07-23-2013 02:39 PM
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  1. ShaunKL's Avatar
    Thanks to overpriced and underpowered hardware Windows RT is stuck in a bad situation. Even on the software side Windows RT's memory footprint is way way waaay too big.

    While I don't believe RT is going to become dominant platform on the PC side of things, I do believe that it can become the third player against Android and iOS. I have several ideas on what to do to change Windows RT for the better. I'd be interested to hear the rest of the communities idea's for improving this baby OS.

    1. Change the Name
    To the average consumer, Windows RT is completely meaningless. And to the power user, Windows RT is confusing. I mean, logically from a neutral standpoint, how does Windows RunTime make any sense for the name of a tablet OS? Given Microsoft's penchant for using the word slate instead of tablet I think there's a clever solution, Windows Slate.

    Now, you may have to explain at first that a slate equals a tablet(or on an even baser level, an "iPad") to a normal consumer. Slate is much easier term to comprehend than a mysterious RT suffix. Not only that, it rhymes with Windows 8, creating a subconscious correlation with its bigger brother. Even after Window 9 comes out Windows Slate will have become enough of its own brand to continue with the name.

    2. Kill the Desktop
    It was almost necessary for the original version; because even now Metro Office hasn't been released. Desktop with RT.1 is not necessary IMO. We have our updated settings in Metro, it's time to grow up and remove the legacy UI that the platform can't even use(in the way it's meant to be used). Removing the desktop brings us to my next point...

    3. Lower the Footprint
    14.7gb useable on a 32gb device? No. That kind of bulkiness in a tablet OS is unacceptable. It doesn't seem right to sell a device that's closer to 16gb than it's advertised size. Disclaimers don't count. John Smith over there isn't going to see that little asterisk. He's going to see the larger print 32gb.

    4. Merge with Phone
    I think Windows Phone should merge into RT on a tablet. I'm talking about app compatibility on RT's side. We have 16:9 devices that are awkward to hold in portrait. I think it makes sense to be able to use phone apps in that use case. Not to mention it would help fill any holes in the Windows App Store.

    5. Continuing the Trend
    I think what I've imagined here is exactly what Microsoft is driving towards: clarity, simplicity, cleanliness, and compatibility.

    Those are my thoughts on the matter. What are you thinking?
    07-16-2013 11:24 AM
  2. Descanso's Avatar
    “2. Kill the Desktop”

    When my daughter applied for jobs this summer using my Surface RT she had to switch to Desktop mode to complete more than a few online employment applications. When I use my old AOL web mail using the browser I needed to switch to desktop mode to send some emails.

    I’m a non-techie here, and I like my Surface. However, If I couldn’t do the above things using my machine I’d have to get rid of it.
    07-16-2013 02:08 PM
  3. Coolknight1968's Avatar
    How to save Windows RT... There is a market for 6.5-8 inch tablets. Now if one could make such a device with a quicktime player, that would play all purchased iTune movies and iTunes music and offer between 64 to 128 gb plus microSD and gives you a 10-12h video playback time, including wireless on TV playback... Well maybe you could find buyers... It would be cool as you keep your iPads most valuable library. Music & Movies.
    07-16-2013 02:22 PM
  4. a5cent's Avatar
    Abbreviations:

    WRT = Windows RT (the operating system)
    WinRT = Windows Runtime (the runtime under which WRT apps are executed. This is not the operating system)
    WinPRT = The Windows Phone version of WinRT (similar, but not identical)

    While I don't believe RT is going to become dominant platform on the PC side of things, I do believe that it can become the third player against Android and iOS.
    I think we need to let go of the idea that Microsoft must launch direct competitors to the iPad and Android tablets. That isn't what Microsoft is trying to do. Microsoft is in the process of inventing an entirely new class of device. Microsoft's main difficulty is that they are, as usual, releasing software that is somewhat ahead of its time. It will take another two hardware generations before Microsoft's vision for WRT can be turned into reality, primarily due to Intel's CPUs still consuming too much power and ARM not being able to run x86 software.

    What Microsoft wants to do is sell you something that looks like a tablet, but that can act as a desktop or laptop replacement when paired with appropriate peripherals. Basically, Microsoft envisions a future where a single device constitutes the core of your desktop, laptop and tablet hardware. Anyone buying a new Windows computer would essentially be upgrading all of those three devices at once, without having to worry about reinstallation, as all your data and programs "live" in the cloud. Buy a new device, and your entire personalized computing environment will be resorted in minutes, which also means you don't have to worry as much about your device being stolen or damaged.

    The WRT devices we are seeing now are just interim solutions on the path to where Microsoft actually wants to go. At some point, WRT will cease to exist as a standalone product. Within Microsoft it is already dead. Microsoft isn't even thinking of saving it. However, it will live on as Windows' second, touch-friendly face.

