03-06-2013, 12:20 PM #4
- 181 Posts
Intel's new CPU's will give better battery life so will make a full Windows 8 tablet more appealing. But then with Microsoft's drive to make Metro the standard platform for applications a low cost ARM RT device may be a more preferred choice in the future.
- 03-06-2013, 12:41 PM #5
For those who don't know;
Atom tablets run full Windows 8 and can get up to 19 hours of battery life if mated to a corresponding keyboard dock. Examples - Acer W510, HP Envy X2, among others.
Also every single app that runs on Windows RT will run on any full Windows 8 device.
Atom tablets currently have better CPU performance than any ARM device but lack in the GPU department.
This year Intel is expected to introduce updates to the Atom and Core platforms which will increase performance in the former and reduce battery consumption in the latter.
Putting all this together its obvious that current Atom devices and even more so future Atom and Core based devices will offer all the benefits of a Windows RT device with none of the drawbacks.
So it begs the question how does RT fit into the picture? And as an aside, WP is even less capable than RT so putting that on a tablet will create an even worse situation than currently exists so that is pointless.
03-06-2013, 02:32 PM #6Originally Posted by Huw Watkins
- 358 Posts
I think that MS got this right. If MS had used a shared OS for both tablets and phones, the apps (at least for the UI layer, and possibly also to account for phone performance limitations) would still have to be written twice. A lot of code can be shared if the app is designed well, but there is no getting around the UI differences. Extending the desktop OS down to the tablet makes a lot more sense than extending the phone OS up to the tablet. In the MS ecosystem, I can write two touch apps (one for phone, another for Windows8/RT) and that will cover any device including phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. Having tablets share the same OS as laptops and desktops also allows for innovative hybrid form factors that are not possible in the Apple or Google world. My Surface Pro is used as both a laptop and a tablet.
In the Apple ecosystem I would still have to write the same two apps, but they would only cover phone and tablet. To cover laptops and desktops I would have to write a third app that runs on OSX (which uses entirely different APIs). In the Google ecosystem the same applies except that there is no real laptop/desktop OS to write for. Apple is actually in an awkward position going forward in my opinion. They are going to have to decide if they want to extend OSX down to the iPad and make OSX capable of running touch apps (in other words copy Windows 8), or they are going to be stuck with tablets that are quite limited compared to what MS is offering. They will also have no capability to provide a hybrid device.
As far as the OP's question, I think Win RT exists for two reasons.
1) Tablet hardware is still developing and for truly small, lite, and cheap tablets with good runtime (i.e. direct iPad competitor) ARM is really the only option at the moment. Traditional Windows and the programs written for it won't run on ARM so something else was needed. However, Intel is very close to having x86 CPUs that will be a viable option for building tablets in that category.
2) This is just my personal opinion, but I think MS needed to be able to sell a super cheap version of Windows to tablet OEMs if they wanted to compete with iPads and Android tablets on the low end of the price scale $400 - $500. They could always license the full Windows 8 at a lower price for tablets, but what would stop OEMs from using that discounted licensing on other products. It would be hard to enforce, especially for the new hybrid devices like the Lenovo Yoga. For this reason, It's possible that Windows Lite (RT) could be around for a while and maybe even in an x86 version.
- 03-06-2013, 02:47 PM #7
Windows RT means that Microsoft is no longer tethered to Intel's hip. It's a huge deal, because now it doesn't actually matter in the slightest which hardware is superior, they can use either ARM or x86/64. The app framework for all future programs, WinRT, is largely platform agnostic. Yes, Windows 8 has the advantage of running desktop programs, but if you're thinking towards the future, that's not actually going to matter much in the long run.
What does matter is that the Cortex A15 currently has more performance than the Clover Trail Atom. So if someone wants to use that in a device, they'll be able to. Or the Snapdragon 800 in a Windows RT tablet will be very compelling, hardware-wise, as well. Of course, Intel is finally not sitting on their heels anymore. Does anyone actually think it's a coincidence that the Atom chip has used the same horrible design for five years, and only now with the threat of competition on Windows, they announced a complete redesign of it in Bay Trail late next year?
I realize that there are people who are fans of each type of architecture for some reason, but the best part about the sheer existence of an ARM-based Windows that is near identical to Windows 8 is that it no longer matters; Microsoft can sit back, let Intel and ARM duke it out, and go with whichever hardware works better. That's good for Microsoft, and that's good for the consumer.
Dismissing Windows RT so lightly is just ridiculous.
- 03-06-2013, 02:54 PM #8
LOL what is the point of doom and gloom posts for Windows RT? I bought it because it's $400-$500 cheaper to the Pro and has free MS Office. If you don't want it, don't get it. But please don't assume no one else wants it.
As far as Atom processors go, I will skip on them for now. Still a bad taste in my mouth from Atoms of yesteryears. Perhaps the newer ones will be much improved, but then so will the next generations of ARM. But being a Windows 8 Pro machine, it will not come with MS Office, which is important to me.
- 03-06-2013, 02:57 PM #9
I'm actually getting rid of both so as to go with a Droid tablet with the stylus (I really didn't want Pro and all signs pointed towards no RT device with a stylus). Of course, both have their advantages and both force the two to constantly try and outdo each other, rather than resting on their laurels. iPhone 5 anyone? RIM of old anyone? Both were the result of resting on their laurels, in the face of thick competition.
- 03-06-2013, 03:17 PM #10
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- 03-06-2013, 03:23 PM #11
I am a bit bummed out by Pro's battery life, but the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor leaves me a bit cold. Rumor has it that Qualcomm will be taking on the next gen of the tablet along with AMD for the Pro side. If the Snapdragon proves to be a good competitor to Tegra 4, and lauches at a good price with even better battery I might be sold on the RT tablet.
- 03-06-2013, 03:25 PM #12
I think you guys are missing the point. Windows RT machine could have Atom or ARM, I'm still buying it, because its cheaper and has free MS Office. Don't care too much for desktop apps on my tablet, but when needed, I can just use Remote Desktop or the growing number of similar alternative apps.
If they came out with a WIndows RT with Atom, it will certainly be cheaper than Windows 8 Pro with Atom.
- 03-06-2013, 05:57 PM #14
- 03-06-2013, 07:17 PM #16
- 03-07-2013, 12:05 AM #17
In a few more months I'll see no point in RT other than as an entry level cost media consumption device when taking into account the new processors coming out towards the end of this year. I agree with the OP - when you'll soon be able to run the full version of Windows 8 on a fanless tablet, get the battery life of an ARM tablet but the performance level of an ultrabook/laptop, the only point of RT would be spending $100 less. Even that difference will disappear once the OEM's start selling Win8 tablets with Bay Trail CPU's for 500 bucks.
- 03-07-2013, 12:19 AM #18
- 03-07-2013, 12:37 AM #20
I also believe Apple is doing the same thing with iOS and OS X. Its more evident now with iPads closing in on price points of Macs.
- 03-07-2013, 12:40 AM #21
For the sake of $100 are you really going to choose the RT?
- 03-07-2013, 01:01 AM #23
I hope I don't see RT on an i7 machine. We will begin to see the decline of the x86 processors and as ARM technology gets better and better, they will replace the clunkers we have now! I like to compare it to Electric Cars (ARM) to gas cars (x86).
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