? Even the IE in Metro mode looks ugly as sin, to the point of being useless. Who would want a browser that uses "magic spots" to reveal menus and that would hide every control in existence at the first opportunity? Can you imagine Photoshop in Metro mode? Or SolidWorks? PC software is not for playing around, it's for doing work, and Metro is not helping there at all.

        Metro applications, necessarily simplistic, make sense on a tablet. However tablets do not benefit from x86 - to the point that hardly any of them use x86 today. A Metro developer would be burdened with supporting his software on platforms that generate no sales.

  • Win 8 RT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erp_consultant (2614861) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:32PM (#41758475)

    For me it's a non starter because you can't run existing Windows applications on it. Microsoft delivers a scaled down version of Office on it but it doesn't include Outlook. Apparently there is some sort of other email client on it. Why would I buy one of these things if I have to go out and buy new software for it? If I'm going to do that I might as well get an iPad or Android tablet. Those two also have a much, much bigger selection of titles in their respective app stores compared to MicroSoft.

    I don't understand why the RT was released before the x86 model since RT seems to have a much more limited audience. Maybe there were some manufacturing delays with the x86 model? If I were going to buy one of the Surface tablets (and I'm not) I would go for the x86 model.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      For me it's a non starter because you can't run existing Windows applications on it. Microsoft delivers a scaled down version of Office on it but it doesn't include Outlook...

      Outlook blows, sounds like a good thing then...

      • Re:Win 8 RT (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:40PM (#41758577) Journal

        Outlook is needed for legacy reasons. I'd really like to know if MSIE 6.0 will be supported on these devices.

      • by unixisc (2429386)
        Windows Mail on Vista was good - wonder why they dropped it in Windows 7. They could have brought it back in Windows 8 and RT.
        • by cbhacking (979169)

          They sot of have. It has a new, touch-friendly UI, but Windows Mail and Windows Calendar are included as pre-installed "Metro"-style apps on Win8 and Windows RT. However, the feature sets are different (improved, for the most part). For example, the new Windows Mail can use ActiveSync (i.e. it can connect to Exchange servers) and can connect to Hotmail/Windows Live, in addition to POP3 & IMAP. It also includes templates for connecting to Gmail and Yahoo. I don't believe it offers as good of filtering ca

      • Outlook-Exchange is pervasive in the enterprise. If all MS is delivering is their ActiveSync-capable app, how exactly is that an improvement on what I can get out of an out-of-the-box Android or iOS device?

        As to the rest of Office, I'm dubious. On a pure tablet, heavy duty word processing, desktop publishing and spreadsheet work is going to be abysmal, and if the device has a keyboard, well I can pick up a pretty cheap netbook that's likely to have as much, if not more horsepower and a helluva lot more stor

    • Re:Win 8 RT (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Microlith (54737) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:41PM (#41758587)

      I don't understand why the RT was released before the x86 model since RT seems to have a much more limited audience.

      My guess is to push the adoption of formerly-Metro. Microsoft gets a platform out there that only supports that API (and only their store) and you force developers to start using it. Then when Windows 8 is released and x86 tablets come out they can simply release builds for it and go. There's no end-run to be had by simply using Win32.

      Microsoft is really, really aching to get their own lock-in centric walled garden going, and Windows RT is the only way they can do it without getting strung up by every regulatory agency on both sides of the Atlantic.

    • by unixisc (2429386)

      For me it's a non starter because you can't run existing Windows applications on it. Microsoft delivers a scaled down version of Office on it but it doesn't include Outlook. Apparently there is some sort of other email client on it. Why would I buy one of these things if I have to go out and buy new software for it? If I'm going to do that I might as well get an iPad or Android tablet. Those two also have a much, much bigger selection of titles in their respective app stores compared to MicroSoft.

      I don't understand why the RT was released before the x86 model since RT seems to have a much more limited audience. Maybe there were some manufacturing delays with the x86 model? If I were going to buy one of the Surface tablets (and I'm not) I would go for the x86 model.

      I fully agree. What's more - I don't see why RT exists in the first place. Whatever power advantage ARM had is by now miniscule, while x86 has far superior performance per watt than ARM. And as pointed out above, x86 based tablets won't have to leave their Wintel apps behind, unlike ARM tablets. Although the current apps do need to be updated to recognize touch inputs.

    • by Jaktar (975138)

      What applications, if any, would you want to port to a tablet. It wouldn't support any of the games that I play. I'm lot likely to attempt to encode/re-encode anything. It won't be used as a TV server.

