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Asus CEO On Windows RT: "We're Out." 246

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

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  • by X0563511 (793323) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:33AM (#44434257) Homepage Journal

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

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:48AM (#44434455)
      According to Microsoft's annual 10-K report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), published on Tuesday, their total Surface revenue for all of fiscal 2013 amounted to just $853m. That's nearly $50m less than the $900m charge Redmond took when it discounted its remaining Surface RT inventory by $150 per box.

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

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

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

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

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

      • by putaro (235078) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:52AM (#44434537) Journal

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

        • by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:09AM (#44434747) Journal

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

          • by gl4ss (559668)

            a paltry sum of that was probably developer relations stuff.

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

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

            (which is why I believe most of it went to games.. and to existi

      • by SDF-7 (556604) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:34AM (#44435063)

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

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

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

      • by mcmonkey (96054)

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

        Why is that an interesting point? Obviously you can't do that in the long term and make a profit. And it would be interesting if for an established product there was either an increase in advertising or drop in sales to get in that position. But for a new product, is this unusual?

        Let's look at some of your data. Fiscal 2013 ended on June 30. RT and Surface RT were launched October 26, 2012. Therefor, any advanced advertising costs for RT and Surface from July 1 to October 25, 2012 would be against 0 s

    • by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:48AM (#44434457)

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

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

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

        Now will they do it? Dunno.

        • by sjames (1099)

          Or, given the dismal ROI they got on RT, perhaps they can recover some of their design costs by offering an official version with unlocked bootloader and no Windows. They could either release specs for the hardware and hope someone puts Android or Linux on it or do it themselves.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

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

        While I can understand the desire to run your own OS on an ARM tablet, I generally question why. Other than "because I can".

        Because most SoCs used in these tablets are under heavy NDA, and even worse, the parts used may not even have datasheets available without NDA.

        Think about it - you can run any OS you want on these tablets - but where are you going to get it? Half the stuff in a

        • by jimicus (737525)

          Because most SoCs used in these tablets are under heavy NDA, and even worse, the parts used may not even have datasheets available without NDA.

          Same is true of most embedded systems sold into the home.

          Yet most of them run Linux. Funny, isn't it?

  • by xtal (49134) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:41AM (#44434373)

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

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

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

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

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

    • by Scutter (18425) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:49AM (#44434481) Journal

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

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

      • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:58AM (#44434605)

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

        They have. It's called the Surface PRO.

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

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

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:07AM (#44434733)

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

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

        • by xtal (49134) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:21AM (#44434895)

          You're missing my point.

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

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

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

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

            For what you do it is wonderful. What you do != what everyone else does. For my job I don't actually need that much screen real estate and most of what I do can be done on a single 17" monitor if I really needed to. For many of my clients I do my work on a laptop with a 15" screen and it works just fine thank you very much.

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

            You are conflating two issues. You are absolutely correct that Microsoft missed the mark with the Surface RT. Had they introduced the Pro for a reasonable price instead of the crippl

        • by X.25 (255792)

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

          They have. It's called the Surface PRO.

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

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

          Wow.

          You have a laptop.

          Welcome to 1999.

          • You have a laptop.

            I've been carrying 'laptops' since you were probably in diapers. My Pro is not a laptop. It's a cleverly designed multifunction device that is a laptop, desktop and tablet all in one. It replaced a 'laptop.'

            • by miknix (1047580)

              You have a laptop.

              I've been carrying 'laptops' since you were probably in diapers. My Pro is not a laptop. It's a cleverly designed multifunction device that is a laptop, desktop and tablet all in one. It replaced a 'laptop.'

              I think you are still missing the point. My Windows Mobile brick also tried to be a phone and a computer at the same time. Guess what? It was the most horrible device I ever owned.
              People prefer devices designed for specific functions, otherwise we wouldn't have stereos, tv's, dvd players, etc.. We would just have a single computer.

              There are cases where you can merge functionality (for example mp3 players into smartphones [1]) but NOT in the Surface Pro's case.

              [1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9 [telegraph.co.uk]

              • People prefer devices designed for specific functions

                Not when one device does multiple things well. This is the case with my Surface Pro. There's no need to carry an iPad + A computer. The pro is a good tablet and a good computer. As you say, for the same reason there is no need to carry a phone + MP3 player.

              • by miknix (1047580)

                .. oh and by the way, when I say people, I'm excluding myself; because in that case I would prefer to have a single mainframe serving the entire house - but that is just me.

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

        • Here's two ways to extend your desktop onto your iPad (if you have a Mac):

          http://avatron.com/apps/air-display [avatron.com]
          http://displaypadapp.com/ [displaypadapp.com]

        • I've been using my Surface for 9 months now and don't even turn on my laptop or desktop anymore. With the 8.1 Preview now install on my Surface, I find a lot of the gripes and complaints gone. I'm liking this more and more every day. Much smaller, lighter and portable than my Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook. Not as powerful, but I'm not converting videos or doing CAD on this. For just about everything else I do, the Surface does it better than an iPad with the awesome type keyboard, great battery, split-scr
      • by Russ1642 (1087959) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:07AM (#44434729)

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

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by sageres (561626)
          Sorry but it seems to me the MsOffice has been first neutered when they went into mandatory ribbon interface making it quite unusable.
      • Your definition of 'actual work' is very limited, or you're being too specific. Doctors and pilots have started using tablets for their actual work. I've heard of more than one field biologist (on /., no less!) that uses a tablet for their field work.