    I think Windows Phone should merge into RT on a tablet. I'm talking about app compatibility on RT's side. We have 16:9 devices that are awkward to hold in portrait. I think it makes sense to be able to use phone apps in that use case. Not to mention it would help fill any holes in the Windows App Store.
    I suspect you are right on this one, although I wouldn't call this 'merging WP into WRT'. I'm seeing ever more evidence that WinRT and WinPRT will be a single piece of software at some point in the future. WP Blue and Windows Blue are the first big steps in that direction. These runtime environments are the only thing that matter in terms of app compatibility, and once unified, we will be able to run a WP app on WRT, likely snapped to one side of the screen.

    However, WP and Windows (as mentioned, at some point WRT will disappear as a separate product) will remain distinct operating systems, which is why I wouldn't say they are being merged. I've seen reporting to the contrary, but IMHO these people are confusing WinRT with Windows RT.

    In summary: WRT is dead! Long live WRT (as Windows' second touch friendly face)!
    07-16-2013 03:49 PM
  5. coip's Avatar
    1. Change the name
    Windows Phone 8
    Windows Tablet 8 (currently Windows RT)
    Windows Desktop 8 (currently Windows 8).

    2. Make it the versatile bridge between mobile and desktop
    Right now Windows RT can run almost all Windows 8 apps. That's pretty cool. But what if it could also run all Windows Phone apps, many of which would fit perfectly on a small tablet. You then have a truly badass operating system that can run a wide range of apps.

    3. Hit the small tablet market aggressively
    They needs 7-9" Windows RT tablets at an aggressive point.

    4. Revise but Don't kill Desktop mode
    It still has a ton of features that set it apart from the more inferior iOS and Android operating systems. But they do need to do a better job of blending it in with the modern UI. Right now it admittedly feels disjointed.
    07-16-2013 06:11 PM
  6. inteller's Avatar
    no Desktop needs to go away, there is no use for it on a modern computer. All the utilities and doodads need to be ported over as core OS apps.
    07-18-2013 10:56 PM
  7. BootsMcGavin's Avatar
    I like the naming scheme mentioned above. I think though, WPCentral mentioned in a blog post that it should be windows 8 Phone rather than Windows Phone 8, and I like that. Windows 8 Phone, Windows 8 Tablet, and Windows 8 Desktop... Desktop should be the only format that retains the desktop mode. It really is useless in RT, errr Tablet!
    07-18-2013 11:06 PM
  8. inteller's Avatar
    Desktop will be gone in RT by Windows 9. Once Office 2015 or whatever is all Metro and the have the modern file manager Desktop is of no use anymore.
    07-19-2013 09:18 AM
  9. jhoff80's Avatar
    I don't know why people think the Windows RT OS needs saving. Sure, the Surface RT was a huge loss for Microsoft (though I'd attribute that to overzealous estimates). That doesn't mean there's anything inherently wrong with the OS itself. Even if they don't make another ARM-based device for 5 years, it's mostly a simple cross-compile at this point compared to the work that Microsoft had to do to get to this point. They can easily work on both RT and the x86 variant at the same time, so it's not like they're splitting resources there.

    The biggest issue that Windows RT has against it is apps. But there too, what gets developed for x86 will also work on ARM.

    Another issue is that the current hardware that they're using for RT, the Tegra 3, is horrible at this point in time. That too will be changed in future devices.

    As for the desktop, it's not wasting any resources. There's no reason to get rid of it entirely, especially when so many of the core dependencies that the desktop needs are also needed by Metro stuff. Now, they definitely need to make it so that a user never needs to enter the desktop for anything. I'd also argue that there should be an "advanced users" switch in PC Settings to lock the desktop from ever appearing unless you explicitly choose the advanced setting. It just doesn't make sense to remove it though.

    I suspect what's going to really turn the tides on people's opinions of Windows RT is when devices start shipping with integrated LTE modems. After all, one of the biggest benefits of ARM at this point (since Intel is catching up on power consumption) is the ability for an integrated modem. With Intel hardware, you have to use a separate chip for that.
    07-19-2013 09:44 AM
  10. martinmc78's Avatar
    Theres only one thing.

    Positive press.
    07-19-2013 10:12 AM
  11. smoledman's Avatar
    #1 - Give it a new name. Windows Tablet OS.
    #2 - Ditch the desktop. Nobody buys a tablet for performing work. This will reduce the overall footprint of the OS significantly and bring it closer in life with iOS/Android. Metro Office is coming soon enough for anyone who wants to do that. Sort of like iWork for the iPad.
    #3 - More sensible form factor. 4x3 like the iPad. hardware orientation lock. A really good SoC, and of course a retina display. No kickstand.
    #4 - Make sure TellMe has been upgraded to be a true Siri competitor.
    #5 - Get the content store(XBox) ducks in a row. People need to be able to buy music, movies, rent TV shows the same way they currently do in iTunes.