      It's already capable of doing as much office type work that you will need right out of the box. It supports MP4, AVI, 3GP, MP3, AAC, WMA. Sure, it doesn't support .ogg or .ogv, but if you've encoded into those formats you're probably already on Android and you're not their target.

      I've owned a Playbook and

    • Re:Win 8 RT (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mevets (322601) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @06:41PM (#41759235)

      I think that the common factor behind the long string of failures in the pre-iPad tablets was the appropriateness of the software. Simply throwing PC software on it with some bigger buttons didnâ(TM)t work very well. They were awkward to use, and were quickly binned as irrelevant.

      While Windows 8, itself, is said to be better presented on tablets, that doesnâ(TM)t mean that off the shelf PC software is. The software will require a lot more of a rework to be usable than the rework required for an ARM port.

    • Microsoft delivers a scaled down version of Office on it but it doesn't include Outlook. Apparently there is some sort of other email client on it.

      Really??? Where can I get one? This sounds the best development in Office since Clippy went to the big stationary drawer in the sky.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    No.

  • The success of Windows RT won't be about technology. It's going to come down almost entirely to how well Microsoft can leverage the power of their brand - a name known not just in technology, but to ordinary users. Without that, they are dead in the consumer space. Most they might achieve is some success in business, if they can sell based on superior AD integration and easier administration.
  • Tablets need all-new applications, and if you're going to run all-new applications then you don't really need Windows.
    What about integration? If what I create on the tablet is also usable on the PC, then that's why you would need windows.

  • No... Tablets do NOT need all-new applications. What tablets need is a non-phone/device OS environment based on existing, established OSes (Windows, Linux, etc.) that is low-resource-intensive (scratch Windows), but still has the expectation of *multiple* users and each user being a content producer.

    I understand the corporate rush to get in on the smart-device bandwagon, but where the evolution of the USER is going is towards scalable portability.

    Desktops led to laptops which led to ultra portables (high-co

  • Its niche (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tarlus (1000874) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @06:05PM (#41758869)

    Windows RT will be right at home with people who have, until now, been okay with the fact that their Android and iOS tablets are not running a desktop class operating system. They just want the basic web and multimedia functionality.

    The bigger question is this: How will Microsoft educate consumers about the difference between RT and 8; ARM and x86?

    • iOS uses the same kernel and core infrastructure as OSX..
      • by jimicus (737525)

        iOS is not marketed as "OS X". It's marketed as iOS.

        And for good reason - there's a very real risk of confusing the market when you've got two (technically very similar) operating systems sold under the same name where some software will work on both and some won't.

  • Microsoft. It's for Microsoft.
  • To the extent it integrates well in an all-Windows shop, I could see it being very attractive. As a consumer, maybe not so much.
  • What struck me when I first heard that Windows RT will look like Windows 8 but won't run the same apps was that it'd be perfect for systems that traditionally run special purpose software on top of Windows. So as the title says, Kiosks, Point of Sale, and Control systems where they can trade on the fact that standard Windows vulnerabilities like viruses won't run on the ARM. - HEX
    • by jonbryce (703250)

      Except that those sorts of people aren't going to want to deploy their software via the Windows Marketplace. If you want a tablet for that sort of thing, Android is really the only game in town.

      • Don't be so sure about that. I've seen more than a few POS systems running on iPads.

  • The flagship device for RT, along with the OS, and weak buggy ecosystem seem destined to flop.

    Extensive Verge review.
    http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/23/3540550/microsoft-surface-review [theverge.com]

  • The answer is NO (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @06:23PM (#41759065)
    This isn't something that requires technical knowledge of, nor does it require a like or dislike for microsoft. The LAW says the answer is no: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_law_of_headlines [wikipedia.org]
    • Oh yea, and not to mention in two months MS is releasing windows 8 tablets with intel cpu's. That gets you the same UI experience with some actual application compatibility. Personally I see RT dying at that point.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @06:25PM (#41759083) Journal

    p. ...if you're going to run an OS on a device with a completely different input method that won't run your desktop applications, why does it need to look like your desktop?

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      If you're going to run an OS on a device with a completely different input method that won't run your desktop applications, why does it need to be called "Windows"?

  • On The Phone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zanderz (813270) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @06:38PM (#41759213)
    Windows 8 Phone is supposed to have the same kernel as WinRT devices on ARM. If they can pull this off they will have it both ways: a huge desktop user base with tons of messy legacy and a sparkly new "walled garden" where they will have lots more control over the whole experience and what is allowed in. Writing for Metro mode is supposed to yield an app that will pretty much run on phones and tablets, without the fragmentation of Android devices/environments. Even if nobody else wants it on their tablets or desktops, at least one batch of Nokia phones will need it.
  • More like doing an OSX thing ala Windows.

