editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Windows RT: Not So Hot for Tablets

By now you’re heard about Microsoft’s big splash into the tablet market with Surface. CEO Steve Ballmer showed off two versions: one with an x86 processor running Windows 8 and one with an ARM processor running Windows RT (the same OS ported to ARM).

The announcement did two things: it annoyed the heck out of Dell, HP, Lenovo and just about every other hardware vendor that was also planning to make tablets. And it confused potential customers, because Microsoft didn’t announce any prices, availability dates, retail channels, or applications for Surface. All we know is that Surface is coming, but not when, how, where, or for how much. (more on all this later, in a full article.)

We also got some insight into Windows RT: it’s a bad choice for tablets. Even through WinRT is “real Windows,” it won’t run Windows applications. The ARM processor is just the start of the problem; you could always recompile, after all. But WinRT also costs more than Win8, maybe as much as 3x more. There are reports of a $90 licensing fee for WinRT, which is a big chunk of change for a tablet and more than even Windows 7 costs.

Finally, it’s been rumored that WinRT devices aren’t allowed to run Windows apps, This has nothing to do with the technical challenges; the licensing terms reportedly prohibit recompiling old apps. You have to write new code using the new APIs and OS model. If true, this means programmers have to start all over, not just recompiling, but rewriting, their existing Windows apps. All for a tablet market that doesn’t yet exist.

Windows RT is a fantastic technical achievement, and probably a very good OS for embedded systems with ARM processors and a full-featured user interface. It’s just not looking like a good choice for tablets. That may have been Microsoft’s (and ARM’s) goal all along, but the Surface announcement suggests otherwise.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
May 16, 2021
https://youtu.be/_wup2MSTVks Made on Communication Hill, San Jose (camera Carey Guo) Monday: Intel eASIC: Linley and DARPA Tuesday: Please Excuse the Mesh: CFD and Pointwise Wednesday: Linley:... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community site. ]]...
May 13, 2021
Samtec will attend the PCI-SIG Virtual Developers Conference on Tuesday, May 25th through Wednesday, May 26th, 2021. This is a free event for the 800+ member companies that develop and bring to market new products utilizing PCI Express technology. Attendee Registration is sti...
May 13, 2021
Our new IC design tool, PrimeSim Continuum, enables the next generation of hyper-convergent IC designs. Learn more from eeNews, Electronic Design & EE Times. The post Synopsys Makes Headlines with PrimeSim Continuum, an Innovative Circuit Simulation Solution appeared fi...
May 13, 2021
By Calibre Design Staff Prior to the availability of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, multi-patterning provided… The post A SAMPle of what you need to know about SAMP technology appeared first on Design with Calibre....

featured video

Super Resolution with ARC EV Processor IP

Sponsored by Synopsys

Interested in upscaling images with AI? Join Gordon Cooper for an update on SR-GAN with ARC EV Processors.

Click here for more information about DesignWare ARC EV Processors for Embedded Vision

featured paper

Optimizing an OpenCL AI Kernel for the data center using Silexica’s SLX FPGA

Sponsored by Silexica

AI applications are increasingly contributing to FPGAs being used as co-processors in data centers. Silexica's newest application note shows how SLX FPGA accelerates an AI-related face detection design example, leveraging the bottom-up flow of Xilinx’s Vitis 2020.2 and Alveo U280 accelerator card.

Click to read

featured chalk talk

TDK Magnetic Sheets For EMI and NFC Applications

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and TDK

Today’s dense, complex designs can be extremely challenging from an EMI perspective. Re-designs of PCBs to eliminate problems can be expensive and time consuming, and a manufacturing solution can be preferable. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Chris Burket of TDX about Flexield noise suppression sheets, which may be just what your design needs to get EMI under control.

Click here for more information about TDK Flexield Noise Suppression Sheets