        You can generate content on a tablet, it's just harder to generate certain KINDS of content on a tablet. It's not a great device to program on because of the OS/apps right now, but you can get work done on it.

        Windows RT may have been designed as a productivity

    • I wonder if a retina display on a tablet would do that trick...?
    • by Russ1642 (1087959)

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

      • by xtal (49134)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • by oGMo (379)
      Samsung is rumored [phonearena.com] to be working on a 12" Galaxy Note. This may not be a perfect replacement for paper, but with a full pressure-sensitive stylus and sufficient size, it's a good start. I can't wait.
      • If it had decent quality bluetooth, that might actually be a good buy... but I don't see them gutting their sales like that. That'd be a replacement for tablet as well as phone... half the sales for them.

        • by oGMo (379)

          Bluetooth? I'm sure it will have bluetooth .. do you mean "able to make calls"? That'd be nice, but I don't see anything about it.

          However, their philosophy is more "a wide range of devices for every need" than Apples "one device, take it or leave it." Samsung has a whole range of devices differing in small features and size ... Tab 3, Tab 10 3, Note 2, S4, Mega, etc. Pick a size and whether you want a stylus or not and they've got a device for you. Whether it's a phone or not doesn't seem to have a hug

        • by danomac (1032160)

          In what way would that be a replacement for a phone? Most people (including myself) will not carry a 12" tablet around to use as a phone. Heck, I don't even carry my 7" Nexus around, it stays at home.

          For really portable uses, a smartphone is still the best solution. It fits in your pocket!

    • by gstoddart (321705)

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

      My Nexus 7 lets me open a VPN connection, and remote desktop to a Windows machine. With a Bluetooth keyboard I can type without using the touch screen, and apparently you can buy a Bluetooth mouse for Android devices. It would be like a little tiny laptop -- not where I

      • I have a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse pad combo and when I use it with my Nexus 7, I get a mouse pointer and can use my RDP app for Windows sessions just like I would if I was on a notebook. Screen's a bit small, of course, but when I'm on the road and need to get into the office network post haste, nothing beats it.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          I have a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse pad combo and when I use it with my Nexus 7

          Any product recommendations? The idea of being able to have a mouse to work with my Nexus while using VPN/RDP is really interesting for me -- but I got the impression you need a Bluetooth device which is more geared to mobile devices to make the pairing work. (I've only done cursory research into it at this point). I've got the keyboard, but haven't done enough digging into the mouse yet.

          Screen's a bit small, of course, but when

    • by itsdapead (734413)

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

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

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

      They can't - of course. Windows RT Office is "of

      • I've been hearing "the tablet bubble is about to burst" for three years now, and during that time I've seen the number of tablets out there grow and grow and grow. I remember going to a business conference two and a half years ago and there were a couple of iPads in the room and the rest were notebooks and netbooks. I went to a conference last fall and I saw a few notebooks and the rest were iPads and various Android tablets. I went to a small meeting a few months ago with twelve other people, only one had

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          Some of our clients used to use iPads. Last time I met them, most had switched back to laptops because the iPads were such a pain to use for real work.

          Maybe the others in your meeting were busy playing Angry Hamsters, or whatever the latest iPad game fad is?

  • No killer app (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:42AM (#44434375)
    A version of MS Office which supports touch poorly is not a killer app.
    • by dingen (958134)

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

      • by Joce640k (829181)

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

        • by dingen (958134)

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

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

          • by gstoddart (321705)

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

            I beg to differ.

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

            I've found with the ability to drag your finger around means I can type at what I'd c

    • by guytoronto (956941) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:45AM (#44434395)

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

      Well, it killed the Windows RT tablet pretty well.

  • by simonbp (412489) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:52AM (#44434535) Homepage

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

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

    • by timeOday (582209)
      I'm really surprised so many people are willing to go for a Chomebook, and do without Windows. For years, Linux netbooks didn't really take off... yet the Chromebook is exactly that, with a new UI, and no access to 25 years of free software.
      • by cbope (130292)

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

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

      • Linux Netbooks Did (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tuppe666 (904118) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @11:13AM (#44435549)

        Linux netbooks didn't really take off

        Except they did every store had more netbooks than anything else, Microsoft heavily discounted XP to compete(11 years old only if your stupid enough to count from launch), and then with Intel limited its specifications and Microsoft limits its OS (and it ran badly) to not cannibalise its more profitable none existent Ultrabook and its existing laptop market. They successfully killed it of...and then Apple launched the iPad which had none of the limits, some advantages...and a killer price (then not now) and obvious the brand.