    8/RT is kinda like OSX, a radical re-engineering of the OS for the next generation of computers. They keep backward compatibility on the desktop but restrict the new platform (surface) to be next-gen only - perfectly reasonable, it's a new platform.

    Now MS has to invest in the time and effort for Metro to take off apps for desktop/surface will feed the desktop and hopefully supplant Windows legacy, they will bug fix 8/RT till it is a stable OS and compelling enough

  • Yes! In the "75% off" bin, right next to the TouchPads and Zunes.

    Just kidding. I figure they'll do OK -- a bit better than some Android tablets, not as well as all Android tablets combined, and both competing for that fraction of the market that doesn't want iPads.

  • RT == SecureBoot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdmkolbe (944892) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @08:42PM (#41760177)

    Microsoft requires all ARM devices implement SecureBoot with no way to turn it off. So, no, I have no place for RT.

    • by kamaaina (1071006)

      Bummer, was about to say we could put Linux on these devices, then you reminded me about SecurBoot, EFI or whatever it was.

      I hope someone will find a way to root these devices so I can get an Android ROM or Linux Distro on it. Maybe a hypervisor like vmware horizon mobile with our own OS on it.

  • The biggest threat to Windows RT / Windows 8 is Microsoft's recent destruction of developer (that is, the money people at dev houses) confidence in Microsoft's ability to "lead" any kind of technology drive.

    I got my Windows Phone 7 phone because I could return it just in time for the phone I wanted. It took me by surprise and I got quite attached to it. You have to unlearn some bad habbits from years of working with UIs that came from keyboard and mouse toting designers. And then, Oh My Gosh.

    My big issue wa

  • by um... Lucas (13147) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @12:14AM (#41761291) Homepage Journal

    Surface is going to be a train wreck, I believe. People who have no clue what the difference between ARM and x86 iterations (atom, core, etc) are going to be befuddled that their new Windows device can't run their other windows programs. Then the pro version will come out and people will spot Windows tablets running regular windows apps and be baffled why their surface can't do the same. Windows application developers will have to start deciding whether to target one CPU architecture or the other or both, meaning there will be two app eco systems out there for devices that look the same on the outside. Joe Computer User with his RT sees a new widget on his friends x86 surface and discovers he can't get it. Likewise, the same potentially for x86 users, where maybe a company makes an app that only targets ARM.

    This will be a mess. Microsoft made their fortune based on backwards compatibility, and now they're throwing a consumer system out there that lacks that one thing that kept people coming back to them.

    Yes, x86 surface seems interesting, but its not here yet. But the ARM version, I'm positive, we'll all look back at it in the same dustheap as the Zune and so many other things.

    I can't imagine what Microsoft is thinking. Or, wait, I know what they're thinking - they're moving to emulate apple, rolling out their own hardware and aiming for as high of margins as possible. Really, what can the cost savings be for using ARM over Atom? Will those savings be worth the tons of confused customers they're about to create? I doubt it.

    Somewhere in their organization, alarmbells should have been ringing this whole time.

    I can't pretend to be interested even in the x86 version, being that outside the office I live a windows free lifestyle (Mac OS, iOS, Ubuntu and, now recently, IRIX). If it gets jailbroken and we can see a linux distro on it, I may get excited. And if some enterprising person manages to get Mac OS to run on the thing.... well, I could imagine retiring my macbook air if the keyboard was usable.

    But back to the original thought that spawned this disjointed rant:

    What in the world are they thinking? Do the few extra dollars saved by using ARM rather than Atom make sense at all, when most of their customers are going to be blithefully unaware of what a hobbled machine they're going to get? It's not like there are Microsoft Stores all over with cool kids at the genius bar waiting to explain the the RT version won't run a single one of the applications they're used to using, unless it's Microsoft Office.

    A lot of people are going to be very disappointed. And not just at their new surfaces, i can imagine a lot of blame being cast at Windows 8 itself for "breaking" their applications. I mean, Windows 8 just comes out, here's Microsoft showcasing surface, one would only assume that surface is their flagship product to demonstrate how cool Windows 8 is.

    I guess that'll make all of us happy. Again, unimaginable that Microsoft would do this. Balmer will be lucky to be there next year, I'll tell you that.

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