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Microsoft's Michael Angiulo  (Source: Business Insider)
Windows RT may already be turning to vinegar

Microsoft continues to defend its sagging Windows RT operating system. So far one of the only products that run the operating system is Microsoft's own Surface RT tablet, which has seen very low sales. Earlier this month, sales of the Microsoft Surface family of tablets missed targets and analysts reduced their sales forecasts.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer continues to insist that Surface is a "real business", but sales figures suggest otherwise. Major Microsoft partner Samsung has announced that it won't be releasing a Windows RT tablet in the United States because of poor demand. Samsung has left the door open to introduce a RT device later if the market demands it. So far, that demand seems unlikely.

CNET recently had an interview with Microsoft corporate vice president for Windows planning Michael Angiulo.  During the talk the Microsoft executive spent some time focusing on what makes Windows RT important for Microsoft.
Angiulo stated, "It was a ton of work for us and we didn't do the work and endure the disruption for any reason other than the fact that there's a strategy there that just gets stronger over time. Looking at things now like power performance and standby time and passive [fanless] form factors. When we launched windows 8, it was really competitive with a full-sized iPad. A lot of that was made possible by the ARM [chip] architecture."

In addition, Angiulo talked a bit about complaints of legacy software not working on Windows RT. He said, "People are talking about legacy desktop software not running, but they don't think about the customer benefit of only running modern apps. The only apps that you install from the Windows store are the kind, that as a customer, you can manage your rights to."

Angiulo also believes that ARM-powered tablets will have a higher percentage shipping that feature mobile broadband because the devices have longer battery life the comparable Intel platform devices. Battery life is a big selling factor for ARM-powered devices, and increased power consumption continues to be a downside to Intel hardware in the tablet and mobile market.

Source: CNET

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RE: It gets better with time?
By Tony Swash on 3/23/2013 11:33:24 AM , Rating: 0
Whatever the relative merits of Windows 8 on various devices it seems fairly clear that the initial launch of W8 on phones and tablet has been, from Microsoft's perspective, a failure. What Microsoft needs from W8 devices is to become a player of weight in the mobile device markets, to become at the very least a sizeable third player behind Android and iOS. I see no evidence of that happening and although it is just possible that a reworking of the W8 OS on mobile and some new device releases might allow them achieve that aim I am fairly convinced that their window of opportunity is all but closed.

Which raises the question of where next for Microsoft? Their Windows desktop OS, productivity and server products are still selling in large numbers and at great profitability but I cannot imagine anyone thinks there is going to be much growth in that market and there may be a real possibility of long term secular decline. MS could just retreat to the desktop and then fall back on the enterprise and corporate IT markets but that would mean accepting a much smaller role and possibly a smaller business in the medium to long term.

An obvious route for a software company like MS would be to sell software on the dominant mobile platforms which are, in order of software market weight, iOS and then Android. MS could sell an iOS and Android version of Office, it could sell tools for integrating iOS and Android into the corporate IT system, it could sell a range of content building apps, etc. But to do so would mean essentially abandoning the ambition to be a purveyor of operating systems because if that were to remain an ambition then exclusivity of MS productivity software on W8 would remain a crucial card to retain. It would also mean MS becoming the sort of software company that could compete and make profits in a software market in which it had no advantage of controlling the OS and a mobile market dominated by low prices for software and much lower margins for software products. It would thus mean MS succeeding in the sort of software market it had never succeeded in before.

I think if MS releases a version of Office on iOS, and if that version is any good (i.e. redesigned from scratch for touch) than it will be a very strong indicator that MS has at the very least decided to hedge it's bets on W8 ever succeeding.

RE: It gets better with time?
By InsGadget on 3/24/2013 1:03:10 PM , Rating: 2
it seems fairly clear that the initial launch of W8 on phones and tablet has been, from Microsoft's perspective, a failure.

I don't agree with this. The fact that Windows Phone has any growth at all in this highly competitive smartphone OS market is telling. All other players are failing besides the (now) Big 3.

And Windows 8 is doing fine. Windows RT is a different story, but Win8 is fine.

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