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

    • by fwarren (579763)

      Your missing the point. MS has offerd to billion to help make this deal happen. If it turns out that Micahel needs 3 or 4 billion more to get this done, MS would pony it up. In exchange for this vote of confidence in Michael Dell, they may already have a deal in place that Dell will sell WinRT tablets and laptops. If there is not an actual deal in place, Michael still has to condiser the posibility that MS may back out or not further shore up the buyout if Dell shows a lack of confidence in WinRT.

      Condider t

  • I own an Asus WinRT tablet - I actually love the tablet software, but hate the hardware. I say this as a person that owns multiple other tablets (2 Android tablets, a HP Touchpad, and brought but returned an iPad) WinRT is "enough" Windows to be useful that I can use it in place of a laptop in a pinch, but still enough tablet. My beef is the Asus hardware sucks, such as:
    Poor design (dock connector digs into my hand, needs adapter for USB port, etc)
    Poor reliability (3 warranty repair trips, including one

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

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

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

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

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

      • by fwarren (579763)

        At the time there was a DOJ case for MS being a monopoly. If Apple folded, it would have been bad news for MS. They almost certianly would have been fined billions and broken up. 150 million and employing the Office for Mac programming team was dirt cheap. Much less then the lawyers they would have needed, let alone the fines.

  • In my opinion, Windows RT just hasn't proved its value. With the exception of the Surface (RT), I can't think of a single RT device that made me think "Oh, I want that!" I do own a Dell XPS10, but It certainly wasn't a value at its original price. I purchased this from craigslist and didn't actually make a move on one until the 64GB model I kept my eye on dropped to $280 (with keyboard). Sadly, it's a buggy affair, as Dell hasn't quite figured out how to implement the dock properly in my opinion. Back on to
  • by RocketScientist (15198) * on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:07AM (#44434719)

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

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

    • by sageres (561626)
      No wonder MS has still tons of unsold tablets in stock. I would buy the device in a hart-beat if it were much cheaper, and if a clear way of wiping the current OS and putting Linux and subsequently Android on it would exist.
  • So I'm forced to conclude that Microsoft is either exceedingly out of touch with what consumers actually want, or they've lost a lot of good will over the years and people are deciding they don't want their products.

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

    Sounds like Windows RT is fast becoming a complete flop.

    • It was doomed the second they neutered Development on it to Metro apps only. If they allowed people to recompile desktop apps for RT, it may have been a different story.

      The other aspect is price. It's WAY too expensive to get a system with RT. Even the discounted surface RT at 350 is no match for a low end laptop, let alone an Android tablet like the Nexuses.

      Frankly, I have a Surface Pro. It is by far the best business oriented tablet out there. It's light. it does everything a laptop does, and it's fast. T

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:14AM (#44434805)

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

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

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

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

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:29AM (#44435009) Journal

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

  • Windows RT's a dog that was never going to fly unless they'd done it 5 years earlier. All the surface stuff is overpriced but why would you buy a computer no one is writing software for? Even the pro version you're still locked in and cant significantly mod the product (Add more memory/storage etc) but at least its got a USB and I bed the BlueTooth works.
    • Come on, don't insult man's best friend.
    • Remember in the '90s when Windows CE "laptops" that were basically just the equivalent of a Palm Pilot with a giant screen were selling for the same price as laptops? Yes, you could pay $1,000 for a machine with:

      "Pocket" Outlook
      "Pocket" Office
      "Pocket" IE
      8 or 16MB of built-in storage, with few, if any, additional storage options
      A tiny-ass MIPS CPU
      A 640x480 (if you were lucky) passive matrix screen that was barely legible

      Of course, none of the applications actually worked—

      "Pocket" Outlook couldn't conne

  • by macromorgan (2020426) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:43AM (#44435189)
    The main strength of Windows was its ability to maintain an impressive amount of backwards compatibility. A few applications aside, things I bought 10 years ago still work on my Windows 8 x64 machine (without virtualization or emulation). To attack two well entrenched competitors Microsoft went in guns blazing without what is historically been the most compelling feature of Windows. I have an MBA, and even I saw this coming...
  • There is no purpose to it. It has no advantages over the existing lower power tablets except Office which is something that people who are using those tablets don't care about.

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

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

  • I like the idea of Windows on other hardware, especially cheap energy efficient hardware like ARM.

    I don't understand why MS has both Windows Phone and Windows 8 RT, though. Both ARM-based touch-focused Windows OSs. But software won't run on both. Why? How many ecosystems can you realisitcally expect to create? MS obviously over-estimated their ability or their cache with users.

    Creating ecosystems is hard. Even if you have the better product. And MS doesn't have the better product with either RT or Phone.

    How

  • If they want to make some money and blow away the competition, they should demand that Microsoft sell them unlimited numbers of Windows 7 licenses. Toshiba, Lenovo, and HP are all selling Win 7 pro as a downgrade but only Toshiba (as far as I know) actually got away with buying like a million or so Windows 7 bulk licenses prior to its discontinuation so they're still selling low end models with Windows 7 Home Premium. There's a C850 with a new ivy bridge 2020M for $400 w/Win 7!

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.

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