    Once Microsoft does all these things, a Surface Tablet will be a true iPad competitor. If it's just another rehash of the current thing, it will fail even harder.
    07-19-2013 08:44 PM
  12. smoledman's Avatar
    Theres only one thing.

    Positive press.
    Positive press for what? It has to be a great product to get positive press. It's a niche product, running on an outdated processor and works stupidly in portrait mode.
    07-19-2013 08:45 PM
  13. samlj0717's Avatar
    First thing I agree with a5cent we need to leave apple at the door MS didn't make a direct competitor to the iPad or Android tablet they made a better solution where I can consume media and get real work done on the fly. One thing I can say I don't think RT is dead I think there going to refine it, and this time around have a clear message to what it is and what your getting.
    07-19-2013 09:23 PM
  14. a5cent's Avatar
    One thing I can say I don't think RT is dead I think there going to refine it, and this time around have a clear message to what it is and what your getting.
    Just to be clear, I'm not saying that the modern UI in Windows is dead (Windows RT is and will continue to be a component of every Windows installation). The modern UI will definitely live on and co-exist within Windows. Microsoft will improve it over time and this is the future of Windows long term. What I am saying is that WRT as a standalone OS is dead.

    Microsoft might be able to revive WRT if they give it away for free and adjust the minimal hardware requirements so it can run on junk hardware. That is what it would take to compete with Android tablets. Whether that is worth doing is debatable. I think not, because WRT was designed for people that want to do more than just tweeting and weather checking. Just consider all the use-cases that WRT is intended to facilitate. That alone already precludes it from running on bottom-of-the-barrel hardware.

    Two or three years from now tablet hardware will be more than powerful enough to run full blown Windows. At that point there is no reason to separate the two. At that point Microsoft can and will give us the "use it for anything" tablet.
    Laura Knotek and FinancialP like this.
    07-19-2013 11:19 PM
  15. ShaunKL's Avatar
    I haven't gotten to own a Windows RT tablet. All I can talk about is what I've observed from family members with Windows devices and my own experiences with sub-11-inch devices.

    I do not care for mouse-configured controls(desktop) on a 10-inch device. I believe that work can be done effectively with Metro apps once they mature. To me, Windows RT should be pure metro. If the device needs desktop then it should be atom-based and running full Windows 8.
    07-20-2013 01:04 AM
  16. a5cent's Avatar
    I do not care for mouse-configured controls(desktop) on a 10-inch device.
    I assume you are responding to me, in which case you aren't understanding. You're looking only at the "here and now", not into the future. This is what I said:

    What Microsoft wants to do is sell you something that looks like a tablet, but that can act as a desktop or laptop replacement when paired with appropriate peripherals.
    Imagine plunking your tablet down onto a wireless charging pad, right next to your WiDi enabled 30" monitor and bluetooth enabled mouse and keyboard, to which it automatically connects. That just turned your tablet into a full blown desktop computer, running Photoshop, Visual Studio or your CAD solution. I'm not talking about using desktop applications on a 10" screen. I'm saying that three years from now, many people will be replacing their desktop computer with such a tablet + peripheral hardware setup.You'll be able to take your entire desktop setup with you in the form of a tablet, and use it almost anywhere: at your friend's place, at your desk in the office, in your hotel room, or at the internet caf when backpacking through south America.

    Plug in a single thunderbolt connector, attaching a shoebox sized enclosure, housing a graphics card + mass storage, and you'll even be able to use it as a full blown high-end gaming rig.

    Take it along to the office and use it as a normal tablet, but retain the ability to plug in a lightweight keyboard and use it as very portable laptop when needed (probably better suited to 12" tablets). This and all of the above is what Microsoft is aiming for. However, to facilitate such usage scenarios we need full blown Windows, not just the WRT subset.

    I believe that work can be done effectively with Metro apps once they mature. To me, Windows RT should be pure metro. If the device needs desktop then it should be atom-based and running full Windows 8.
    That depends on the kind of work you do. The modern UI is good for many things, but I don't see it reaching the information density required for applications like Photoshop or Visual Studio. A truly universal device needs to cater to all these scenarios, and in two or three years time we'll have the hardware to do it. By that I don't mean Atom, but low power Intel Core CPUs. As stated, once such hardware is available, the need to separate the two OS' disappears. That is why WRT is dead.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    07-20-2013 01:38 AM
  17. FinancialP's Avatar
    #4 or Microsoft needs to be humane and kill RT.


    Want to hear a crazy story? It doesn't matter now because you've read this much.

    Any way, Microsoft does a ton of research. They learn what exactly 90% of PC users do on their PCs.

    Microsoft packages what they've learned, and present it to the public. "Hey guys, this is exactly what you need, it's all you use."

    Public sees the product and goes, "what's this?". Not realizing its all they freaking do anyway, it's all they need.
    07-20-2013 01:47 AM
  18. Michael Alan Goff's Avatar
    #4 or Microsoft needs to be humane and kill RT.


    Want to hear a crazy story? It doesn't matter now because you've read this much.

    Any way, Microsoft does a ton of research. They learn what exactly 90% of PC users do on their PCs.

    Microsoft packages what they've learned, and present it to the public. "Hey guys, this is exactly what you need, it's all you use."

    Public sees the product and goes, "what's this?". Not realizing its all they freaking do anyway, it's all they need.
    Why would they kill RT? Did they kill Vista because of mediocre sales? And no, they didn't rush 7 they moved back to the 3 year OS cycle.

    Besides, killing RT now would just make it seem as though they're willing to abandon customers.
    07-20-2013 12:52 PM
  19. FinancialP's Avatar
    Why would they kill RT? Did they kill Vista because of mediocre sales? And no, they didn't rush 7 they moved back to the 3 year OS cycle.

    Besides, killing RT now would just make it seem as though they're willing to abandon customers.
    Looks a Lumia 900, then looks at my HTC Touch, then looks at my Touch Pro, then looks at my HD2. Puts those down and look at my msn smartwatch. Pain starts to hurt so I won't mention nothing else.
    07-20-2013 12:55 PM
  20. Michael Alan Goff's Avatar
    Looks a Lumia 900, then looks at my HTC Touch, then looks at my Touch Pro, then looks at my HD2. Puts those down and look at my msn smartwatch. Pain starts to hurt so I won't mention nothing else.
    Those aren't even good examples. The Lumia 900 did get an update (7.8), the HTC Touch was released in 2007, and the HD2 was released in 2009. The last two were underpowered devices. I don't know anything about the smartwatch.

    Even if those were valid, past mistakes don't mean you should make ones now. I once put my hand on a stove, does that mean I should do it again?
    07-20-2013 01:05 PM
  21. FinancialP's Avatar
    Those aren't even good examples. The Lumia 900 did get an update (7.8), the HTC Touch was released in 2007, and the HD2 was released in 2009. The last two were underpowered devices. I don't know anything about the smartwatch.

    Even if those were valid, past mistakes don't mean you should make ones now. I once put my hand on a stove, does that mean I should do it again?
    Problem is, I've had Microsoft mobile products since 2001. All of them have been abandoned. Read again, all of them.

    My ppc 6600 didn't get WM6, and none my other products received updates. Lumia received 7.8, but my Nexus S received jelly bean, and my 2.5 year old iPhone will receive iOS 7. I'm not complaining. I just know Microsoft abandoning products isn't new or out of the ordinary. RT being killed wouldn't be out of the ordinary, just business as usual.
    07-20-2013 02:33 PM
  22. Michael Alan Goff's Avatar
    Problem is, I've had Microsoft mobile products since 2001. All of them have been abandoned. Read again, all of them.

    My ppc 6600 didn't get WM6, and none my other products received updates. Lumia received 7.8, but my Nexus S received jelly bean, and my 2.5 year old iPhone will receive iOS 7. I'm not complaining. I just know Microsoft abandoning products isn't new or out of the ordinary. RT being killed wouldn't be out of the ordinary, just business as usual.
    And what I'm saying is that it still doesn't make it right.

    Continuing to make a bad name for themselves isn't something that Microsoft can afford.
    07-20-2013 03:25 PM
  23. FinancialP's Avatar
    And what I'm saying is that it still doesn't make it right.

    Continuing to make a bad name for themselves isn't something that Microsoft can afford.
    They just posted a 4 billion dollar profit doing this. They can afford to do whatever.
    07-20-2013 08:41 PM
  24. smoledman's Avatar
    They just posted a 4 billion dollar profit doing this. They can afford to do whatever.
    $4.9 billion.
    07-20-2013 09:49 PM
  25. a5cent's Avatar
    IMHO both of you (FinancialP and Michael) are arguing a moot point. Killing WRT is inconsequential. Everything it does can still be done with Windows, where the modern UI will continue to evolve. Microsoft will at some point just stop selling Surface RT devices. All you'll get are Surface Pro devices. Does that mean MS would be dropping support a for anything? Absolutely not! Everything you did with WRT can still be done in exactly the same way with a Surface Pro device. Nothing is lost.
    FinancialP likes this.
    07-20-2013 09:55 PM
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